Adver Games, Manuel Campagnoli

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Information about Adver Games, Manuel Campagnoli

Published on October 30, 2008

Author: strategie


AdverGames by Manuel Campagnoli Internet je sexy 21. 10. 2008 MUW SAATCHI & SAATCHI 1 © M I K O V - U L I N - W E B E R

AdverGames 1. definition, different kinds, and concepts Online games (flash, java, director), not “serious games” like installable software. Many games now access the internet to allow the user to play against other users, access new levels, environments, updates. Can be also considered ¨Online games¨. The difference between the ¨online game software¨ and ¨game microsites¨ is becoming diffused day by day. 2

AdverGames 1. definition, different kinds, and concepts Advergaming (wiki extraction) is the practice of using video games to advertise a product, organization or viewpoint. The term quot;advergamesquot; was applied to various free online games commissioned by major companies. With the growth of the internet, advergames have proliferated, often becoming the most visited aspect of brand websites and becoming an integrated part of brand media planning in an increasingly fractured media environment. Advergames theoretically promote repeated traffic to websites and reinforce brands. Users choosing to register to be eligible for prizes can help marketers collect customer data. Gamers may also invite their friends to participate, which could assist promotion by word of mouth, or quot;viral marketingquot;. 3

2. ways to embed brand/product in games product placement, many different ways, from the most evident to the most subtle ones sponsoring, direct or indirect, multibrand, buy ad-space in an existing game, create your own game. Red bull Air-Race, example, sponsoring in real life affects sponsoring in a game. 4

3. user motivation / rewards Competitiveness, amusement, prizes , psychology of the games is very complex, no time to explain, all the complex structure of rewarding punishment. 5

4. Advergaming Target. It is difficult to make a social extraction, but in general the gaming industry targets a Male, 15-30 years old, tech geek. Is impossible to understand the gamer behaviour without understanding the evolution of the game since the first games appeared in the 80s. 6

4. Advergaming Target. Why? The simplicity of the first games is one of the keys of a successful advergame. 50% of recipients play the advergame, for an average of 25 minutes, there’s no time to train the user in sophisticated logics or skills. The brand/product impact must be assimilated in during the first minutes. This requirement creates a new different game genre, and not all the success keys of a “serious game” can be applied to the online adgames. The nostalgia factor, is another key of success, it’s a generational matter... people associate these games usually with a special period of their adolescence, the older range of the target is proud to be the first videogame generation. 7

4. Advergaming Target. quot;Computer games don't affect kids. I mean if Pacman affected our generation as kids, we'd all be running around in a darkened room, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.quot; Kristian Wilson, Nintendo Inc. 1989 8

5. Technology limitations The simplicity previously mentioned was originally a technology limitation, today with the last generation of browser plug-ins, allows more complex programming, object oriented languages, developer community develops external libraries and APIs, capable to represent 3D environments, physics like gravity. 9

5. Technology limitations Today the limitations are different: 1.- Quick assimilation, As we mentioned previously people don’t spend too much time playing advergames, no time to understand complex logics. 2.- campaign time-life, mostly the advergames are associated to product campaigns, rarely these campaigns are longer than 6 months, the research/production time of one new concept game (starting from scratch, not recycling), requires at least 70 hours of an advanced programmer, and maybe 40-60 hours of one specialized designer. If the game includes videos or photos specially made for the game, it involves other production companies, and makes the production time longer. Measuring the complexity and production timing of creating one adgame from scratch is very difficult, because it is research. The only way to ensure the timings is to buy and customize one existing game. 3.- no user loyalty, if the user wants just some amusement, the offer of free games is wide, some game production companies offers “lite versions” to promote those services... 10

Game portal sample: Newgrounds is a free portal site for Flash games. It has been around for more than a decade, and also serves up cartoons, user forums, music and audio clips, and an online magazine. The service has a social-networking component, too, with user profiles, social bookmarking, and game ratings. What it might be best known for, however, is the series Alien Hominid, which had its beginnings at Newgrounds. The game began as a free Flash title in 2002, and is now a popular title on modern-day gaming consoles. One of the more interesting aspects of Newgrounds' collection of titles is that games which go unplayed or are poorly rated are sent to a deadpool where they are given one last chance from users before being deleted by site admins. The system ensures that people remain active and are utilizing the built-in ranking system. 11

AdverGame samples: 12

AdverGame samples: 13

AdverGame samples: Red Bull Air Race Game 14

6. Virality Friend challenge / scoring / competitiveness “90% of players who receive a challenge from a friend play the game and respond back with their score or statistics.” At this point it is necessary to talk about the Multiplayer games, Advantages: increase virality, can be linked to existing communities, not necessary to create AI opponent. (create a computer opponent is very difficult, and sometimes is the most complex part of the developing) Disadvantages: requires at least two user complicity, this works against the impulsive behaviour. Real time games are very complex to develop, necessary a fluent data management, and a solid server technology. Link prizes with scoring? Advantages (data capture) disadvantages, security, encryption, blow up of a scoring system is a challenge for every hacker, one of his favourite activities. 15

