Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck in Social Games Advertising
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Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck in Social Games Advertising

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Millions of people worldwide play games on social networks, and advertisers are expected to spend $293 million in social games in 2011 -- a 60% increase over what they spent just two years before. ...

Millions of people worldwide play games on social networks, and advertisers are expected to spend $293 million in social games in 2011 -- a 60% increase over what they spent just two years before. Interesting case studies will explore the advertising opportunities that work best in social games, and how can you make your brand stand out from the pack -- in a good way!

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  • Mall World is a game where you can run your own fashion boutique and shop to your heart’s content. Do you want these new Heartbreak Earrings for your shop? Click the “continue” button to watch this video ad about Levi’s curved jeans, then take a brief survey about the kind of jeans that best suit you.
  • Wee World is another social network based around avatars and chat. They have branded chat rooms - sometimes available only for a limted time, like the one they did for the Red Riding Hood movie that recently came and went from theaters. Here is an example of branded gear for your avatar. I’ve got some awesome fangs here courtesy of CW’s Vampire Diaries.
  • THQ and Embassy Interactive launched UFC Undisputed Fight Nation, a facebook game attempting to leverage UFS’s brand and the mechanics of a facebook social application. You basically fight your friends for daily rewards. (Collectible card game style) Right now, in its beta period, the game has 230k active monthly users and the reviews are pretty good. Depending on which side of the fence you are, branded games have their own particular challenges -- a recognizable brand and quality art assets are definite bonuses; the con, at least for developers is less freedom to iterate on a design because you need to get approval from the brand owner. No branded games have cracked top 40….
  • Green Giant partnered with FarmVille offering shoppers FarmVille cash and product discounts with their purchases. 7-Eleven, MacDonalds, and others have all done similar promotions.To redeem your code after purchasing your product, you also need to provide your email address -- which is a nice way to build your marketing database, if you’re a brand like Green Giant.
  • Another interesting point Carter made: Y o u can have 200,000 people drive past a billboard on an LA freeway every day, but you donʼt have the same level of engagement as when people select ʻCar Town,ʼ said Steve Center, Hondaʼs vice president for advertising.M a rketers and game developers will discover they are building powerful channels and that thereʼs enormous property for sale.
  • Green Giant & Farmville, Honda & Car Town. In Car Town, the billboards were strategically placed in areas that players visit frequently. Sense of urgency - if you want that virtual car, if you want to get in on that virtual currency, do it before the offer expires!
  • Imagine if those fangs in Wee World actually gave me vampire abilities -- actually don’t imagine that, it could get messy -- but you know what I mean. It’s great to look cool, but what if it was like the CR-Z in Car Town?
  • Video ads: 45MM players x 30 second spot = 375k hours of brand awareness available on FB alone. Caputres the audience while display ads coexist with content. Areas for innovation? Taking advantage of specific demographics; minigames & social interactions in ads

Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck in Social Games Advertising Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck in Social Games Advertising Presentation Transcript

