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HSN makes mobile game shoppable

The Cooking Dash app, which is available on iPhone and iPod touch devices now includes a new restaurant venue called “HSN Cooks with Emeril.” The new venue showcases an Mr. Lagasse avatar and let players interact with virtual representations his cookware and kitchen electrics line.

“We recognize that gaming, shopping and sharing are three of the most popular activities across mobile and digital platforms,” said Jill Braff, executive vice president of digital commerce at HSN, San Francisco.

“This is the next progression in our gaming strategy which began back in June when we launched our HSN Arcade gaming portal,” she said. “Since its launch, we have seen more than 18 million game plays.”

“We want to further differentiate the HSN shopping experience and this partnership  with both PlayFirst and Emeril makes perfect sense,  helping us bring together content and commerce in a fun and innovative way.”

HSN is an interactive multichannel retailer, offering a curated assortment of exclusive products and top brand names to its customers.

PlayFirst’s game portfolio includes titles such as Diner Dash, Wedding Dash, Cooking Dash, DinerTown Zoo, Chocolatier and Dream Chronicles.

Mobile games
When players enter Cooking Dash they can see the new “HSN Cooks with Emeril” venue.

Users can then enter the restaurant and begin to play.

During gameplay, users can access a variety of Mr. Lagasse’s products including a blender, mixer, deep fryer and chef’s knife.

Additionally, as players progress through the game, traditional Cooking Dash characters such as Flo are joined by virtual Mr. Lagasse and both cook and serve various recipes to diners.

Mr. Lagasse’s products are then available in the DashMart – PlayFirst’s virtual store.

The products are available as either virtual items or as an actual online order for delivery directly to the player’s home.

Word of mouth
HSN has been getting word out about the new promotion via TV, online, mobile, social.

“We are especially leveraging our digital platforms to get the word out about the download and the partnership,” Ms. Braff said. “PlayFirst has a very large group of loyal players – we are hoping to leverage them as well and finally, when you download the Cooking Dash app, the HSN Cooking Dash venue is free.

“It’s no secret that smart phone use is rapidly increasing and games are a significant part of mobile usage,” she said. “Although consumers may look at products in typical brick and mortar stores, they are buying online and they are buying with momentum – a mobile shopping and gaming experience is just a natural progression.

“Additionally, the virtual goods space is extremely hot right now with over $2 billion in virtual transactions. With this launch we are able to blur the virtual world products with real HSN products, giving us a chance to raise awareness and expand our reach to new consumers.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York