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Disney/Pixar relies on iAd campaign to drive ticket sales

The Disney/Pixar mobile ad

Disney/Pixar is ramping up its mobile commerce efforts with a new advertising campaign that lets users buy tickets and learn about the film “Brave.”

The mobile ads are running within Apple’s iAd network. In addition to buying tickets, the campaign incorporates location to show users where the film is playing nearby.

“With more consumers utilizing their wireless devices to check on movie times, watch previews, check locations and book tickets, the movie theaters should all be trending toward commerce enabling their sites, or at the very least linking through to a Fandango type of commerce site for ticket purchases,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Disney/Pixar. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Disney/Pixar did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile movies
The banner ads feature a photo and logo from the film and encourage users to tap to “begin the adventure.”

When tapped on, the ad expands into a full page with two film trailers that users can watch.

In the bottom left-hand corner, users can tap to buy tickets via Fandango’s mobile site by choosing a date and location to find nearby theaters.

Consumers can also find nearby theaters inside the ad unit. Users are asked if it is OK to use their location to search. Otherwise, users can enter their ZIP code to find theaters.

Adding a location element in addition to a commerce feature is a great way to target groups of consumers who might not want to buy via their devices but are still interested in the film.

“There can’t be a comparison between commerce-enabling and GPS use for finding theaters – they are both equally important to the consumer for quickly finding the closest location and the option to pre-purchase the tickets, for some theaters it might be easier to start with the GPS functionality, but commerce should follow quickly behind,” Ms. Troutman said.

An initiative such as this from Disney/Pixar is a great way to not only drive pre-sale tickets but can also be used during the weeks that the film is in theaters to educate consumers about the film.

Disney/Pixar is showing that it has a grasp of mobile advertising with this iAd campaign. With video, commerce and interactive features, the campaign incorporates a wide range of ways for consumers to engage with the film.

Digital sales
Disney/Pixar is not the only film studio using mobile advertising to its advantage.

For instance, Sony Pictures has made mobile advertising a staple of each film that the company releases.

Most recently, Sony used a mobile campaign to promote the film “The Vow” with a campaign that directed users to Fandango’s mobile site to buy tickets (see story).

Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. and Relatively Media have also used similar campaigns aimed at letting consumers watch videos, learn about the film and ultimately drive ticket sales.

“We are seeing more mobile ads coming through on sites like Pandora for higher engagement. Another trend is in- store QR codes that direct consumers to movie previews,” Ms. Troutman said.

“The mobile methods to engage the customer are expanding, making control of the engagement a higher priority for maximum reach and effective conversion,” she said.

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