Two big brands have embraced social games as a means to engage with their intended demographics. They’ve teamed up with two of the most successful game developers in the social game arena.
In the automotive industry, to promote the new 2013 Escape, Ford partnered with Zynga to host the world’s largest Words With Friends game. Fans of Ford’s Facebook page can collectively play Words With Friends against celebrity Jenny McCarthy, who will be at the live event in Los Angeles unveiling the new 2013 Ford Escape.
“By revealing the new Escape through a popular social game like Words With Friends, Ford is able to expand its reach beyond traditional social channels to mobile platforms that engage a broader audience of younger professionals,” said Matt VanDyke, director of U.S. marketing communications for Ford.
Over in the electronics and mobile device sector, Samsung is looking to create buzz in an over-saturated smartphone market for their Galaxy SII. By partnering with Rovio’s Angry Birds, Samsung is able to access over 50 million unique active fans; their target audience.
The collaboration entailed the creation of an elite Galaxy SII level, never before seen images, online videos, contests and bragging rights to the exclusive content, especially the “Golden Egg.” The Golden Egg was critical to the success of the campaign since it was dependent upon going viral.
“The development of an ownable Golden Egg Galaxy level, combined with targeted mobile rich across technology and entertainment environments, delivered an incredible response to the campaign — more than 1.6 million game plays and average of eight minutes of engagement per user,” reports Kristen Kelly, VP global business developer.
Eight minutes of engagement per user? No mobile phone television ad that I’m aware of could ever achieve that. Sure, social games contain ads today, especially the free apps. But that’s peanuts compared to these integrated campaigns. Prepare to see more of it…a whole lot more of it as marketers, advertisers and big brands look for social game partners.
In a previous post, Social Games are a Marketer’s Backdoor, I touched on how game developers and marketers are using [mobile] social games as a means to get consumers to essentially opt-in to marketing messages. That was just the beginning. Now it’s time to make money, big money.
According to the New York Times, as reported by Gartner, video game spending is on point to reach $112 billion by 2015. In that same time period, mobile gaming is expected to take a 20% bite out of gaming platforms.
The phrase “unwanted spam” use to be a redundant statement. I mean, who WANTS spam anway? Well, thanks to social gaming and according to eMarketer, approximately 69 million Americans do.
We as consumers are voluntarily opting-in to spam, and indirectly, opting-in our networks of friends and colleagues into getting spam. How exactly? With social games developed for the iPhone, iPad, Android and Facebook.
It’s quite an achievement by game developers and marketers. They realized that consumers are motivated by an addiction to building status and the ability to easily brag to their social networks by posting their most recent virtual accomplishments. I’m sure you’ve noticed your news feed cluttered with these types of postings.
The mechanics of most social games are fairly straightforward. With just a few clicks of the mouse and some basic math skills, users on their own can “level-up” and continue to broadcast their achievements to their networks over and over again. But recruit friends in your adventures and your “productivity” goes through the roof. Basically, spam your friends with invites so they’ll join you.
Users voluntarily subject themselves to incentive offers and in-app purchases too. With every game click comes a new offer:
- Invite ten friends and win a rare item
- Gold coins are 20% off for this week only
- Complete a partner offer for 10 profile points
I’m guilty of it too. I’ve spent countless hours trying to grow my mafia in Mafia Wars, build hotels in Monopoly Millionaires, finding players in Words with Friends and dozens of others.
My question is, with all the efforts we’ve all made to unsubscribe from email marketing lists, being careful not share any personal information online, why are we so eager and less hesitant to share now? So we can have a kick ass virtual farm?