Upload the game to online games portal, like ( Gaming portals are hungry for new content; they need to provide new content to maintain the traffic to the site. In comparison with a banner campaign, there’s no standard requirements to put a game on portals. Every portal has its own rules. The gaming portals “share” their content with other portals (basically they steal the content), like any other viral, you lose the control of some aspects of the adgame, usually the viral survives more than the product/campaign time-life, so if you plan to link the game with some corporative page related to the product, it is interesting to create a redirection system, in case the product disappears, or the site changes. 16

Upload the game to online games portal, like ( It is possible but not easy try to maintain the control over the game, by the way the gameportals don’t like this attitude, and they may decide to ban the game out. Some of the gaming portals require access to the source code in order to approve the publication, this is dangerous from the security point of view, and sometimes is just a waste all the time spent in research and knowhow, for nothing. On the other side, in comparison with the viral videos, it is very easy to obtain some usage stats hiding code inside the game. This viral strategy doesn’t work very well with local/country specific communications, especially if the game is text based, the language could be a big limitation to reach the viral effect. 17

Is it interesting to upload the full game to a gaming portal? Depends on the product/campaign, sometimes it is better to just send a lite/teasing version of the game, and try to generate traffic to a full version of the game. (Then this part, is hosted on the branded side, and cannot be considered viral) 18

FR quick park example FR Quick Park Game, was originally uploaded to 1 game portal, 3 years ago. was originally a “loadingGame”, a game playable only during the loading period of a heavy website. 19

FR quick park example 3 years later the game is totally spread in more than 1000 game portals around the world, and searching for the game on the internet, provides more than 16.000 matches. In terms of research/production time, only the loading game, consumed the 35% of time of the overall programmer time. 20

Politically incorrect As well as viral videos, one of the great advantages of viral games, is the possibility to break some of the communication restrictions, for example: • you can talk about speed, related to a car model (this is a taboo in many countries, for safety reasons) • talk about sex • talk about celebrities • talk about politics 21

Society relevance - Not only gamer portals can promote a game, if the game has some social relevance or is linked to some vent or news, the news portals can generate millions of accesses to the game. 22

Society relevance - In this game, where Amy Winehouse has to rescue her boyfriend from a drug rehabilitation clinic, has appeared in many articles, was released to promote the “Disaster Movie” premiere. 23

Game Brand Customization Customization boosts gaming experience, sound, music, images, ambience, is 50% of the gaming experience, and can change the perception radically. 24

Game Brand Customization - Customization boosts gaming experience, sound, music, images, ambience, is 50% of the gaming experience, and can change the perception radically. 25

Adgames future and challenges The new generation of mobile devices, will provide a wide range of possibilities to integrate new ways of gaming, and the most important thing, the user will not be a passive guy playing at home on his computer, he can be waiting in the line, on the bus, on the train...with more time to spend playing games. New handheld devices provide things like: accelerometers, video camera, GPS. Integration with existing communities, blogs, like facebook, ICQ, Flickr, etc... Many companies are working to create standards for these new generations of devices, java, Microsoft, flash lite, are fighting for the supremacy in this field. 26

Adgames future and challenges An example of a game with internet and GPS integration. 27

Adgames future and challenges An example of a game with internet and GPS integration. Gaming points, content dedicated wi-fi spots, ambient campaigns involving adgames, can create a new kind of communication with the customers. Melt the online community capabilities, with the game success, participation, grow with the user content, create new worlds, ambients. Team work! Recruit players for the cause! 28 showcase Brief / target A game based on a hitchhiking experience, outdoor ambient, to promote the T- Mobile internet mobile service. Boost the TV campaign, and reminder when TV campaign is over. Capture qualified data for sales dept. 29 showcase Brand / product placement All the features are shown in a subtle way during the game, in a key of humour. TV Campaign reminders appear at the end of every stage. 30 showcase Brand / product placement Product features appear during the game in the bottom of the screen. 31 showcase Brand / product placement A section allows to see all the service features and offers, and redirects traffic to the official product page. 32

Production process Defining logics, Adjusting Difficulty Building first beta, to test logics, difficulty. Define placing product information. Recreating a ambience, produce /embedding audio, graphics. Internal test, with non project involved people Placing tracking scripts Use tracking / stats analysis to improve first beta. 33

Online Campaign - online banners Teasing game, released to various Slovak online game portals. 34

Data capture The data capture was embedded during the play of the game, was not mandatory, but incentivated with the possibility of download featured content, like ringtones, screensavers. 35

Data capture The data capture was embedded during the play of the game, was not mandatory, but incentivated with the possibility of download featured content, like ringtones, screensavers. 36

Results More than 100.000 unique visits More than 30.000 qualified data captured (name, emails and phone numbers) 8% of the traffic (comes from gaming portals). 90% of people go directly to (no intermediate search machine) (tv campaign shows domain at the end) 37

Thank you 38

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