Game Playing and Marketing Games Offer you a Unique Way to Entertain...
-- and sell at the same time!
Whilst experimenting with social networks, user-generated content and on line video,
marketers appear content to view games as little more than another
class advertising platform. The untapped potential of game
playing lies in their ability to tell stories, thereby more closely linking
brand benefits with game play and blurring the lines between brand and
entertainment. Games, properly structured, fundamentally alter the customers
perception to the presentation and content of your marketing messages thus
making the advertisements themselves a
source of meaningful information. Games allow Brands to become
engaging, and entertaining -- thereby providing something of value in exchange for attention.
Brands such as Persil, Birds Eye and Quaker Oats have relied on game playing to create
narratives that consumers want to be a part of. In the process, they've done
more than just break through the clutter, or better position themselves in
consumer's minds. Games remain one of the biggest untapped
opportunities for marketers, for the simple fact that they are, indeed, engaging
interactive and entertaining. Well-conceived games require users' active
attention and enable them to drive the story line as they experience a world
that can be entirely of a brand's making. Games represent a unique opportunity
for brands to be the entertainment rather than just sponsor it.
So what do original games get you? If you're Quaker Oats,
you get year-over-year double-digit sales growth, as well as a
marketing program that has generated significant
revenue. So what does this mean for marketers? It
demonstrates that there's a burgeoning mainstream audience increasingly
receptive to branded entertainment in the form of original episodic games and
willing to grant brands their attention in exchange for enjoyable
experiences. Games need to be implemented strategically.
As with any marketing approach, objectives and performance expectations for
game-based marketing need to be considered upfront. Here are some things to keep
in mind: A game tends to work best as a component of an integrated campaign
rather than an afterthought. Original episodic games can
counteract this imbalance by delivering a high level of play and replay value to
consumers while putting the brand at the center of the experience.
So does a brand need to be interesting or provocative in order to make a
good game? Absolutely not. All our examples show that basic games deployed and
used well were effective at making a low-involvement category more interesting
and engaging. And implemented properly, games could address many of the
challenges facing financial-services companies -- building involvement,
generating a prospect , creating a sense of community, even delivering a positive brand halo.