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Disney bolsters winter cruise sales via mobile ad sweepstakes

Disney is running a mobile sweepstakes via an ad campaign to entice consumers to book a Disney Cruise trip.

From the mobile ads, users can enter the contest and play a game involving Disney characters for an additional chance to win. The ads are running in applications that are targeted at families, including inside the Today iPhone app.

“Our Disney Cruise Line marketing efforts target vacation-planning moms with high Disney affinity,” said Darcy Clark, digital marketing manager for Disney Destinations Marketing, Lake Buena Vista, FL.

“This mobile campaign is tied to a larger initiative, the Disney Cruise Line Magical Cruise Adventure Sweepstakes that gives fans the chance to play a fun, immersive game as they learn about what makes a Disney cruise vacation so magical,” she said.

“More and more, our target audience is utilizing mobile to stay connected, not only with their friends and family, but with brands.” 

Mobile trips
The Disney Cruise Line campaign is also using Web as part of its marketing efforts and is running through mid-April.

Disney is betting on the cold winter months to interest users who might be interested in booking a vacation cruise.

The banner ads run along the bottom of the app with the Disney Cruise logo and encourage users to tap to learn more.

Once tapped on, users are taken to a mobile landing page that reads, “Set sail with magic for your whole family.”

Consumers are then prompted to either watch a video about Disney Cruise Lines or can enter to win an eight-night cruise from New York to the Bahamas for four travelers.

Disney is using the mobile ads to increase its email database by asking consumers to first typing in their email addresses before they can enter the sweepstakes.

After registering for the sweepstakes, users can play a series of three games with Disney characters for one additional sweepstakes entry.

To play, users spin a virtual wheel to win trip-related prizes. Each game includes three spins and features a Disney character.

Consumers can pick from three Disney characters to play the game

Users can also unlock trip upgrades that are available on the cruise, including salon appointments, child care and photo packages.

If consumers play all three games, they are automatically given an additional chance to win the sweepstakes.

Consumers play by tapping a wheel of prizes

Users can also order a travel-planning DVD from the ad, learn more about the Disney Cruise Line and view offers via the ad.

Winter escape
Disney has been building up its mobile strategy with advertising and applications for a while now.

Most recently, the company released an iPad app that let users shop the Disney Store (see story).

By running the ads right after the holiday season, Disney is smart to target the campaign at consumers who are looking for a quick holiday trip.

Additionally, by running the ads in apps geared for parents and families, Disney is able to directly target its core group of consumers.

By including a game aspect to the ads, Disney is able to keep users interacting inside the ad while tying a sweepstakes to their experience.

“Mobile ad campaigns can be delivered to a highly prequalified audience – one disproportionately likely to respond,” said Wilson Kerr, Boston-based mobile marketing consultant.

Mr. Kerr is not affiliated with Disney. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

“In this case, Disney is delivering ads to an audience who have already opened and accessed an app and are in the parenting section,” he said.

“It is very likely that this target demographic is a good match for those who might be interested in a family-oriented Disney cruise, which should increase response rates.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York