I can't stop playing with my latest iPhone application, the Target Gift Globe. This free application, designed by San Francisco-based digital-marketing company AKQA, acts as a virtual snow globe that reveals gift ideas (think Magic 8 Ball).
Here's how it works: After downloading the application, select the age and gender for whom you might be buying a gift. Then, shake your iPhone to let digital snow fill in the globe. When the snow dissipates, a gift idea appears from the retailer. You can then click through to Target’s site to purchase the product or locate nearby stores.
I'm continually amused by this little app. Like a little kid, I shake it feverishly and feel like I win a prize every time a gift idea pops up. Although I rarely go back to the Target site from my iPhone—and have yet to make a purchase from the retailer this holiday shopping season—it's still an effective branding strategy. I'm certainly engaged by my new (Target-sponsored) snow-globe toy, and that counts for something.