Comedy news organization The Onion launched an iPhone app on April 2nd, sponsored by advertising partner Jack Link’s Beef Jerky.
The application is aimed at “humans,” said Baratunde Thurston, the Onion’s Web editor but specifically The Onion’s target audience is 18-40 year olds. To promote the new app, The Onion is using e-mail marketing and social media. The media company is featuring the app in e-mail newsletters to its subscriber base, as well as tweeting about it on Facebook and Twitter.
“We are hoping to satisfy our audience’s demand for the best journalism that America has to offer,” said Thurston. “Consumers haven’t had quality news on their iPhones yet. For the past year or more they have only had The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Since we are number one in the news category, people really wanted the full Monty from us.”
The free application will feature all of The Onion’s content including news and regular features, as well as content from the Onion Radio News and the Onion News Network videos. Paid upgrades with enhanced functionality will be made available throughout 2010.
Meat manufacturer Jack Link’s Beef Jerky banner “Feed Your Wild Side” is featured at the bottom of the application. When a user clicks on the link, they are directed to a full screen ad with an image of “Sasquatch” a Big Foot-like character holding multiple packs of the beef jerky with the tag line, “Jack Link’s Beef Jerky reminds you to use The Onion to mess with your friends, not Sasquatch.” The ad plays on Jack Link’s existing ad campaign “Messin’ With Sasquatch,” in which outdoors enthusiasts play tricks on the monster while eating the beef jerky.
In addition to app, Jack Link’s will be sponsoring other Onion products including a dedicated Onion News Network video app as well as an “Eye On America” iTunes video playlist.