  • Chris Cummings, Lycos Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck in Social Games Advertising
  • Hi, my name is Chris
    • Manage Lycos' portfolio of games & community products
    • Includes Gamesville, Tripod, Angelfire, white label solutions
    • Prior to Lycos, oversaw development of gaming & customer
    • acquisition programs for regulated, land-based casinos in US, UK
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20 Director of Product Management, Lycos [email_address] @chriscummings01
  • What is a social game?
    • An opportunity to creatively tap into the player’s social graph
    • This is about friends and acquaintances, not strangers; peer pressure
    • Delayed gratification
    • Accomplish a task now, get your reward in the future; appointment gaming
    • Incentivizing players to recruit on your behalf
    • Your game experience gets richer if more of your friends play the game, too; viral
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • Social games are big
    • Of approx 60 million targetable game players, US represents 74%
    • That’s a lot of volume!
    • “ Targetable” game players is different from total game players
    • Facebook ads target users who “like” the game, not all of users
    • Source: Adparlor
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • And that’s just Facebook… Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • Social games are big business
    • Social games to attract $293 million in advertising spend in 2011
    • Up from $220 million in 2010
    • $4.3 billion to be spent worldwide on social networks in 2011
    • 29% increase over 2010
    • Source: eMarketer
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20 Ad Spending on Social Games & Applications
  • Beyond display ads and lead generation, how are advertisers using social games to achieve marketing objectives? Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • Sponsorships
    • Source: Mall World
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • Branded Virtual Goods
    • Source: Wee World
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • Branded Games
    • Source: Social Times
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • Promo Codes
    • Source: Social Times
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • Let’s look at three recent case studies Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • Green Giant's Farmville Cash
    • Source: Mashable
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20 Overview: Drive real-world produce sales via virtual farm items. Results: Over 100,000 in Farm Cash was given away as part of the six week pilot program Started in select Target stores but soon expanded to over 4,000 stores nationwide "It's been a great opportunity to modernize our communication channels to consumers. " - Michalin Modena, Green Giant Fresh marketing manager
  • Honda CR-Z in Car Town
    • Source: Mashable, Car Town Addicts
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20 Overview: Promote the US launch of the Honda CR-Z in Car Town via billboards, video, virtual cars. Results: Only 3 million users to start -- but highly targeted. Users “purchase” the car in-game -- and keep it beyond promotion. Toyota followed suit with Prius campaign in January 2011. “ With Car Town, p a rticipants can engage with and experience Honda in a fun and casual environment that ’s not overtly commercial. ” - Steven Carter, American Honda Vice President marketing
  • Charles Chocolates & Chocolatier: Sweet Society
    • Source: SF Weekly
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20 Overview: Players can order and send an actual box of Charles Chocolates confections to friends (or themselves) after unlocking the recipes in their virtual factories. Results: The first time a virtual good has been “made” on Facebook and then been transformed into a real-world good…
  • 3 rules for a successful ad integration Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • Rule #1: Be Relevant
    • The integration should feel natural -- in terms of game and audience
    • Will the people playing the game feel at home with you in their “home”?
    • Take advantage of what you know about the game audience
    • Customize according to demographics and other user data
    • Create a sense of urgency
    • Demands immediate action while drawing attention to your brand
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • Rule 2: Bring Value
    • Offer players something that helps them in the game
    • Branded items are nice… but they’re better if their useful
    • Let branded items persist beyond the actual campaign period
    • Cars, hot air balloons, etc. all function as effective reminders
    • Benefits can come in multiple different forms
    • Virtual currency, items that provide a competitive edge -- help them win!
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • Rule #3: Don’t Interfere!
    • To be successful, make yourself optional
    • If players feel coerced into paying attention to you, you’re going to lose
    • Be low friction
    • Make it fast, make it easy… short videos, short surveys, etc.
    • Be compelling
    • Make them choose to pursue you and engagement will soar
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • And don’t forget… Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • Return on investment
    • Establish a baseline before you begin -- what’s the current trend?
    • Create an activity timeline (month by month).
    • Monitor volume of mentions (positive & negative), likes, video views.
    • Measure sales revenue & number of transacting customers.
    • Overlay your data into a single timeline -- look for new patterns!
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • To get the most bang for your buck…
    • Be relevant
    • Does your brand have a natural affinity with the game, the audience?
    • Bring value
    • Help them win… and leave behind something worthwhile for them to enjoy
    • Don’t interfere
    • Only interrupt the game with advertising content when it’s requested
    • Remember the ROI
    • Track video views, Likes, mentions etc., to see how they translate into ROI
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  • Thank you!
    • Questions?
    • Twitter: @chriscummings01
    • Web: gamesville.com
    • christophercummings.com
    • Additional resources
    • http://www.insidesocialgames.com
    • http://blog.games.com/
    • http://www.appdata.com/
    Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20