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JCPenney second-screen Oscars game engages fans via live TV moments

JCPenney is leveraging a second-screen mobile game and familiar live moments during the Academy Awards television broadcast to build brand engagement and aid charities.

The game, ?Oscars Play to Give,? will enrich, Boys and Girls Club of America and Share Our Strengths? No Kid Hungry campaign when players tap a game square that represents one of those inevitable Oscar moments, such as the playing of music cutting off an emotional winner?s overlong acceptance speech. The game is an outreach to millennial viewers who typically consume events on multiple mobile devices.

?Today, more and more viewers are watching live events on their second screen, such as tablet, mobile phone, computer,? said Kate Coultas, senior manager of media relations and corporate affairs with JCPenney, Plano, TX.
?The tiles on the game will represent a live moment happening during the show ? for example, the music cuts someone's speech off, an interviewer asks a winner where they will keep their Oscar statue, someone falls walking up to the stage ? so customers will have to be watching the show live to play.?

Sharing links
Gameplay starts at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday. 

Participants can create an account at, inviting up to nine other people to join them. The link can be shared on Facebook or Twitter. 

Game cards highlight familiar Oscar moments.

A new card may be selected once every day during the registration period until the Oscar broadcast on the ABC network starts at 7 p.m., Eastern Time, on Sunday. 

Clicking on any tile reveals a description of the event. When the event occurs in the broadcast, the associated tile will highlight. (The occurrence of an event is at the sole discretion of the game?s administrator.)

Clicking on a highlighted title marks it. Once a player clicks onto the final title in a row, column or diagonal, he or she achieves an Oscar.

Players are prompted to select one of three charities during the registration process. All charities win a donation from JCPenney.

The chosen charity is awarded one point for each title claimed on a card. One hundred points are awarded to the charity for each Oscar and 500 points are earned if the player completes his or her card. 

Everyone who registers before Sunday receives a coupon for $10 off a $25 purchase. The coupon is valid in-store and online on select purchases through March 8.

The site can be viewed by iPad 4 using iOS 8.1, iPhone 5 using iOS 7.1 or 8.1, Samsung Galaxy using Android 4.4.2, and LG Nexus using Android 5.0 browsers. 

JCPenney is no stranger to melding mobile and entertainment. 

The department stores chain is weaving a tale of mobile and movie magic in its stores this spring through a partnership with the shopkick application and Disney?s new Cinderella film.

From March 6 to 19, customers in JCPenney stores with a Disney shop will be able earn rewards and enter sweepstakes by using the shopkick app on their smartphones to scan the bar codes appearing on special glass slipper signs throughout the stores. The mobile in-store activation is part of a bigger promotion around JCPenney?s Cinderella tie-in that also includes social, digital and other mobile elements.

JCPenney shoppers who use the shopkick app to scan the bar codes appearing on glass slipper signs will receive 25 kicks per scan. Kicks are the rewards currency in the shopkick app.

Shoppers who scan all four signs will receive 50 bonus kicks.

Additionally, customers will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes to win JCPenney gift cards to complete their own Cinderella look.

JCPenney will have a Cinderella-inspired broadcast spot that will air during the Oscars pre-show. 

Blending fun and charitable acts.

In October, the department-stores retailer and other brands flocked to Tumblr?s newly launched video ads for an opportunity to engage with audiences in an atmosphere that was less promotion-oriented than on other social networks. 

?Not only are we providing our customers with a fun, interactive game during the show but they will also be joining us in supporting some of our key JCPenney charity partners, making it a fun way to engage with our customers for an important cause,? Ms. Coultas said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York