Written by Bibek Mohanty, Research Director at Moxie, @Bibvikas
Gaming is yet another means for marketers to get the word out about products and services. In fact, 37% of U.S. Internet users age 18-44 actually prefer to hear about new products while playing online games.
Although the type of game preference (online or social) was not asked, findings are encouraging nonetheless.
Gender Based Engagement
Males are far more receptive to video game advertising than their female counterparts.* A significantly higher percentage of male video game players than females often noticed brand names in the games they played. In addition, higher percentages of males than females did not object to seeing brands or seeing an in-game character using a brand-name product.
Moms are the primary decision makers for a lot of products and services. Brand messaging conveyed via polls, quizzes, and games is a viable means of engaging with this audience as 21% of US mom Internet users said such types of interactive ads grab their attention.
Best in Class Gaming Examples
Here are three examples of best in class marketing/brand engagement via gaming:
1. General Mills’ Cascadian Farm Blueberries
General Mills’ Cascadian Farm blueberries were incorporated into the FarmVille experience. In order to foster continuous interaction, consumers were offered limited-edition blueberries for players. Deeper interaction took place on Facebook as consumers were able to engage with Cascadian Farm’s Farmer Joe by viewing his profile and add him as a friend to have a richer experience than just getting blueberries for the game.
2. McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets
Fast food behemoth McDonald’s ran ads for a flash game where you feed monsters named Mungries by tossing them chicken nuggets. Kevin Joyce, media supervisor for Liquid Advertising, described the experience in the following manner: “It’s just fun and it’s just silly.”
3. Ford Fusion
Players of an alternate reality live-action game got to virtually drive the Ford Fusion and interact with its technology. More than 300,000 people played the game, and engagement with the Ford brand averaged about 9 minutes.
Digital platforms enable companies’ brands to engage with consumers at a deeper level. Traditional digital platforms include display ads, online video, and rich media. However, gaming is a relatively new and emerging platform that offers marketers a clever and more interactive means of getting consumers to see what brands/products can do for them.