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Old Navy spurs mobile shopping through commerce-enabled advertising

Old Navy is using mobile advertising to push its summer campaign, which is titled “Camp Old Navy.” The Old Navy ads are running within Session M’s network of reward-based mobile applications that let consumers rack up points in exchange for interacting with apps and watching advertisements.

“We need to remember that only consumers who are very engaged use branded mobile apps from their favorite brands,” said Cezar Kolodziej,president/CEO of Iris Mobile, Chicago.

“If the goal is to maximize engagement for the most dedicated consumers, adding direct push via an in-app campaign is great,” he said. “However, if the goal is to find new customers and convert them into the loyal ones, I don’t think in-app campaigns help, especially in this case.”

Mr. Kolodziej is not affiliated with Old Navy. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Old Navy did not respond to press inquiries.

Gearing up for summer
Consumers who interact with mobile apps such as the MTV News iPhone app see a call-to-action at the bottom of the app to collect mPoints – which is Session M’s currency – when they hit certain achievements, such as opening the app or reading a news article.

Once users click on the call-to-action to claim their points, a full-page Old Navy ad pops up on the screen.

The ad gives consumers the option to watch a sponsored video from the retailer in exchange for earning 50 mPoints.

A click-through prompts a minute-long commercial to begin that Old Navy is also distributing on television and online.

Once the video finishes, a landing page lets consumers share content via Facebook or Twitter for an additional 5 mPoints.

The landing page also encourages consumers to click-through to shop Old Navy’s products.

Users who tap on the landing page are directed to a microsite on Old Navy’s mobile site that includes three different tabs for apparel – women, men and kids.

Copy at the top of the microsite reads, “Shop these summer looks and make everyone a happy camper.”

Under each tab, consumers can learn more about the products and view photos that show how items fit. Users can then shop and check-out from the retailer’s mobile site.

Shop on mobile
Old Navy has been in the mobile space for a while and is particularly active around rewards.

In 2011, the brand partnered with shopkick to incentivize in-store shopping (see story).

That same holiday season, Old Navy debuted its Snap Appy app that lets consumers scan in-store logos and merchandise to unlock content while shopping (see story).

In this case, Old Navy is smart to bundle its video and mobile commerce efforts together in an ad format that gives consumers an incentive for interacting with some of their favorite apps.

The initiative could also be particularly helpful for Old Navy to not only drive new forms of revenue but also educate consumers on how to shop from their mobile devices.

“Mobile shopping is primarily about engagement at the right time,” Mr. Kolodziej said.

“Having an engaging video that advertises a product and then has an option for consumers to make a purchase is an approach we all believe online,” he said. “Mobile definitely follows the same path.”

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