By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor
November 3, 2010: State Farm, a marketing partner of the NBA and among the first group of companies to align with Apple's mobile advertising network, has unveiled via iAd the State Farm NBA All-Star 2011 Sweepstakes. According to State Farm, users engaging with the ad can enter to win a trip to the 2011 All-Star Game and related events taking place in Los Angeles this February, including All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm.
The iAd campaign also includes other interactive experiences, including a history of the NBA All-Star Game, videos of players in action at past All-Star Games and the ability to access Twitter and e-mail to share State Farm's All-Star Game sweepstakes information.
State Farm said that as a charter iAd advertiser, it is is "using the platform to offer millions of basketball fans an immersive All-Star experience directly through interaction on iPhone and iPod touch."
Other companies on the iAd platform include AT&T, Citi, Disney, GE, Geico, Nissan, Sears, Target and Unilever.
“This iAd leverages State Farm’s NBA sponsorship to provide a creative and compelling way for consumers to engage with our brand,” Tim Van Hoof, State Farm advertising director, said in a statement. “It’s an interactive experience that not only allows fans the opportunity to win an amazing trip, but to learn about the great history of the NBA All-Star Game as well. We’re inviting them to experience another facet of our brand.”
According to a State Farm spokesperson, a banner ad in "young adult-skewing apps in categories like music, sports and social will announce this ultimate sports trip to fans nationwide." After clicking on the banner, which launches a brief video styled after a starting lineup announcement, consumers are placed on a State Farm-branded basketball court. There, they can use a virtual game ticket to navigate through the iAd to enter the sweepstakes.
Top prize is an extend stay in Los Angeles for the 60th NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 20 at Staples Center and other events. Other prizes include autographed East and West All-Star jerseys and basketballs autographed by LeBron James. (Full details here.)
Visitors can also learn more about the NBA All-Star Game in a section that details previous All-Star logos, locations, scores and MVPs of respective games. Another section enables users to "revisit past All-Star Games [by watching] some of their favorite players in action," according to State Farm.
In addition, visitors are also able to download the State Farm Pocket Agent app right within the ad, giving them the "benefits of a State Farm agent on the go."
"We are very excited to offer the iAd as the cornerstone of State Farm’s effort to engage the brand with young adults in unexpected, yet relevant ways."
"iAd offers advertisers the emotion of TV with the interactivity of the Web, and offers users a new way to explore ads without being hijacked out of their favorite apps,” Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, said in a statement earlier this year. “iAds will reach millions of iPhone and iPod touch users — a highly desirable demographic for advertisers—and provide developers a new way to earn money so they can continue developing free and low cost applications.”
Spending on mobile advertising is expected to grow by almost 50% and top $1 billion in 2011, according to a recent report from market researcher eMarketer. The firm said those numbers reflect an increase from earlier estimates due in large part to Apple’s introduction of iAd, Google’s $750 million acquisition of mobile ad platform AdMob and mobile ads reaching “the mainstream of digital advertising."
"We are very excited to offer the iAd as the cornerstone of State Farm’s effort to engage the brand with young adults in unexpected, yet relevant ways," said the State Farm spokesperson.