Universal Pictures, Kia and Burger King ring up mobile interactions

After securing $2 million in funding from GE and NBC Universal’s Peacock Equity Fund this month, mobile ad network Greystripe is bringing on the company’s various entities, including Universal Pictures, as clients. The organizations are already working on campaigns together.

For the launch of the Rogue Pictures film A Perfect Getaway, distributor Universal Pictures ran an in-app interstitial ad and saw an 8% response rate of users who clicked through to see the spot. The ad ran across the Greystripe mobile network, which includes 900 video game titles from 200 different publishers. The full-page ads ran within the game apps, in between sessions or while a part of the game is loading.

“The thinking is that applications are the best medium to deliver rich media, and clearly applications can support a deeper user experience than a mobile Web site, which tends to only include small banners,” said Michael Chang, CEO of Greystripe.

The Perfect Getaway ad, which focuses on the film’s honeymoon-goes-horror theme, takes advantage of the iPhone’s accelerometer technology. Users can shake their phones to make the ad go from honeymoon creative to horror creative. At any time during the 10-second interstitial ad, a viewer can link back to the film’s mobile WAP site to watch the full video and look up showtimes.

NBC plans more campaigns with Greystripe, working with it as both an investor and a client.

“From a utility and gaming perspective, the mobile phone is obviously an exploding platform,” said Paul Lee, managing partner at Peacock Equity Fund. “We have taken note of that, and want to be there.”

NBC, however, is not the only client working with Greystripe on mobile pushes. Others advertisers include Kia, Burger King, Unilever, Jeep, US Navy, Paramount Pictures and JCPenney.

In a recent Burger King campaign, the goal was to increase awareness of the fast-food chain in general and promote its new “Flame” perfume. The “Tailgate” ad was an interactive game, in which an animated Burger King character sat in a bath tub and users interacted by popping heart-shaped bubbles coming out of the tub. The ad used location- and gender-based targeting and included creative designed by Crispin, Porter + Bogusky. Of the users who were served the interstitial ad within the Greystripe gaming network, 13.9% interacted with it. In addition, users interacted with the ad for an average of 16 seconds.

In a recent effort for Kia, Greystripe incorporated its ongoing campaign for the Kia Sol, which launched earlier this year, into a branded mobile video game.

In this effort, the Kia sheep, which have starred in other TV and digital efforts, are boxers who face users who step into the ring. The automobile ad ran within the Electronic Arts Lemonade Stand video game after each play.

“The bar is set pretty high online, and mobile marketers have to step up to that bar because that is what users expect,” said Chang. “By incorporating a fun game into a game, you are providing a relevant experience to the user.”

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