App Marketing
8 min

11 Innovative Mobile Marketing Examples and Why They Worked


Let’s face it – today’s consumers are obsessed with their phones.

Fifteen years ago, the idea that mobile internet usage would one day exceed that of the traditional desktop might have seemed far-fetched.

But now, it is a well-known fact that we reside in a mobile-dominated world, where people show a growing preference for smaller devices with compact screens.

With nearly 55.68% of web traffic originating from mobile devices (with some sources reporting this share as high as 70%), mobile marketing campaigns are now a go-to option for reaching and engaging customers.

Considering that the average time spent on mobile phones has increased from 2 hours to approximately 5 hours per day, using SMS and other mobile-focused campaigns isn’t a trend at this point. Mobile marketing is a necessity and has many benefits for today’s marketers.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the different mobile marketing campaign types and some of the most innovative mobile campaign examples that worked to reach and engage customers.

Mobile Marketing Campaign Types

In the mobile marketing campaign examples that follow, here are some common themes that you might find:

  • Raising brand awareness amongst the target audience.
  • Retaining customers and increasing their overall customer lifetime value.
  • Post-sales customer servicing and seamless onboarding.
  • Gaining legitimate opt-in requests by offering immediate value.
  • Notifying smartphone users of any ongoing promotions.
  • Sharing real-time updates through push notifications on mobile apps.
  • Collecting invaluable feedback.
  • Running an effective referral campaign.
  • Personalizing through dynamic content.
  • Keeping a tab on user activities.
  • Offering location-based services and offers.
  • Upselling products or services to a targeted audience.
  • Following up with transactions or trigger campaigns in response to a user’s action or inaction.
  • Winning back the customers who are on the brink of churn.
  • Interactive advertising campaigns via influencer marketing.

Most mobile marketing companies follow these successful mobile marketing strategies to remain hyper-focused on any one of the goals cited above or blend them together.

11 Examples of Mobile Marketing Campaigns Done Right

Now, let’s deep dive into some of the most successful omnichannel marketing campaigns that leveraged mobile phones to generate greater brand awareness.

Here, we look into the various mobile marketing awareness campaigns, why they worked, and how you can use these ideas as part of your mobile marketing strategy.

1. Piece of the Pie Rewards – Domino’s

The Piece of the Pie Rewards Program by Domino's Pizza
Image Source: Domino’s Pizza’s Facebook

When Pizza Hut was the official Super Bowl sponsor, Domino’s had to “go big” to gain attention in their app promotion ideas. And the brand achieved this feat through its innovative “Piece of the Pie” Rewards Program.

It allowed customers to sign up for the Rewards Program and earn 10 points for scanning any pizza. Yes, any pizza, even if it was not Domino’s!

Upon collecting 60 points, the participant would receive a free pizza from Domino’s!

This guerilla mobile marketing tactic only required a simple AI-driven pizza-scanning mobile app, which, in turn, contributed to tons of user-generated content and increased brand awareness.

2. Scrabble: Free WiFi – Ogilvy & Mathers Paris

The Free Wifi Marketing campaign by Scrabble
Image Source: Scrabble Wifi, The One Show

What lengths would you go to get some sweet internet access?

Advertising giants, Ogilvy & Mather asked Paris this very pressing question through their “Free WiFi” mobile marketing campaign.

The firm partnered with Scrabble to offer smartphone users free WiFi connections, especially in poorly-connected areas.

The catch was simple – show off your spelling skills and rack up points to gain internet access for longer durations. The brands promoted the initiative through marketing campaigns on social media as well.

The result was phenomenal – users unscrambled over 6,000 words to score more than 110,000 minutes of free WiFi! And not to mention, the mobile apps registered countless downloads during this period!

3. Send Us a Text – Ford

SMS Marketing campaign by Ford
Image Source: Text Message Marketing Case Studies, Tatango

Automobile company, Ford, deployed a simple yet effective mobile marketing strategy to promote their Escape and Taurus line.

They requested their target audience to text “FORD” at 63611 to know more about the cars. In response to this call to action trigger, Ford collected crucial details from their prospective customers, such as their names, zip codes, and the type of vehicle of their interest. Thereafter, a Ford dealer would take over to close the deal.

If the SMS marketing didn’t quite hit the mark, the brand had some slick retargeting moves up its sleeve to reel prospects back in. And just when folks were ready to call texting a thing of the past, this mobile campaign went and spiked conversion rates by 15.4%!

4. Burn That Ad – Burger King

Burn That Ad campaign by Burger King
Image Source: Burn That Ad, The Work

Burger King is unafraid of taking cheeky jibes at the competition. In fact, the brand ran (a very successful) real-time troll campaign called “Burn That Ad.”

Smartphone users could download the Burger King mobile app and use the Augmented Reality (AR) scanner to locate and virtually burn down their rival’s ads and win a free Whopper!

Of course, it is not the classiest (or most ethical) of ways to improve conversion rates, but this example of mobile marketing was too clever to be taken in poor taste.

Customers genuinely enjoyed trying their hand at the new piece of technology, and Burger King got to make the best of their competitor’s investment.

