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Funimation unleashes rich media mobile ads to drive DVD sales

Anime distributor Funimation Entertainment is running a rich media mobile advertising campaign to promote the release of the series "Corpse Princess" on DVD on Sept. 14.

Funimation tapped video and rich media mobile advertising network iVdopia to power the campaign promoting Corpse Princess, known originally as "Shikabane Hime." The partners claim it is the first rich-media mobile advertising campaign ever done for anime entertainment on smartphone devices.

?The goal of phase one of the campaign is make users consume more and more video to drive awareness of the series Corpse Princess," said Saurabh Bhatia, chief business officer at iVdopia, San Jose, CA. ?Ultimately the campaign is designed to promote the DVD release of the animated series.

?Funimation partnered with iVdopia due to our video capabilities,? he said. ?We were able to bring in the look and feel of the series, and we had a fast turn-around time, three-to-five days, which impressed them.

?Being an entertainment company, we want the user to see and feel for himself or herself what the series is all about.?

Funimation Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corp., manages a full spectrum of rights for most of its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, Internet, and home video and DVD sales and distribution.

Corpse Princess is the story of Makina Hoshimura, an undead girl who is hunting down 108 other undead in order to gain entry into heaven with the help of a secret society of anti-corpse Buddhist monks.

Holding company Vdopia Inc.?s video and rich media mobile advertising network iVdopia has powered campaigns for advertisers such as Wrigleys, McDonald?s, Coca-Cola, Universal Studios, Miller Lite and Warner Bros.

Dead on
The Corpse Princess rich media campaign is currently live on various applications across mobile devices and is running all this month. The partners change the video creative every week.

The primary target demographic is males ages 18-34, and the secondary target is females ages 18-34.

The three categories of application that Funimation and iVdopia are targeting include mobile games, sports and entertainment applications.

The mobile ad campaign represents Funimation's first foray into video advertising on smartphones.

This initiative plays a critical role in the anime entertainment distributor's integrated marketing efforts, which also include print and online advertising, live events and social media.

Created and implemented by iVdopia, the rich media mobile ad campaign seeks to build awareness, generate interest and deliver an interactive experience aimed at a niche audience of young men and women interested in the anime genre of entertainment.

The campaign includes a series of rich media creatives, including pre-application videos and banner ads that appear as users load applications on their smartphone devices.

For the first time, Funimation is engaging users with iVdopia?s Viper ad unit, which lets users swipe away an entire screen-takeover with a fingertip to reveal the next image.

Here is a screen grab of the Corpse Princess Viper ad unit:

Funimation is also integrating its social media activities for "Corpse Princess" in the mobile campaign through the Talk2Me rich media ad unit, letting users share the "Corpse Princess" video with friends across social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The Talk2Me ad also provides users a chance to view multiple clips from the anime series, building awareness and engagement levels.

The partners are considering adding an option for users to click-to-buy the DVD.

?The rich media mobile video creates curiosity because the ad unit is so powerful,? Mr. Bhatia said. ?Even once the user wipes the screen, there is a screen that appears giving the users the option to watch multiple videos within the ad itself.

?The ad unit creates a good impact on engagement with users,? he said.

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Marketer