ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Hershey?s unleashes sponsored mobile data opportunity with video campaign

Hershey?s premium line of Scharffen Berger chocolate is one of the first brands to leverage AT&T?s sponsored data ads with a campaign that highlights both the branding and revenue opportunities of the new ad unit.

An AT&T sponsored data deal with Hershey?s was announced last month with the ads now live in applications including Pandora. AT&T?s introduction of sponsored data earlier this year made quite a splash in the mobile space as a new opportunity for brands and carriers to work together, and Hershey?s new campaign gives marketers a sense of what these types of campaigns will look like going forward.

?Our goal with testing various mobile advertising options is to focus on the potential hyper-targeting benefit that mobile provides from both a consumer and geographic perspective,? said Sean Maurer, director of Scharffen Berger, San Francisco.

?We?d like to target the appropriate consumers, who enjoy premium, artisan products, earlier in the engagement cycle and begin to peak their interest about our brand and the unique Scharffen Berger chocolate-making experience,? he said.

Mobile sweet stuff
The Hershey?s Scharffen Berger mobile ads are running as banners within the Pandora iPhone app.

A click-through on the banner ad brings up a landing page showing a video, and copy on the ad explains to consumers that watching the clip will not dip into data from their phone plans.

The ad also features copy from both AT&T and Aqutowhich is powering the ads, indicating that the video is sponsored.

Consumers can then watch a 30-second Scharffen Berger commercial that highlights the brand?s products.

Once the clip ends, a message tells consumers that they have saved two megabytes on their data plan by watching the sponsored video. A promo code is then displayed within the mobile ad that consumers can apply to an online sale.

Although Scharffen Berger does not have a mobile site, clicking through on the ad drives consumers to the brand?s ecommerce site, where they can look through and buy the company?s line of premium chocolate products. 

Beyond the banner
This is not the first time that the chocolate brand has decided to try out a new type of mobile advertising.

Scharffen Berger was also one of the first brands to test a lock-screen ad last year within the mobile app Locket (see story). 

The idea behind the brand?s mobile advertising investments is to tap into some of the branding opportunity outside of the basic in-app and mobile Web ads on platforms that are targeted to and align with the higher-end brand messaging.

In this case, offering free data in exchange for watching a video could influence a consumer to interact with more mobile advertising and video since the megabytes will not affect their phone plans.

The sponsored content is only available to consumers with an AT&T plan, and runs for roughly two weeks. 

?Mobile video advertising is a nascent market ? industry data tells us that one of the main issues with mobile video advertising is that users do not like it when it consumes their cellular data plans,? said Susie Kim Riley, founder of Aquto, Boston.

?Users will often abandon the video ad, or the mobile content altogether when the user is on cellular data,? she said.  

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