Travel Channel brings ads to MyTown app

The Travel Channel launched a mobile initiative on March 29 on the MyTown iPhone app promoting upcoming episodes of its show Food Wars.

The network is running mobile ads on the application, which was created by Booyah, an interactive entertainment firm. The app allows consumers to virtually “buy” their favorite real-world businesses, then charge others for rent or services. Appssavvy, Booyah’s direct sales partner, is leading the campaign.

“Our job is to drive awareness for the show through product integration,” said Michael Burke, co-founder and president of Appssavvy. “We are updating the content on week-by-week basis to promote the battles that are going to be featured on that week’s episode of Food Wars.”

MyTown players who “check-in” at a restaurant, grocery store or other food-related location will be offered a Food Wars-branded virtual item, which can help them collect points and upgrade their towns.

The first episode to be promoted on the app features a battle between two Minneapolis restaurants over who has the best hamburgers. In MyTown, players will be given free Food Wars-branded hamburgers. A consumer can click on a branded item to stream trailers for upcoming episodes, or to send gifts to their friends.

“These items help players throughout game play,” said Burke. “The idea is to leverage the users’ desire to do well in the game. This is more relevant to the user than just doing a roadblock ad before playing the game.”

This is the second marketing campaign in MyTown, which launched last August.

Clothing retailer H&M conducted a campaign, also created by Appssavvy, in March. Appssavvy designed the initiative to increase store traffic.

Throughout the promotion, which was led by interactive agency MediaCom, players who “checked-in” to a retail outlet, shopping center, spa or hair salon in a city with an H&M were prompted to unlock H&M virtual clothing items. The items gave players in-game points that encouraged them to visit H&M outlets.

“This kind of promotion worked well for the retailer,” said Burke. “There are also huge opportunities for movie studios.”

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