Target ‘Snacks’ Around Super Bowl Spend

Big-box retailer releases mobile game in lieu of big-game spot

Target isn't advertising in the Super Bowl, but the big-box retailer hopes to garner consumers' attention anyway, with a mobile game called Snack Bowl. The virtual game invites players to throw branded snacks towards jersey-donning party guests as they move around the living room.

Participants can compete to enter the game's "Hall Of Fame" and see their worldwide ranking online and are being encouraged to share their scores/rank on Facebook. Snack Bowl will appear on Target's mobile site home page until Feb. 9, according to the company's blog. The game will also be featured on Target's iPhone/Android app over the next three weeks. Midwest marketing firm Olson was the lead agency in developing the mobile game app, per Target.

From a marketing perspective, the game reminds consumers that they can buy Super Bowl goodies appearing in the mobile game—Coke Zero, Ritz Crackers, Stride gum, M&Ms, DiGornio frozen pizzas, etc.—at their local Target. "Snack Bowl is a fun, new way for Target to engage with our mobile guests as they think about planning a great game-day party,"  Phil McKoy, vice president,, said.

Target also skipped last year's million-dollar Super Bowl spotlight in favor of less-expensive-but-formidable TV opportunities like the Grammys. And, the Snack Bowl app underscores the brand's proclaimed strong focus on mobile marketing for 2013.