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Kellogg weaves together on-pack promotion and Spider-Man mobile game

Kellogg Company has a new Spider-Man-themed mobile game that encourages engagement with products such as Pop-Tarts and Pringles as a way for players to unlock different scenes and gain access to a photo overlay.

By leveraging augmented reality, The Kellogg's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Web-Slinging Game application enables users to experience using the superhero?s web-slinging powers and Spider Sense to defend against attacks. The game is the latest example of how Kellogg is tapping mobile to boost its marketing and is part of a bigger campaign themed around the new Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie, which is due in theaters in May.

?It has all the elements for a successful, branded mobile game because it?s timely, fun, engaging and rewards-based,? said Jessica Joines, chief marketing officer of Rakuten Marketing, New York. ?Yet more importantly, it?s tailored to the interests of the overlapping target audiences of both brands.

?Since the rewards are compelling, the campaign has a finite lifespan, and it ties together two well known brands, there?s a higher likelihood that the on-pack activations will prove to be a successful strategy,? she said. ?A lesser known brand may not be able to pull it off.?

Ms. Joines is not affiliated with Kellogg and spoke based on her experience in mobile.

Kellogg was not able to comment by press deadline.

Battling Electro
After downloading Kellogg?s Spider-Man 2 game app, players can unlock game scenes on their phone by snapping a picture of a phone icon appearing on specially marked packages of Kellogg?s products, with each brand unlocking a different scene.

There are three scenes in all. For example, when consumers snap a photo of the phone icon appearing on Kellogg?s snack products they will see a battle between Spider-Man and the villain Electro in Times Square.

Once all three scenes have been unlocked, a Spider-Man photo overlay will appear enabling players to pick a pose, line up the photo and take a picture of themselves in the Spider-Man suit. Players will be able to share the photo on social media.

While a growing number of brands are coming out with their own mobile games, it is still unclear what the return on investment is for these efforts.

?Gamification is a trend that is increasingly happening but the question really is the cost of producing an engaging game vs the associated lift in sales,? said Atul Sabharwal, founder of Snipp Interactive, Washington.

?Tough to close the loop between having a mobile game incentive and whether that drives repeat purchase,? he said. ?One has to think through the repurchase piece and build in the game as part of a larger program that can be measured.?

Kellogg has also partnered with Sony Pictures on a sweepstakes that will give away more than 1,000 prizes.

To enter, consumers can collect and redeem KFR codes from a number of specially marked Kellogg's snack products, including Cheez-It , Keebler and Rice Krispies Treats .

Consumers can redeem three codes for concession cash or six codes for free movie tickets valued at $12 each. Each time consumers enter a code, they will earn points toward other KFR rewards.

Last fall, Kellogg updated its loyalty program Kellogg Family Rewards to enable customers to enter codes and redeem rewards using their mobile phones (see story).

Driving loyalty
Kellogg has been active in partnering with sports and entertainment properties and using mobile technology to boost these tie-ins.

For example, this winter Kellogg worked with Zoove to plaster mobile calls-to-actions on cereal boxes from brands including Apple Jacks to support Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls (see story).

Additionally, last fall Kellogg teamed up Live Nation to roll out an augmented reality app that let consumers scan boxes to unlock branded and entertainment content (see story).

?CPG companies like Kellogg?s can certainly have synergistic audiences with mobile games, especially if you consider the typical shopper?s assistant?their child and their insatiable ?app?-etite, pun intended, for both Kellogg?s goods and anything smartphone or tablet,? said Rob Hoxie, vice president of business development and partnerships at Atimi Software, Vancouver, Canada.

?In a case like Kellogg?s, driving consumers towards mobile game apps allows them to dovetail goals of immediate sales increases with longer term ones like branding and driving use of their successful loyalty points program,? he said.