Archive for the ‘advergaming’ Category


Mobile marketing never smelled so sweet

In ad campaigns,advergaming,mobile devices,mobile marketing on October 4, 2009 by gingercatmom

Ask any adolescent what Axe smells like…and you’re likely to get a response. Love it or hate it, Axe has become the scent of many teen boys–and the boys’ locker room! Popularity is growing and mobile marketing campaigns have something to do with that.

Unilever (which markets Axe as well as a variety of other personal care products) has hit on a successful combination of product, message and media to promote this line of body sprays, body washes, deodorants and hair care items. Axe knows that teen boys want to smell good. Axe also knows that teen boys like to play games. And Axe knows that teen boys love their cell phones…hence the Axe Pogo Extreme game.

To teach teen boys how to properly use the body sprays, Axe launched a multi-platform game initiative that included mobile, web games and console media. The campaign introduces boys to the ‘Double Pits to Chesty’ move (a spray under the pits and across the chest). Game player execute pogo stick moves to earn cans of Axe spray in the game and are then prompted by a sexy girl voice and animated figure to do the body spray move described above. The free application is available through the web for phones and PlayStation 3.

Educational (well, most teens can use some hygiene education), fun and cool all at the same time, Axe Pogo Extreme is an example of both Advergaming and Mobile Marketing. The mobile marketing campaigns that Axe has executed have been creative and entertaining, and supporting media have promoted benefits of enjoyment, usefulness and expressiveness to users, thereby encouraging the target audience–young males– to accept and even embrace the Axe campaigns and ultimately the products themselves.

Further, the most successful mobile marketers worldwide are trusted, recognized brands. For the young male market, Axe does represent a product line that is familiar and associated with current trends and style—much like mobile communications itself. Positive attitudes generated through mobile campaigns like the Axe examples can benefit other brands that discover mobile marketing as an ideal way to reach particular demographic groups.



Playing with the King

In ad campaigns,advergaming,Uncategorized on September 28, 2009 by gingercatmom

There’s a box of video games upstairs in my house that contains the games that are rarely played. I cringe as I think of the allowances spent on high-priced racing and fantasy games…but in between these I found a long-forgotten purchase: Burger King “Big Bumpin”. What were we thinking when we bought that one?

Bumpin with the King

Bumpin with the King

“Big Bumpin” is just one of three advergames introduced at BK during the holiday season in 2006. With no major movie tie in to drive kids’ meal purchases (think Star Wars, Rugrats, Pokemon) Burger King built their own entertainment vehicle with the creation of three X-Box games. At just $3.99 a pop, the Burger King Xbox series was wildly popular–and affordable. But where are they now?

Advergaming can take a variety of forms. Games can be downloaded from websites to mobile devices. They can be played online via a company’s website. Consumers are willing participants in this marketing experience–they are willing to play a game and in the case of Burger King’s venture, they were even willing to pay for the game itself. Advergaming takes another form when the branded product figures prominently in the game (such as in the form of a shoe brand, automobile or even a food item that can’t be missed throughout the game experience). It’s an effective way to reach the coveted youth market-especially young males.

The key to a successful advergame lies in the game itself. It has to be fun–and make the player want to do it again. There might be revenue generated by sale of branded games, but how much marketing value is generated if the game is just purchased, played a time or two and then relegated to the “Island of Misfit Toys!”


“Go play with your friends!”

In advergaming,Facebook,Uncategorized on September 3, 2009 by gingercatmom

Kids today don’t need to leave the house to play with their friends. In fact, they don’t even need to leave the couch. According to a 2005 Kaiser Family Foundation study, kids 8-18 spend an average of 48 minutes per day online and 32 minutes playing console video games (I would suspect that these figures are even higher today). Online gaming combines these two media worlds, whether kids play through the computer or gaming systems such as X-Box Live. There always somebody to play with in a virtual world. However, keeping an eye on the kids takes on a whole new meaning when parents are policing the backyard that exists online.

X-box Live has a variety of parental controls that allow parents to control the games kids play, to approve playmates and to filter the content that can be downloaded when kids play the gaming system online. As a parent of avid teenage X-Box players, I must confess to not exploring the parental controls on the game systems in my own home. Frankly, I would expect that if my kids really wanted to, they could override any controls I set on their game. We do however, talk about the appropriateness of certain games and role-play behaviors relative to our family’s values and moral structure.

The Kaiser Study concluded that while parents express concern about the impact of media, many kids surveyed say their parents have not set rules about video game use and they infrequently check the ratings or advisories on game. Surprisingly, the study also found that kids who spend the most time with media also report spending time with parents, pursuing hobbies and even engaging in physical activity. Their lives are more than just media use.

Kids, like adults, crave connections with others that share their interests. Online gaming combines kids’ interest in technology, community, and play itself. As gaming migrates quickly to handheld devices, parents will have even less control over  where and when kids play online and who else may be playing. It’s up to parents to visit–and understand–these new playgrounds.

Halo to go?

Halo on the go--a brave new playground.