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Nike bulks up mobile advertising investments to drive sales

Nike is testing a couple of new advertising units that go beyond basic banner ads to drive sales of its gear.

Nike is running two different campaigns in the Weather Channel and Pandora mobile applications that promote Hyperwarm, a line of gear for winter weather. Nike has run a number of commerce-enabled advertising campaigns in the past to drive sales of its products.

“For Nike this is a branding campaign so impressions are everything,” said Alex Kutsishin, cofounder at FiddleFly, Columbia, MD.

“Hopefully Nike is positioning itself around relevant content so the call to action becomes more organic,” he said.

Mr. Kutsishin is not affiliated with Nike. He spoke based on his expertise on the subject.

Nike did not respond to press inquiries.

Locked mobile ads
Nike’s ad is running in the background of the Weather Channel app.

When consumers swipe across the screen to change their location, a campaign image of a baseball player wearing Nike gear appears.

Nike’s logo and a call-to-action promoting its Hyperwarm line of clothing appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

When consumers click on the ad, they are directed to the page on Nike’s mobile site that features the products.

From there, consumers can watch videos, view images of the products and shop the collection.

Hyperwarm products are designed to keep body heat regulated in harsh weather. Therefore, running an in-app ad campaign that targets consumers in specific climates is a smart move for Nike.

Additionally, plastering the brand across the backsplash of the app keeps Nike top of mind for a consumer, and some users will likely find it less invasive than a banner ad.

Boosting brand engagement
Nike is also running a similar campaign within the Pandora iPhone app.

When consumers first open the app, a full-page Nike ad encourages users to click to find out the brand’s Hyperwarm line of clothing.

Again, the ad links to Nike’s mobile commerce site.

There is also a button at the bottom of the screen where consumers can skip the ad and immediately access their music.

Nike also recently ran a rewards-based Thanksgiving campaign to promote Hyperwarm products (see story).

By testing a variety of different ad units, Nike’s ads highlight the different ways that marketers are looking to move beyond banner ads, which will continue to be a trend in 2014.

“The mobile audience is more fragmented than online as to where they consume content,” said Brennan Hayden, vice president of mobile at [x+1], New York.

Mr. Hayden is not affiliated with Nike. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

“However, the mobile publishers themselves are more committed to innovation than ever,” he said. “So it makes sense than ever for the advertiser to address this diversity and innovation by incorporating creative and placement variety in their tactics. Getting the right ad in front of the right person at the right time is the goal.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York