Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nordstrom Rack launches ads in Words With Friends

Nordstrom Rack banner ad on WWF

Department store chain Nordstrom is targeting aspirational consumers through mobile banner advertisements for its Nordstrom Rack locations in the popular gaming application, Words With Friends.

Nordstrom is promoting a sale in its discount chain that will serve to drive consumers in-store. It also provides a location-based map so that users can find the closest Rack.

“Gaming app inventory can bring value to a luxury brand, but a brand must chose the right game – one that matches the quality and audience of the luxury brand,” said Elena Perez, director of marketing at Medialets, New York.

“Likewise, it’s important that the ad placement is integrated in such a way that it complements rather than disrupts the game experience,” she said.
Words with Nordstrom
The Nordstrom Rack banner ad appears at the bottom of the Words With Friends screen.

Nordstrom Rack banner ad
The “clear the rack” sale offers up to 75 percent off of designer goods at Nordstrom Rack stores Feb. 14-20.

When it expands, the banner ad includes an option to find a Nordstrom Rack store using the mobile device’s GPS.

The content on the landing pages are optimized for mobile.
Since Words With Friends is a game, it is likely that Nordstrom is trying to attract younger consumers.

Younger consumers are less likely to be able to buy from Nordstrom. Therefore, drawing these types of consumers to Nordstrom’s outlet Rack locations may help the department store establish relationships with younger consumers who may grow up to shop at full-price Nordstrom locations.

Expanded banner ad
Racking up points
Nordstrom is not the first luxury department store to use banner ads on Words With Friends.

In fact, New York-based department store Bergdorf Goodman used Words With Friends to drive foot traffic to its store with a location-based banner ad promoting an in-house event.

Bergdorf’s banner ad at the bottom of the screen endorsed a meet-and-greet with designer Nancy Gonzalez at the brand’s store that consumers could RSVP to on Facebook (see story).

However, Bergdorf’s content post-banner ad was not optimized for mobile, which could have made it difficult for consumers to RSVP to an event or even spend time with the brand.

Meanwhile, Nordstrom helped consumers further by offering to scout out the nearest Rack location for them and optimizing the content.

Nordstrom Rack map
“Mobile-optimized landing pages are important to any brand that wants to drive mobile audiences to their Web site [and] luxury brands are no exception,” Ms. Perez said. “For a consumer, a non-optimized mobile landing page will be difficult to navigate and easy to abandon.

“A non-optimized landing page appears broken and will undermine the experience and value of the campaign,” she said. “That said, brands that don’t have a mobile-optimized Web site or landing page are not out of luck.

“Mobile rich-media ads allow them to integrate the same type of content and interaction within the creative, sparing the time and cost of development on the Web site.”

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