Some of the Largest Brands Are Using Game Based Apps For Advertising and Promotions

Over 550 businesses and schools have used a scavenger game application available on iPhone and Android mobile devices to drive and enhance their advertising and promotions. The SCVNGR app development platform includes notable users such as the Boston Celtics, Boston Globe, New England Patriots, Journeys, The New York Times, Universal Music Canada, Warner Bros, as well as colleges and universities including Princeton. Using mobile games as a platform for ads and promotions is one of the latest trends in consumer engagement, especially the millennial generation that grew up on video gaming.
 
The essence of the SCVNGR platform is three interconnecting elements: Challenges, which are things to do at places; Treks, which connect places and challenges; and Rewards, that offer benefits for playing. Players earn points in a Challenge – checking-in is worth a point, telling your friends where you are is worth 2 points, and and providing content about a location such as a picture is also worth 2 points. The platform’s database is understood to include already over 20 millions locations.
 
Marketing opportunities abound, from directing a Trek to a specific location with advertising and promotion opportunities along the journey and at the destinations, through utilizing consumer experiences and user generated content that involves the brand at Challenges and Treks. Of course, the Rewards can easily be tied to photo opportunities and further promotions. Fun and games are thereby able to leverage off brand related content, locations & competition.
 
For instance, a Philadelphia Diamond retailer, Robbins Diamonds, fashioned an interactive city-wide treasure hunt to find a hidden diamond ring. Clues were delivered to competitors cellphone’s by SMS text messages, mobileweb or in-app notifications. Pre-event publicity and media coverage included media from traditional print through to digital blogs. As a result, there were almost 2,000 applications for the 250 available spots and 2.5 million impressions for the retailer in TV, print, radio & internet immediately before their busiest season. See the full case study at scvngr.com

Advertising and promotions are no longer one way streets – mobile apps like SCVNGR & others are paving the way for experiential marketing utilizing the mobility benefits of those media and mediums that are with us 24/7 – the mobile phone. As Robbins Diamonds was able to accomplish, you can use a mobile app to rise above the noise produced by your competitors and saturated ad markets. As well, by involving your customers in an experience they will remember and associate with your product, you are creating a positive top of mind recall event that will be hard to match through conventional ads or promotional opportunities.

Samsung Galaxy S – Films and Games and More, Oh My!

Samsung has unleashed all it has to challenge the iPhone with the Samsung Galaxy S, and after a hopeful update of Android to the 2.2 operating system, it is easily one of the smartest of smart phones. The new version of Android will give the phone a great bump in class with smother internet browsing and enhanced navigation. It will also provide the Galaxy S a better done pinch and zoom function, allowing even those with the worst of eyesight to read every word on the handset’s massive four inch screen.

The updated Google maps with location navigation will help in refreshing directions from exact locations, due to the internal GPS, and the new version of Flash will help those improved colours to look even more vivid. Not only will the internet and apps look good, but work shot on the HD camera will feel a little more HD when the playback feature is used. Speaking of films, Samsung is rolling out a movies and games package for new users of the Galaxy S that is sure to impress.

Samsung is giving away a bundle worth over £50 and offers at least six games and three movies through their Gameloft and Samsung Movies apps, which give access to thousands of hit movie and game titles. The offer is to run through March 31stand will need to be redeemed by the 30thof April by registering the phone with the original receipt for your pay monthly phone.

Beyond the new media package, there are still the same great features to the Samsung Galaxy S that has made it one of the pinnacle smart phones. The five megapixel camera provides incredible pictures from a mobile phone, coping greatly with poor lighting situations even without a built in flash. The music player provides great sound and new music just a finger tap away with 3G connectivity to download all of the classics. And the battery handles all of the multi-media-ing very well with a using time of up to 6.3 hours and a standby time of 24 hours.

Games and Brand Extension – Do They Click?

For this article I wanted to look into the way that traditional games and gaming elements have been used to enter the mainstream space from a business standpoint to either incentivise consumers or engage them on a different level.

