Don't "communicate" with your customers -  bedazzle them!

Shannon Forbes - Digifianz Marketing Analyst

Written by Shannon Forbes - Digifianz Marketing Analyst

 On 7/18/19 3:31 PM

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You want to engage your customers and keep them interested in your company, right?  The barrage of ads, emails, and social media posts consumers receive can have the opposite effect, creating over-saturation of your brand.  

Consumers expect marketing ads and promotions, but they don’t expect to be wowed with a game.  The playful mentality of gaming connects with customers, engaging them in an intriguing way.

Don’t settle for ads that talk at your customers or interrupt their time online, create a game and add some magic to your marketing strategy.  Here are three examples of companies leaving boring marketing behind and bedazzling their customers with games. 

 

Oreo: Twist, Lick, Dunk

Rather than blithely watching yet another ad for Oreos, wouldn’t you prefer to interact with the cookies themselves, albeit virtually? Oreo created a game that provides a tantalizing alternative to traditional ads.

Debuting in 2017, the game received mostly positive reviews on the Google Play Store, getting a 3.9/5 and over 86000 downloads.  It should be noted that it is a clone of the wildly popular game, Fruit Ninja, which definitely aided its success. 

After trying your hand at separating, licking, and dunking the Oreo’s, what are you in the mood for?  Just writing this makes us want to go pick up a packet.

Oreo_twistlickdunk_game

And whereas an ad can become repetitive, games are designed for repeated interactions.  Each time a customer plays your game, they’re experiencing an entertaining interaction with your brand.

Don’t just tell or show your customers that they should eat your product, let them play a game designed around your delectable treat and they won’t be able to resist getting some in real life (door slams as we run out to get a packet of Oreos).

KFC - The Hard Way

In a creative twist, KFC created a mock-horror virtual escape room - luring in audiences with the unusual premise.  In the game, which acts like a virtual training program, you have to whip up the perfect fried chicken in order to get out of the creepy space.  

It was a somewhat strange choice to use a sinister rendering of the Colonel who has you trapped in an escape room, but the choice wasn’t too out of line with KFC’s recent ad campaigns, such as the “terrifyingly advanced drive through robot” - we might’ve just stopped at “terrifying” - yikes!  The odd premise is reminiscent of Burger King’s Sneak King game.  And hey, sometimes weird works!

Adding to the magical experience, the game was made solely for virtual reality headsets - creating an attractive exclusivity.  For those who can take part in the experience, a whole escape world was created specifically for you.

KFC_TheHardWay_game

Many gamers took to YouTube to “experience” the virtual reality (VR) play - there are about 250,000 video search results for it.  These stats reflect the general popularity of experiencing gaming through watching others play.  The most popular video game streaming website, Twitch, boasts a whopping 15 million daily active users.  Stay tuned for an in-depth post about the phenomenon.  

Back to KFC - their VR game received with mixed reviews: it garnered a 3/5 on the Oculus Store (the Virtual Reality headsets).  Despite the uneven response, the overall VR experience, along with the unique premise, intrigued and engaged customers more than a typical ad. 

Monster Energy Supercross

What do you need to race a motorbike at top speeds - and win?  A Monster Energy drink, of course! You may not immediately associate energy drinks with motorbike racing, but those racers need energy, don’t they? 

In 2018, Monster Energy ditched traditional ads in favor of an advergame.  Instead of trying to convince consumers that their energy drinks give the biggest boosts, their video game is a subconscious affirmation that their product gives you energy.  Speeding around a racetrack makes you feel powerful, and full of, that’s right, energy!

monster_energy_supercross_game

They also included Monster Energy ads throughout the race tracks and on the players’ gear for more subconscious advertising.  Consumers are used to seeing branding in these situations, making it even more effective. The game received such a positive response that they came out with a second version just a year later. 


Games are a whimsical and unexpected means of interacting with a brand.  Rather than continuing to talk at your customers, start engaging them through play.  Games are an effective - and magical - way of transferring ideas, such as your company’s values and mission.  They’re also the most effective means of giving out rewards and prizes. Upgrade your communication strategy with an advergame!

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