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Cabela?s makes mobile marketing debut via video campaign

Multichannel outdoor retailer Cabela?s is using video-heavy mobile advertisements to get the word out about a new national marketing campaign.

Cabela?s is running interstitial ads within the Scramble with Friends iPhone application as part of a broader marketing push for its ?It?s In Your Nature? campaign. The campaign hones in on connecting with outdoor enthusiasts through video.

"Banner ads tend to be most effective when the offer a direct deal or incentive, not simply branding or entertainment," said Mike DiMarco, director of media at FiddleFly, Columbia, MD.

"An interstitial, while it is already interrupting a certain task, can work for video views as in essence viewing a particular video is nothing more to the user than a longer, optional interstitial," he said.

Mr. DiMarco is not affiliated with Cabela's. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Cabela's declined to comment for this article.

Mobile interaction
The ?It?s In Your Nature? campaign is meant to tap into the passion that Cabela?s customers have for outdoor activities through a series of individual stories and includes a 60-second TV spot.

The full-page mobile ads that support the campaign feature four different outdoor scenes. Each scene is a screenshot from one of the campaign?s videos.

For example, one scene has copy splashed across the screen that reads, ?It?s in your morning commute? and features a man on a speedboat.

Consumers can then watch a 30-second video clip from the interstitial.

Additionally, a call-to-action on the bottom of the ad encourages consumers to learn more about Cabela?s with a click-through to a mobile microsite.

On the microsite, consumers can learn more and watch all of the videos from the campaign.

A drop-down menu in the upper right-hand corner of the screen breaks down each story to help consumers who are looking for one particular video clip.

Additionally, consumers can click to shop from Cabela?s mobile site for the United States region. An option to shop from Cabela?s Canada Web site is also available.

Although the ultimate goal is to drive sales, the campaign focuses more on showing off the type of lifestyle of the brand?s consumers.

Immersive mobile
Cabela?s has been in the mobile space for a while, but this is one of the brand?s first full-fledged marketing initiatives.

In 2011, the brand launched mobile gift cards via a partnership with Swagg (see story).

Additionally, Cabela?s enhanced its iPhone and Android apps that same year with bar code scanning and in-app purchasing (see story).

In this case, doubling down on mobile video is a smart move for Cabela?s.

Nowadays, marketers have to think broader about how their video content gets distributed. Although TV hits the masses, there is a growing need from brands to further drive video views and engagement via digital channels.

Additionally, mobile video is inherently immersive, especially when it is used with an interstitial ad that consumers are forced to watch between games.

"[Ad] placement, context, demographic and offer are all important," said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

"In general, banner ads are more productive for reach and frequency for rich media such as video," she said.

"However, it is not accurate to say that at a granular, customer-centric marketing level with solid demographics, an interstitial ad page might be more effective. In mobile it is important to test more, fail some and determine success."

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York