Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Captain Morgan launches large-scale mobile effort via social gaming app

The Captain’s Conquest app ties together social media, location and games and is the brand’s first large-scale mobile initiative. The app is available for free download in either Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

“Captain Morgan chose to create a mobile game as another way to connect with adult consumers seeking to interact with the brand in new, modern, creative ways,” said Tom Herbst, marketing director at Captain Morgan, Norwalk, CT.

“Extensive consumer research has shown the brand’s target consumer is highly social, active and enjoys spending time looking for new adventures, so creating a platform that rewards consumers for being adventurous in real-life via check-ins and interacting with those around them through game play is the ideal way to marry their personal life with their interaction with the brand,” he said.

Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum is a product of premium drink business Diageo. The company also  operates Guinness, Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Baileys among others.

Mobile seas
In order to play, consumers must create an account with their email address and date of birth.

Users can also connect to social networks including foursquare, Twitter and Facebook.

For each social network that a player syncs the game to, they receive points and virtual currency, which is a smart way to give players an incentive for using social media.

The app then asks to use the device’s location and users can see a map of other players nearby. To go along with the sea theme of the Captain Morgan brand, each player is on a ship.

Players can then choose to attack nearby ships and fire missiles by tilting their device to line up a shot.

Additionally, users can enter product codes, scan on-package QR codes and the Captain Morgan logo to unlock virtual goods that help players battle.

With the device’s GPS, the app shows users a list of nearby places where users can check-in to buy virtual goods. By making users check-in to places to access goods, the app gives an incentive for tying real-world locations with the game.

Game on
Previously, Captain Morgan has rolled out other mobile initiatives including MMS, but the mobile game app indicates that the beverage company is tapping into mobile and digital marketing more aggressively.

Captain Morgan is not the only brand incorporating gaming into its mobile strategy.

Taco Bell recently partnered with Sony on a mobile game initiative that rewarded users who played a mobile game with the chance of winning a new PlayStation device (see story).

Additionally, Pepsi’s Brisk Iced Tea brand also recently used a mobile gaming app as part of a multichannel campaign to build up to the release of the “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” 3D film (see story).

If used correctly with a feature that gives users a valuable piece of content, mobile gaming can be a great way to build brand awareness via a mobile app.

For Captain Morgan, the mobile game app is successful because it incorporates multiple digital initiatives into one branded app.

Social media is largely accessed by mobile devices and by including it with a game based on location, it helps players spread the word about the app.

“It appears as though branded mobile games are here to stay as the medium is one that provides an engaging way for consumers to interact with the brands they love,” Mr. Herbst said.

“It will be important to continue finding creative avenues to encourage users to take that interaction from their mobile device to other parts of their daily lives to ensure the brand stays top of mind,” he said.

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