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Hershey?s Scharffen Berger tests homescreen mobile ads for brand-building

Hershey?s Scharffen Berger is experimenting with a new type of mobile advertising that takes advantage of a mobile device?s homescreen to drive consumers to a wine and chocolate tasting.

The premium chocolate brand is running a series of ads within the Locket mobile application that show up on a consumer?s homescreen when a device is locked. In addition to the mobile ad promoting an event at a winery in California, Scharffen Berger will run another campaign for the holidays.

?We?re actively shifting money towards mobile, and the reason why it fits so well in this case is that we have done research and found that our consumers have a higher propensity to own a smartphone,? said Sean Maurer, brand director at Scharffen Berger, San Francisco.

?The thing that really attracted us to this was the ability to attract consumers when a message is top-of-mind,? he said. ?If they do it correctly, it almost becomes a joy to open up their phone mixed in with high-quality mobile ads that are brand-leveraging versus a call-to-action in a game that is not well-done.

?When you?re doing something online, you try to ignore the ad by clicking out of them or finding the skip button, but this for us was really about the ability to connect with consumers on a different level.?

How it works
The Locket app is available for Google Play, and once users set up their account, the app can be set as the default home screen when a mobile device is locked.

Consumers can then choose to either interact with an ad or swipe it away from the homescreen.

Scharffen Berger is running 12 different ads that invite consumers to visit Beringer Winery in Napa Valley, CA on Sept. 28 for a $20 two-for-one offer on a wine and chocolate special at the winery.

Each time that a consumer opens up their mobile device, they will receive a new ad.

As the event gets closer in time, the messaging on the ads will change to become more direct in driving consumers to the event.

When consumers click on the ad, they are prompted to sign-up for the event.

After the event ends, Scharffen Berger will run another national campaign for the holidays that will focus on gifting and branding, per Mr. Maurer.

The national campaign will involve Scharffen Berger?s partner retailers to drive in-store traffic.

Creative for the campaign was custom-built by Locket.

Another screenshot of the ads

New mobile opportunities
Finding different ways besides banners to advertise on mobile is nothing new, but not a lot of campaigns have leveraged the homescreen for advertising.

The challenge though is finding a way to make some of these campaigns scale for brands.

?For us, we?re hoping that it takes off, because the key for us is that the better the experience is, the more valuable [mobile advertising] becomes for us,? Mr. Maurer said.

?Right now, it is more of a test,? he said. ?For it to become a more core part for us, realistically they have to grow the user base.?

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