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Chase Super Bowl ad promotes mobile services to millions

While many Super Bowl XLV television advertisers missed a huge opportunity to promote their mobile products and services, JPMorgan Chase & Co. was one of the few that effectively did so.

The Chase commercial promoted the bank’s Quick Deposit feature, a remote deposit capture service that lets customers scan paper checks using their camera-enabled handsets and have the images electronically transmitted to Chase for deposit directly into their checking account.

“As a leader in the mobile banking industry, our apps and new features are highly anticipated,” said Christine Holevas, Chicago-based spokeswoman for JPMorgan Chase. “We have used television, print and online advertising, as well as in-branch merchandising and public relations to spread the word of Chase mobile banking. 

“We have found that those in the tech space and the general public have embraced our products and messaging,” she said.

While Chase may not have made the biggest splash in terms of most memorable, funny or sexy Super Bowl spot, it did separate itself from the pack simply by putting its mobile services under the spotlight in front of the biggest TV audience of all time.

Sometimes the mantra “Keep it simple, stupid” really is the most effective strategy. Let the product or service speak for itself.

Covering its mobile bases
Just before the 2010 holidays, Chase revealed that its Android application achieved 500,000 downloads in two weeks while its iPhone app has exceeded 2 million downloads.

In addition to the native iPhone and Android applications, Chase’s mobile banking options include text-message updates, letting customers request information from any mobile phone via SMS and get their account balances and transaction history on checking, savings, credit card, mortgage and home equity accounts.

Chase customers can also opt-in to instant-action alerts to get text messages the moment their checking account balance falls below a pre-selected amount and letting them transfer funds through a text-message reply.

The mobile Web site offers standard services for all mobile banking customers.

“Given today’s mobile lifestyle, Chase mobile banking helps customers manage their financial lives through their mobile device whenever and wherever they want,” Ms. Holevas said.

“The mobile banking effort complements the extensive ways customers can bank with Chase: through online banking, telephone banking, nearly 5,200 branches and more than 16,000 ATMs,” she said.

Various experts predict that by 2012, there will be 150 million smartphone subscribers in the U.S.

Financial transactions continue as one of the most popular uses of mobile phones, consistently ranking in third among the top 20 categories for mobile content, per Chase.

Please click here to view the Chase Super Bowl TV commercial.

“The Chase Mobile Android application and Chase Mobile iPhone application provide the growing smartphone population a quick, convenient way to bank on-the-go,” Ms. Holevas said.

Missed opportunities
TV advertisers flubbed the year’s best and biggest opportunity to engage via mobile-calls-to-action, according to many marketers (see story).

While automakers such as Chrysler, General Motors/Chevrolet and Volkswagen, as well as financial services companies such as E*Trade, made a splash with their TV commercials during the Super Bowl, none of them included a mobile call-to-action or mentioned any of their mobile platforms.

“I am surprised that there weren’t more opportunities to promote a mobile site or app within the Super Bowl ad framework, since this is a hot item today and one that may serve advertisers within specific market segments very well,” said George Cook, executive professor of marketing and psychology at the Simon Graduate School of Business, Rochester, NY.

“During the Super Bowl, I did not notice any specific ads with this idea,” he said.

TV advertisers should consider taking advantage of the mass-market medium to promote their mobile initiatives and platforms, and make their TV commercials more interactive and measurable with a mobile call-to-action.

Examples range from asking viewers to text a keyword to an SMS short code, scan a bar code, visit a mobile Web site or download an application.

“Clearly they need to tag the traditional media ads with the opportunity, information or directions to connect with the mobile initiatives or platforms,” Mr. Cook said. “The timing is right, the trend is right and they should not be missing the opportunity to get messages out via mobile.

“This enables the advertiser or marketer to reach a wider on-the-move audience on a more time sensitive basis and perhaps get much quicker responses than from the traditional media,” he said.

“People on the move would certainly entertain these messages, and [mobile calls-to-action could] perhaps turn a good percentage of them in action-oriented behaviors such as visit stores, Web sites and—hopefully—place orders.”

Final Take
Chase GiftShelf app