Sunday, March 9, 2008

Stories, Games & Your Brand

PANELIST: “We all know what ARGs are, right? And with ARGs…”

Tobin, Kelly, Jim exchange looks, shake heads. Tobin checks wikipedia. ARGs=Alternative Reality Games. Cool. Yes, we nod. Of course we know what ARGs are.

So, aside from that, interesting tidbits from this panel:

Why games? A continuing theme since we’ve been down here is that the interruption model of marketing has gone the way of the Brontosaurus. Old news, really. Stop talking at consumers, and start a conversation with them. Games are one way of doing that. And as the panelist from Penguin Books pointed out, they’re also a way to tell a story. In another panel later, which I’ll get to, one of the panelists said “The brands with the best storytellers wins.” So there.

The target for most of our advertising, women 25-40, are surprisingly the biggest users of games. Awesome.

When designing games, allow for a range of interaction, from those who want to just stop in and see what’s up, to those fanatics who will spend hours playing it. Make it accessible enough for the casual users, but deep enough for the hardcore.

Expect that with puzzle-based games, people will collaborate. This means that they will figure things out exponentially faster than they would in a traditional environment. Deeper games.

Be patient, and try a lot of things. The crazy-popular Office Depot dancing elves was one of 20 games developed in that year. It got 1 million hits the first year. But they were patient, revised it a little, and brought it back the next year. It got 11 million hits.

One of the tough parts of selling games to the client is that it’s not completely worked out how to measure their effectivenss. However, games have the potential to provide much more in-depth metrics and can ensure the audience gets a message (the example they gave is that if a person isn’t receiving the right message, they won’t be able to get to the next level of the game).

The thing to remember is that our competition is not just other commercials. It’s stuff like games. And if we can figure out how to use them in a way that is consistent with our brand, we can get the cheapest media available: word-of-mouth.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

You guys should check out http://www.guinnesstipping.com

A good example of branded ARG that's highly involved with multiple levels of access and many different puzzles that take a community to solve through blog posts and joint research.

--Jen O.