Ad on Social Games: To Be or Not To Be

December 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

You know what is the ultimate icebreaker? Angry Birds.

By combining birds and pigs with physics, Peter Vesterbacka and Mikael Hed are able to attract 11 million users worldwide. Surprisingly, there is no advertisement. It might be a wise move. First get people addicted then run ads.

According to eMarketer, ad spending on social games increased 60% since 2009 and there are currently 56 million Americans playing social games. The story on Mashable summaries 6 reasons why social games are the next ad frontier.

1.  advertising in games is about engagement, not eyeballs

2. social games reach the facebook audience

3. some games have bigger audiences than prime  time tv

4. advertising with social games isn’t restricted to virtual

5. brands can be part of the experience

6. brands can reward players for interacting with them

1&6 appeals to me most. The two are actually related.

According to Mashable, two common strategies are promote virtual branded goods and “offer wall”, through which users can exchange engagement with virtual rewards.

“Back in July players of the the most popular Facebook social game, FarmVille, had for the first time an option to plant a specific branded crop — Cascadian Farm blueberries — on their virtual farms. In more than 500 million cases, players chose to purchase and plant the branded blueberries instead of something else. According to Zynga, unaided brand awareness increased 550% as a result.”

Back in May 2009, a juice brand called Yuehuo in China adopted the same strategy. Within a month 52.3 million people had made juice by the fruits they planted.

The benefits of this kind of advertising is that unlike banners, it does not interfere with people’s gaming experience. It actually gives users something they can relate to in the real world.


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