Target adds mobile games to digital strategy

Target has been ramping up digital efforts for a few years now, but its Digital Vendor Marketing (DVM) team is putting the retailer on the mobile games map.

Target sees mobile games as an opportunity to directly reach customers and showcase the brands and vendors on its store shelves.

“We’re really focused on creating great games for guests that are simple, yet challenging enough to make you want to play again and again,” says Dawn Block, who oversees the DVM team as a VP of Target.com and mobile.

While mobile gaming is still something new for Target, the retailer has already partnered with major brands that include Coca-Cola, M&M’s, Johnson & Johnson and now Purina. The first official game was a football party-themed game called “Snack Bowl.”

Target will roll out several games in the course of this year, but its most recent launch is “Pop It!” The game focuses on one of Purina’s newest products, the Beggin’ Party Poppers. Made to simulate the game-like experience of the treat dispensers, “Pop It!” allows users to interact with the product.

“This is the first time we’ve paired a mobile game with a product launch, so this is a test and learn opportunity for Beggin’,” says Christi Maginn, director of shopper marketing for Nestlé Purina PetCare.

For several weeks, “Pop It!” players will also receive a Target mobile coupon for the new products. Consumers can flash their phones at checkout to redeem.