Target Makes Mobile Games Part of Digital Strategy

February 19, 2014 - Article reads in

Angry Birds. Candy Crush. Plants vs. Zombies. Ridiculous Fishing. These names may, in fact, be ridiculous, but they’re some of the most played mobile games of the past year.

In today’s always-connected world, it pays for marketers to be mobile-minded. After all, there’s a phone in more than half of the country’s hands—that’s a huge opportunity to directly reach consumers in fun, new ways.

Over the past few years, Target has ramped up digital efforts and was even named 2013 Mobile Retailer of the Year by Mobile Commerce Daily. Part of that success can be attributed to the Digital Vendor Marketing team. The DVM team (as they’re known internally) is always up to cool, techy stuff – but they’ve been amping up the fun lately by helping create mobile games for Target.

It might sound like all fun and games (…and it is!) but it’s also a great way for Target to showcase the diverse brands and vendors found on store shelves.

“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,” says Dawn Block, who oversees the DVM team as a vice president of and Mobile.

“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.”

While mobile gaming is still something new for Target, there have already been partnerships with major brands like Coca-Cola, M&M’s, Johnson & Johnson and now Purina. The first official game was a football party-themed game called “Snack Bowl.”

Expect to see several new games over the course of this year, including the new “Pop It!” game that launched this week. The game focuses on one of Purina’s newest products, the Beggin’ Party Poppers. Made to simulate the game-like experience of the treat dispensers, “Pop It!” allows users to interact with the product in an approachable way.

“This is the first time we’ve paired a mobile game with a product launch, so this is a test and learn opportunity for Beggin’,” says Christi Maginn, Director of Shopper Marketing for Nestlé Purina PetCare.

A peek at the design process

For several weeks, “Pop It!” players will also receive a Target mobile coupon for the new products. Guests just flash their phones at checkout to redeem. Then it’s time to head home and treat Fido – when you’re not re-playing the game on your phone, that is.

To play  from a smartphone or tablet, go to

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