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Orbitz chooses in-app challenge over interruptive ads

orbitz beach

Orbitz is rewarding users for posting their best vacation moments in the new mobile application Mibi, reflecting how marketers are moving away from disruptive advertising and focusing on enticing consumers with content that interests them. 

The travel booking service was quick to jump to the new app in an attempt to get a leg up on connecting with consumers in a fun and engaging manner. Through the app users win prizes and bragging rights by completing various challenges such as losing five pounds in a certain amount of time or walking the most number of miles prompted by marketers and peers. 

"The mibi app provides a new and unique way for Orbitz to engage travel enthusiasts through a fun and competitive challenge," said Andrew Fabian CEO of Mibi. "Challenges provide an organic way for Orbitz to engage with a key demographic of travelers who want to share their travel experiences in a social and dynamic manner.  

"Competitive challenges engage broad consumer audience and takes posting of content to a new level by adding a new purpose to the social sharing experience," he said. "The challenge forms a micro-community of travelers who are bonded around the Orbitz brand."

Mobile challenging marketers
The app Mibi helps consumers complete tasks they are interested in, giving them an extra push and motivation to do so. It is natural for marketers to jump into this type of territory as it allows them to reach consumers without advertising to them. 

Mobile and other digital technological progressions have created an environment tough for marketers, as consumers are turned off by ad interruptions. Brands need to focus on developing new and unique methods in reaching consumers that does not include traditional ad interruption. 

Orbitz’s sponsored challenge invites users to share photos or videos exemplifying a perfect vacation moment for the month of October. The player with the best post deemed by a panel of travel judges will receive two roundtrip plane tickets to travel anywhere within the US or Canada. 

Reebok is also attempting to promote its Spartan Race, with a challenge that prompts users to compete in one of the obstacle races and receive 20 percent off on the entry fee. Also, alcohol retailer Drizly is prompting users to post photos of their favorite brews to receive a discount on its products. 

The Mibi app integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and iPhone contacts to further promote the challenges and broaden its audience. It also integrates with wearable technology such as Fitbit, Garmin, iPhone Health and Jawbone to sync with and complete challenges. 

Don’t interrupt this program
An executive from video game developer Entertainment Arts at the Mobile Marketing Association's SM2 Innovation Summit 2015 claimed the path to being successful with mobile advertising is to reward consumers for engaging with marketing content and viewing ads (see more). 

Brands such as Wells Fargo and Dunkin’ Donuts discovered that users of navigational application Waze are more likely to drive to a retail location after seeing associated Pins or Takeovers, another mobile app that provides nonintrusive advertising (see more). 

"Mibi is the ultimate destination for digital marketers because goal-based and competitive challenges engage targeted consumer audiences with an interest in the activity associated with the challenge," Mr. Fabian. "For example, a wing eating challenge for most wings eaten in one seating would be an ideal way for a company like Buffalo Wild Wings to reach its target audience.  

"Mibi users are identifying their interests and activities, which is incredibly important and actionable information for digital marketers," he said. "The mibi challenge presents a fun and natural way for brands to interact with consumers who enjoy and benefit from the entire challenge experience. 

"It is a win-win for marketers and users."

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at brielle@mobilemarketer.com.

Related content: Gaming, mobile marketing, Orbitz, sponsorship, intrusive advertising, mobile apps, applications

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