Target Taps Into Gaming With 6 Planned Mobile Apps

For the second time, Target has launched a mobile app game that showcases products that it sells in its stores. The company said it plans to launch six more this year.

As more consumers are drawn in by games on their mobile devices, Target Corporation is planning to tap into the market by launching more than a half-dozen mobile games this year.
Target Corporation launched a new mobile app game Sunday, in partnership with Nestle’s Purina PetCare Company, called “Pop It!”
The Minneapolis-based retail giant released the game along with the launch of Purina’s new dog treat, “Beggin’ Party Poppers,” which Target sells.

This is the second time Target has partnered with one of its vendors for a mobile game. About a year ago it launched a game called “Snack Bowl,” timed around the Superbowl, which featured a much wider array of brands than its new game—including DiGiorno pizza, M&Ms, Ore-Ida fries, Reese’s, Ritz crackers, Stride gum, and Coca-Cola.
According to Target spokesman Eddie Baeb, the company has plans for six more mobile games this year, which he said may be tied to product launches, events, or marketing campaigns. He declined, however, to provide details on which companies Target plans to partner with for the games or whether they’d be from Minnesota.
“We’re really focused on creating great games for guests that are simple, yet challenging enough to make you want to play again and again,” Dawn Block, vice president of Target’s website and mobile sector, said in a statement. “What we love about developing mobile games is it’s a terrific opportunity for Target and the brands we carry to engage with guests in a fun and relevant way.”
Purina said this is the first time it has paired a mobile game with a product launch and that it will serve as a test and learning opportunity for the company.
“Pop It!” requires gamers to tap a “Beggin’ Party Poppers” container when a dog treat hovers over it on a conveyor belt, while pushing non-treats like keys and shoes away from the containers.
The greater focus on integrating mobile app technology is part of Target’s ongoing commitment to place heavier emphasis on its digital channels.
In December, Target said its holiday online traffic had grown at “double-digit rates” and that its mobile sales were up by 100 percent compared to the year before.
Earlier, in October, the company said it would lay off 150 employees from its corporate staff, due in part to a strategic realignment to focus more on its digital efforts. Just before that, the company expanded its technology offerings with a new prepaid mobile phone plan service, dubbed “Brightspot.”
Target also debuted its own digital video platform, Target Ticket, in September. The service offers about 30,000 movie and television titles to buy, rent, download, or stream online.
Furthermore, its Web-based platform “Cartwheel” was quite successful over the holidays, adding more than 1 million users, boosting its user count to 4 million since the program’s May launch.