Welcome To The Game: Amazon’s Working With Activision On In-App Offers

During today’s Amazon Kindle Extravaganza, one of the slides that was popped up during the event got the attention of quite a few of us. It was a slide showing an in-app offer on a Kindle device.

It’s an interesting play for Amazon, as it grows itself beyond just an “e-reader”:

Luckily, Matt Galligan saw this and tweeted a shot:

I hadn’t personally heard of or seen these types of in-app offers on an Amazon device before, even though the company definitely plays around with advertising to drop the prices of its products. I reached out to Amazon to get more specifics on what we had all seen, and was told that this is a deal with Activision to bring real-world goods within apps and games. The first title to get this treatment is Skylanders.

As Galligan pointed out, and we picked up on, what would Kiip have to say about this? In case you aren’t sure, Kiip is a platform that delivers in-app rewards to people who use apps of all types. The only difference between what Amazon showed us and Kiip, is that Kiip tends to offer physical rewards for free, thanks to its partners. Reach a certain level in a game, get a cup of coffee. Brilliant.

Just because the items in the Skylanders game cost money at this point doesn’t mean that Amazon can’t flip the switch and start offering this service in the same way that Kiip does, as a new advertising model and platform. It’s nothing new, but Kiip has been on the bleeding edge and I reached out to its CEO, Brian Wong, to discuss what Amazon showed off today:

TechCrunch: What are your thoughts on Amazon’s in-app offers for real-world rewards as shown off during its event today?

Brian Wong: I’m actually very excited to learn about this. It means a huge validation for our market and what we’ve created – that bringing online-to-offline engagements through existing consumer behavior (especially on mobile) is very valuable for brands. Amazon has created very interesting advertising models around their existing product strengths (e.g. their “rest state” screen ads on their e-ink Kindles), and it is only natural that they experiment with others. As for working with third party developers, Amazon will be one piece of the pie. We’re a switzerland of sorts, and any developer can integrate us. I look forward to this bringing more awareness to the opportunities like this around achievements and brands.

TechCrunch: Does Kiip work within Amazon Apps?

Brian Wong: Kiip actually works with iOS, Android, and soon to be Flash (as you had reported before). The current Kindle Fire versions run Android and so our network games that are built on Android can naturally run on Amazon Kindle (color) devices.

TechCrunch: What are your overall thoughts on the offer industry and do you think about Apple getting involved in any way?

Brian Wong: We’re in our own category that we’ve created around rewards and reciprocity as an engagement model for advertisers and brands, that also helps the consumer win. Offers we view as entirely separate. Apple is again, one piece of the pie when it comes to bringing rewards to everyday life. We want to be where consumers already are, and are already engaging in. We will continue to bring rewards to as many experiences as possible.

So there you have it, welcome to the in-app offer game, Amazon. Keep your wits about you though, and don’t get too crazy or obnoxious with it.

[Photo credit: Flickr]