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Paramount promotes G.I. Joe with homepage takeover of Fandango?s iPhone site

Paramount Pictures is taking over Fandango's iPhone-optimized site with a quiz and branding to promote its movie "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," opening Aug. 7.

Movie ticket vendor Fandango has partnered with mobile advertising company Crisp Wireless to power Paramount's G.I. Joe campaign. The mobile ad campaign targeting iPhone users features Fandango's first mobile homepage takeover ad unit and directs fans to play the "Joe v. Cobra Challenge" for a chance to win $3,000.

"The challenge was how do you engage with the user in a contextually relevant way and a meaningful way so the user can have a high level of interactivity with the brand," said Tom Foran, chief revenue officer at Crisp Wireless, New York. "We created a campaign that targeted iPhone users with a full-screen ad that really enabled the user to see a compelling ad unit and click through to participate in a quiz.

"What we saw was a really successful campaign on a multitude of fronts, with high click-through rates and level of engagements," he said. "This is proof of mobile advertising as an effective medium for studios -- you can't get much better than a full-screen ad on a site like Fandango for a blockbuster like G.I. Joe.

"The amount of traffic Fandango gets from iPhone users is quite high, and iPhone easily supports Java script ad units, so it was a perfect fit for Paramount."

Paramount Pictures Corp. is an American film production and distribution company currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom.

Crisp Wireless's mobile ad platform enables rich-media mobile ad creation, campaign management, ad serving, campaign reporting and advertiser site analytics, as well as mobile ad sales support for publishers.

The Crisp Wireless publisher network includes 200-plus mobile Web sites from more than 45 media companies and their brands. Clients include Time Mobile, People Mobile, Perez Hilton, A&E Television Networks, USA Today and Discovery Communications.

Fandango, a unit of Comcast Interactive Media, provides consumers with reviews, commentary and trailers, and offers the ability to quickly select a film, plan where and when to see it and buy tickets in advance.

Film fans can find Fandango's iPhone-optimized mobile site by typing into their iPhone browsers and see listings by movie or theaters near their location.

In addition to its iPhone site, Fandango has a general mobile Web site at, as well as downloadable applications for the iPhone and Palm Pre.

Fandango has partnered with Crisp Wireless to offer measurable "beyond-the-banner" ad units to advertisers, which the partners claim offer greater engagement than traditional banners.

For example, Paramount's G.I. Joe campaign has achieved double-digit click-through-rates, according to Crisp Wireless.

Crisp Wireless only served the full-screen G.I. Joe ad once in a 24 hour period to each user.

"We did that to respect the user experience," Mr. Foran said. "It's important to put the right message in front of the right users at the right time.

"We track ad impressions and click-through rate, and the client could see each user's interactivity with the brand engaging with the quiz and the G.I. Joe landing page," he said.

Fandango's iPhone-optimized site leveraged the touchscreen interface and other iPhone functionality to provide a better user experience than its general mobile Web site.

The target demographic is affluent, tech-savvy entertainment enthusiasts, who are increasingly turning to their mobile devices for movie information and ticketing purchases, according to Fandango.

This partnership is the latest of several recent ad campaigns using Crisp Wireless' ad units, including full-screen ads, location-aware ads on the mobile Web and in-application ads.

Fandango recently passed the 2 million download mark for its iPhone application, and has been generating a lot of traffic on its mobile sites.

"We feel that movie goers have a unique need to check show times, get movie information and buy tickets on their mobile devices," said Harry Medved, spokesman for Fandango, Los Angeles. "Movie-goers often purchase tickets as an impulse buy when they suddenly recognize they have a couple of hours free.

"Using their handset, they can find out where and when a movie is playing, get directions to the theater and buy tickets," he said. "This is the first of many mobile ad unit takeovers of Fandango that will appeal to movie marketers, who are starting to realize the potential of targeting film fans on the go.

"Studios are looking to target movie junkies, and a film like GI Joe clearly appeals to a younger tech-savvy demographic, so this is a perfect campaign for a mobile ad-unit takeover of our iPhone site."