Best Buy Goes to the Movies With Mobile App

Best Buy is aiming to change the way consumers watch films with the launch of its “Movie Mode” mobile app this week.

The free download, which is being released in conjunction with 3-D film Despicable Me (in theaters July 9), provides an interactive interface that unlocks exclusive digital content. During the end credits, viewers who download the app get a translation of the chatter of the minion characters in Despicable Me.

Later this year, Best Buy will release an exclusive DVD of the film, where the app will be able to translate the little minions’ language during the entire movie.

“Mobile phones are indispensable to people and we’re taking advantage of a very powerful device to unlock the entertainment experience in a new way to consumers,” said Chris Homeister, svp, general manager, home entertainment group, Best Buy. “It expands the business we’re in today and allows us to expand our reach with consumers in a clever and personal way.”

The app, created with Best Buy agency Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, also locates theaters showing Despicable Me and Best Buy stores. It is designed to avoid interrupting theatergoers: When a phone is in “Movie Mode,” it automatically dims the mobile screen, silences the ringer and discourages texting. The launch will receive marketing support on TV, online, in cinemas and in-store.

Homeister said the app will have future usage beyond the current film tie-in, dubbed “The Minionator.” “We look at this as an opportunity to work in conjunction with our movie partners [to promote] projects,” he added.

Additionally, Best Buy is linking the promotion to its “Reward Zone Silver” members. Those consumers will get the chance to attend one of several exclusive advance screenings of Despicable Me, or win tickets to the premiere in Los Angeles on June 27.