Games are primarily an entertainment medium, but that hasn’t stopped companies from having games developed to reach a different demographic than perhaps represents their core market. An ad campaign may run for 2 weeks, 4 weeks or 2 months but branding within a game can have a much longer shelf life. The most common example of brand extension within the gaming arena focuses on movie tie-ins. Many Disney/Pixar films release a game based on the film around the same date. It helps consumers engage with the film on a deeper level and get to know the characters and brand better making it ultimately more likely that additional purchases of merchandise or DVDs are made. The main issue with game tie-ins however is often they are rushed to coincide with the film release and most end up being fairly average titles. The sheer fact that the majority are aimed at a very young audience means though that children tend not to worry too much about this and just enjoy controlling the characters.

Looking at something completely different from an engagement aspect. Papa John’s pizza in the UK released a mobile gaming app which had you deal with pizza orders and create pizzas as perfectly and speedily as possible. App was priced at 69p with the hook being if you reached a certain score then you could earn a free pizza. It was a well made game and was quite a fun stand alone game as well as being challenging in the later levels. The only disappointing part was upon reaching your free pizza it was for collection only which limited me somewhat but was still a good prize.

Weight Watchers UK campaign last year focused on treating weight loss like a game thanks to the point system that was in use. It was an interesting take on things but it wasn’t continued for the 2013 marketing campaign. Arguably, despite the fresh take on losing weight, it didn’t engage the largely female audience of its membership base as even now, females are still in the minority when it comes to enjoying games. It perhaps didn’t resonate as strongly as it should have.

When there is a natural gaming tie-in that fits organically such as in Wreck-It-Ralph you get the best of both worlds – a good film and a very relevant game. You even have in-game advertising which can be seen in many of the Need For Speed series of games. Rockstar also create such believable worlds with their Grand Theft Auto series that there are teams dedicated to creating fictional brands within this universe – they actually extend their own brands within the games and also into the real world. Rusty Brown Ring Donuts is one that always springs to mind.

I’d be interested to hear any other examples you may have experienced perhaps in countries other than the UK.

Android TV and Apps

Did you hear about the new Android TV? These televisions have caught the fancy of people and offers a new way to watch television. Be it playing games or browsing the net, an Android TV offers a lot.

However, Android apps haven’t been that easy to make. So, if you are looking forward for developers to make apps for Android TV as well, you need to consider certain aspects first.

Here is a look at the difficulties developers face when designing an Android TV box app.

Developers work hard, putting in lot of thoughts, time and energy into making a great product. However, many developers fail to take a few key steps that can help them create that magical app. It has to be remembered that almost everyone has a smartphone today. While there are millions of apps for the Android smart phones, apps which are specifically designed for playing with Android TVs are still not that high in number. Developers need to meet different challenges to design newer and better apps. Creating the right product and managing to get loyal customers requires a good strategy.

All about apps

The app icon and the user interface should be clean and be easy to use. Users begin to form opinions about the app once they download it. Developers should read the reports from users to find out the requirements.

Determination of the demographics

Developers get vast information about app users and usage from users. If you are thinking to create a new app, you need to think like a marketer and critically analyze the market to determine your target demographic. For instance, if your app is targeted at low-income people within a particular age group, why would you concentrate on building apps for iOS?

Of course, if you do that, you will spend more money and energy building apps for the wrong audience. Android TV apps in particular, need to be more appealing.

Investing on metrics that can be quantified

Most developers don’t understand how to make proper use of app usage data. As a developer, you ought to read usage of app data by users on a daily basis. Developers should also use reports which show how effective their ads are and how much they can possibly monetize it.

Network for discoverability

Networking with other app developers is a great way by which you can take your apps to even greater heights. Utilize social networks and also guest blog about your app in other app developers’ blogs. You can also simply attend seminars or webinars where app development is the topic. Building relationships in the right circles can offer results that you never anticipated.

Conclusion

Developers require extra effort and research to come out with something innovative. If they are developing an app for an Android TV, they need to first know the audience well to understand the needs and preferences. There are several ways of doing this. As a developer, the end product should actually be user friendly for the users.