The advent of Through the line” advertising or “Viral” marketing has quickly shifted the way that the public receive information about the latest products and also the way that we as creative practitioners are expected to work.
The ways in which advergaming can be implemented can range from more solid and conventional methods like puzzles and CDs free with magazines and newspapers that relate to promotional content and freebies to the newer QR code readers that will take you to a website and possibly some flash games or an app that is free to download and is fun to play.
A personal example of this was when my mum purchased an iPod touch and was looking for apps to download. She found a promotional version of “Angry Birds” which was in partnership with the animated film “Rio”. Although she wasn’t inclined to see the film, the advergame worked in the sense that after completing the free version of Angry Birds my mum then went on to download the full Version of Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and the “Eagle” app for an additional 69p.
Although not strictly a game, the Tippex “Hunter… A bear” campaign really intrigued me. It consists of giving the viewer a choice: Will the bear live or die?
Despite what you pick, the hunter won’t kill the bear, but then it directs you to a site that resembles youtube and you can choose what you can do with the bear, including hugging, dancing, playing rock-paper-scissors, brushing his teeth, playing the harp… you get the idea.
What I really like is that they probably turned one of the blandest products in history into something that now represents boundless possibility. It also uses the “Not Safe For Work” video tag to rope viewers in and believe that it is a true viral video, like Chris Crocker or Star Wars guy.
Have a go and enjoy it… you’ll lose the rest of your afternoon though.
Speaking of bland products with exciting campaigns, here is the clever little character of Weetakid. While in class, Annabeth brought in a stack of iPads… and a box Weetabix.
If you scanned the QR code through your iPad or iPhone, a little 3D representation of Weetakid would pop up and inhabit our world through the camera, standing against the scene on the box. I think this is a fantastic idea because from personal experience in recent times, I can’t find a child who can’t work their parent’s iPhone. One gripe I do have is that it doesn’t work for Android.
Some of the games that the PETA website (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) are shameless re-skins of classic games (Super Mario, dress up dolls, super meat boy and cooking mama to name a few) but they have been cleverly made to inform players about the cruelty of animals by way of unlocking achievements and high scores. They also occasionally link to shock videos so I won’t be having any turkey for a while…