ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Sears Auto Centers teams up with EA Mobile for in-game advertising push

Sears Auto Centers are featured throughout the new mobile game Road Trippin? from EA Mobile in a new in-game advertising campaign intended to help the brand reach young, digital engaged consumers.

Road Trippin? players are able to visit Sears Auto Centers for service on their in-game vehicles as well as receive exclusive offers from BFGoodrich for their real-world vehicles. In the game, players visit over 100 cities across the United States while customizing their cars and completing various challenges along the way.

"Mobile gaming is a great venue to introduce Sears Auto Center's products and services to a new generation of customers," said Lori Williams, chief marketing officer for Sears Auto Centers, Hoffman Estates, IL. "With the number of mobile game players growing every day, Road Trippin' enables Sears Auto to leverage this new marketing channel to engage with potential customers in a relevant way.

?Our goal of the Sears/EA mobile app is to leverage gaming to improve awareness levels among a younger, digitally engaged potential customer,? she said.

A natural fit
The integration with Road Trippin? enables Sears Auto Centers to showcase its products in a fun way while adding value to the game experience.

Sears Auto Center auto shops appear throughout the game as places where players can tune up their cars, receive power boosts and earn extra points.

By completing Sears Auto Center specific missions in the game, players are able to receive an offer from BFGoodrich to upgrade the tires on their real-world vehicles.

?Partnering with Sears Auto Center was a natural fit,? said Scott Humphries, senior producer at EA Mobile, Redwood City, CA.

?We worked closely with the team at Sears Auto Center to ensure we integrated their service locations in our game in a realistic and functional way that mattered for gameplay,? he said. ?To that end, players can stop at Sears Auto Centers across the country in Road Trippin? to service or upgrade their vehicles ? just like they can in real life.?

The Road Trippin' App is available for free from the App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Sears Auto Center is a leading provider of automotive maintenance and repair services and parts, with nearly 840 locations nationwide.

The brand integration with Road Trippin' involved multiple teams including Electronic Arts, Sears Auto Centers in connection with BFGoodrich Tires, Sears Media, Mobext and MediaMob.

In-game advertising for mobile games is growing, according to MediaMob, which specializes in mobile in-game advertising. For the Sears Auto Centers, Road Trippin? integration, MediaMob will measure how many of the BF Goodrich coupons delivered in-game are redeemed in store.
"In-game advertising within mobile games is a hot space heading into 2012 and beyond,? said Matt Snyder, CEO of MediaMob, Boston. ?Leading brands like Sears recognize the opportunity: Users are glued to these immersive games and the sponsorship can add true value to the overall experience.

?We are delivering benefit within the game by providing an Oil Change, Fuel System Cleaning or BFGoodrich Tires,? he said. ?But we are also bridging the gap between in-game achievements and real-world rewards by offering a coupon for tires from BFGoodrich when the user reaches the end of the level.

?We will be driving new user acquisition for the brand and ultimately measuring how many coupons are redeemed in-store."

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York