Macy’s takes Thanksgiving Day parade mobile By Lauren Johnson

Macy’s is letting consumers follow and interact with this year’s Thanksgiving Day parade through an application for iPhone and Android devices.

The app lets spectators of the parade track the route and find out additional information. The app is powered by location-and-social app company MyCityWay.

“The 85th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and events like it are traditionally experienced by spectators in person and on television,” said Sonpreet Bhatia, cofounder of MyCityWay, New York.


“With this app, you can now experience traditional events in a whole new way, and spectators will have essential information all in one place in an app on their smartphone,” she said.

Find my way
The branded app has the Macy’s logo splashed across the top of each page.

Using the app, users can track specific parts of the parade, including marching bands, Santa and dance teams.

To track the parade, users need to register for an account with the program Clingle inside the app and then download the app on Thanksgiving Day to follow the parade route.

Parade attendees can also view a map of the parade with directions and tourist information.

Additionally, consumers can also get a sneak peek at the parade’s floats and balloons.

Users can learn about the parade and which celebrities and music artists will be participating.

On the day of the parade, consumers can view an exclusive digital version of the parade’s Line of March that will be released at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

At the top of the app, consumers can tap on a banner advertisement to shop from the parade’s line of memorabilia.

Users can buy items directly from inside the app and add items to their Macy’s shopping bag.

The app also features streaming video from locations around the parade route for consumers who want to watch the parade while on the go.

The Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade has a partnership with broadcast network NBC, and inside the app users can learn more about the other programs that NBC will be airing on Thanksgiving.

The app also uses a consumer’s GPS to find nearby stores, restaurants, subway stops and the local weather.

Branding machine
In addition to the app, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade features are also available on a microsite from Macy’s.

The Thanksgiving app builds on Macy’s extensive mobile history, which includes apps, a mobile-optimized Web site mobile advertising and QR codes.

Most recently, Macy’s used a holiday-themed app with augmented reality to  promote its annual partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation (see story).

By putting its brand at the front and center of the app, Macy’s is able to tap into savvy consumers to interact with its historic event.

By using live streaming, photos and video, it also lets consumers who are both at the parade and at home interact with the parade.

“Macy’s created a beloved American tradition with the launch of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York in 1924,” Ms. Bhatia said.

“With a steadily growing audience along the parade route and on TV, a mobile app brings a whole new level of engagement and promotion to the parade and can tap into the growing population that uses smartphones,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

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