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Walmart reels in fishing gear sales via mobile campaign

The Walmart mobile ad

Walmart has rolled out a new mobile initiative that lets consumers learn about fishing gear products and buy them via their handsets.

The ads let users play a game where they catch a fish in order to learn more about Walmart’s line of fishing products. The Walmart mobile ads are running inside the IMDB mobile site.

“Mass merchandisers understand that users search for product information and reviews before making a purchase,” said Gene Paek, vice president of interactive services at Factory Design Labs, Denver.

“Mass merchandisers like Walmart are seeing the trend of mobile consumption of their shoppers, so it makes perfect sense to deliver content to where their shoppers are consuming content,” he said.

“I call it fish where the fish are fishing.”

Mr. Paek is not associated with Walmart. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Walmart did not respond to press inquiries.

Fish on mobile
The copy for the mobile ads include the Walmart logo and encourage users to play a game.

When tapped on, the ads expand into a full-page. Consumers are then prompted to use their finger as a piece of bait to catch a fish as it swims by on the screen.

The ad redirects users to Walmart’s Web site, where they can view a weekly circular ad based on their location.

Walmart is using the ads to bolster its local ad program, which sends emails to users with weekly deals based on what is on sale at the nearest store.

However, the site is not optimized and forces users to pinch and zoom to view information on the products.

When zoomed in on, consumers can shop the products and are taken to Walmart’s mobile site.

Mobile misstep
Although it is smart that consumers are ultimately given the option to buy from Walmart’s mobile site, making them click through from an un-optimized site makes the campaign fall flat.

Additionally, by leading to an un-optimized site first, the campaign most likely has a high initial drop-off number of interested consumers.

Instead, the initiative would have been planned better if consumers were taken to a mobile site to learn more about the local circular ad.

Using a mobile game as the incentive to get consumers immersed in a game is a great way for Walmart to promote a line of themed products, but leading to an un-optimized site leads to a poorly-executed campaign.

“More and more consumers are accessing brand content through mobile devices and if you’re driving users to experiences that aren’t optimized for mobile, you’re not going to achieve set forth goals,” Mr. Paek said.

“Not having an optimized mobile experience is equivalent to having paid media drive users to a 404 error page,” he said.

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