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Ally Bank isn't an official Super Bowl sponsor, which likely explains why the company doesn't include the term "Super Bowl" in the announcement of its mobile game.
But like other advertisers that seek to counter-program during the biggest televised event of the year, Ally Bank is actively encouraging audiences to look away from their TV screens and down at their smartphones.
Adding elements like AR tech, gamification and a giveaway could help pique the interest of viewers and drive downloads of the game.
The savings-related message of the app is also contrary to other ads that urge people to spend big around the big game, Andrea Brimmer, Ally's chief marketing and public relations officer said in the release. Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz will run a mobile-based promotion aimed at keeping people engaged on their phones instead of the TV.
The company is giving away a sporty AMG C43 Coupe to the player who keeps a finger pressed on a streaming video of the car that drives across users' smartphone screens during the game.
Traditionally, brands kick off major campaigns with the Super bowl, which last year reached more than 111 million people.
Considering that viewership of NFL games fell 9.7% during the current regular season from last year, brands needs to consider additional ways of engaging audiences to supplement their TV viewing with interactive mobile experiences.
Ally Bank's campaign arrives as Americans are piling up record levels of credit card debt to maintain lifestyles that stagnant wages have hampered.
More than half of Americans (57%) have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts, according to a 2017 GOBanking Rates survey cited by Ally.
People also feel financially strapped, with two-thirds (63%) of Americans saying they can't handle an unexpected $500 car repair or a $1,000 emergency room bill.
The latest buzzworthy mobile game has nothing to do with birds or tiles. Make It Rain: For The Love of Money is a free title for Apple i OS and Google Android that shot up the i Tunes charts, thanks to simple gameplay where users swipe their screen to pile up millions of dollars.