5. #MyCalvins – Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein's #MyCalvins campaign with Shawn Mendes
Image Source: Calvin Klein Debuts #MYCALVINS Campaign Starring Noah Centineo, Billie Eilish & More, Clash

Sometimes, a mobile marketing campaign is all about capitalizing on an existing opportunity.

When supermodel Miranda Kerr used the #MyCalvins hashtag, she had no idea that she would be kicking off a mobile marketing campaign for the brand.

Her post, which currently has 185,000+ likes on Instagram, offered a unique insight into the social media platform’s engagement capacity. The brand then roped in other celebrities like Trey Songz, Fergie, Chiara Ferragni, and Shawn Mendes, along with influencers like Aimee Song and Bryanboy to propagate the hashtag far and wide.

This mobile marketing trend, which started in 2014, remains relevant even today!

6. Mobile Order & Pay – Starbucks

Starbucks collects first-party data from customers via surveys and pollsOkay, placing orders and paying through your mobile devices may not seem like a big deal now. But Starbucks was championing this cause almost a decade ago.

Back in 2011, the Starbucks mobile app could inform users of the closest outlet, show the customer the menu, and accept payment for the order. Now all one had to do is visit the cafe and collect their order.

Over the years, the app evolved more to include personalization, surveys/feedbacks, loyalty programs, in-store music, and more.

This way of using mobile phone advertising resulted in 7 million downloads and profits in excess of 22%. And, of course, it has laid the foundation for other ground-breaking food delivery mobile apps.

7. IKEA Place: IKEA

Image Source: IKEA Place app launched to help people virtually place furniture at home, IKEA

Here is another great mobile advertising campaign example: IKEA Place serves the dual purpose of allowing smartphone users to browse through their catalog and to check out how a piece of furniture would fit in its intended surroundings.

To achieve the latter, the mobile app uses Augmented Reality (AR) to overlay a life-scale image of the object against the backdrop captured by the camera.

This creative solution has earned IKEA Place 370,000+ monthly active users on the global stage. Furthermore, this mobile marketing strategy boosted engagement as the app users spent an average of 8 minutes on the app, an appreciable increase from the otherwise 3 minutes.

8. The Protection Ad: Nivea Sun

Image Source: Protection Ad, The Work

Nivea Sun’s mobile advertising strategy took a very selfless approach to marketing to their target audience – parents.

The brand distributed tear-out bracelets in Brazilian magazines. Parents were encouraged to place this bracelet around their child’s wrist and to download the Nivea Protects app. The app monitored the child’s location and sounded the alarm if they were to venture out too far.

In essence, it spread the altruistic message that Nivea cares.

The brand registered a whopping 62% increase in sales in Rio de Janeiro as a response to this advertising campaign! A study later discovered that 8 out of 10 individuals were deeply impacted by the ad and had downloaded the app!

As such, it should come as no surprise that this mobile marketing campaign fetched the brand a Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in the Mobile category.

9. The Lenz: Gorillaz

Campaign for 'The Lenz' app
Image Source: Magenta Unleashed, Gary Nelson

The Gorillaz ad campaign elevated the digital marketing game by making a comeback with their Lenz app.

Lenz allowed fans to tap into the wonders of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and geo-tagging to participate in virtual concerts. Fans could enter any one of the 500 Gorillaz House and listen to songs from their latest album, Humanz.

The experiential nature of this engaging campaign promoted the album to the max, while also bringing the fans closer to the band.

10. Hunger Spotter: Spotify and Snickers

Spotify and Snickers collaborate on a gamification campaign
Image Source: Snickers’ Twitter

Snickers ran a successful promotional campaign with the motto “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry.”

While the offline performance of the campaign was quite successful on its own, the mobile marketing campaign, in partnership with Spotify put it in the digital spotlight.

When the app registered that the user was listening to musical genres quite unlike their usual ones, a mobile advertising pop-up delivered the Snickers ad. The banner came with an actionable call-to-action button that redirected the user to Snickers’ Hunger Hits.

This campaign example generated nearly 7 billion overall impressions and a little under 2 billion unique reaches!

11. Check-in Coupons: UNIQLO

Image Source: Uniqlo Check-in Chance, DALIKE[BULB]

Japanese brand UNIQLO integrated social media, geo-tagging, and incentives to create a fail proof example of successful mobile marketing.

Store visitors who used their social media profile to “Check-In” at any of the 62 UNIQLO stores in Tokyo were awarded a 100-Yen coupon as part of their brand messaging.

As a result, the store gained more visibility and made referrals fun. UNIQLO, over a span of three days, saw a tsunami of visitors, resulting in 202,479 check-ins and a historic sale record of 10 billion Yen!

Successful Mobile Marketing Examples: Final Thoughts

The mobile marketing success stories we’ve shared here are solid proof that we’ve stepped into a mobile-first era of marketing.

It’s pretty clear that getting creative can make a big difference in connecting with mobile users. Use these campaign examples as a jumping-off point to engage your audience in fresh, innovative ways that elevate your brand.

With a bit of testing and tweaking, you’re bound to discover the perfect formula for engaging with your audience and creating a buzz around your brand. Keep at it, and you’ll see the results roll in!

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