Scratch-Off Games Hit The Digital World

iScratcher iPhone iPod Touch AppI’m usually not impressed with most of the so-called “gimmick” apps that enter the market, but every now and then one comes along that actually provides a bit of substance.

Such is the case with the new iScratcher mobile app that effectively turns any touch-based mobile device into a scratch-to-win game card.  I know, it seems like another useless app that would get used once or twice and then deleted forever once the novelty wares off, but from a mobile marketing viewpoint, the iScratcher app could prove to be somewhat useful.

The concept is simple- advertisers sponsor scratch-off games that display on mobile device screens.  Players “scratch off” a game card by wiping the screen with a finger to reveal sponsor brand images and potential prizes such as cash, products, coupons, promotional codes, lottery results, or content.  Using GPS technology, iScratcher provides location-specific game odds, prizes and–with another tap of the finger–a map with directions to nearby stores where prizes can be instantly redeemed.

It’s only available for iPhones and iPod touches presently, but Android and Blackberry versions are on the way.  Scratch-off games have always been popular, for one reason or another, and the idea behind iScratcher is to make it so advertisers can “make promotions more attractive and available to everyone by offering the same promotion on the most popular technologies in addition to–or in place of–traditional cardboard tickets.”

I think advertisers will find some unique ways to utilize the iScratcher app, and they’ll most likely be successful when adding the location element GPS provides.  Only time will tell, but this is one novelty app that might have some traction.