Creating digital games for brands


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A presentation I recently gave to OMD UK (part of Omnicom Media Group) about creating games for marketing campaigns. Presentation featured two key case studies by Candyspace. Particular focus was on creating ARGs (alternate reality games) and treasure-hunt mechanics

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Creating digital games for brands

  1. 1. Creating games for brands October 2012
  2. 2. Candyspace OfferingWhat we do Candyspace delivers cutting edge mobile and multichannel digital solutions. We do this better than anyone else due to: •  Our extraordinary experience in mobile •  Our deep understanding of today’s multi-device consumer •  Our strategic approach & innovative ideas •  Our cutting edge technical capability and bespoke platforms •  Everything we do is developed in-house – we never outsource The result = Technically feasible creative ideas that deeply engage consumers across channels
  3. 3. Candyspace OfferingOur Solutions Mobile and digital solutions that help clients: •  Drive sales •  Brand awareness & immersion •  Launch products & services •  Enhance content propositions •  Educate consumers All Technologies: PHP, .NET, HTML 5, CSS3, Flash, Flex and Java. Native mobile & desktop – iOS, Java, Android, Symbian & Air. Optimised for all web browsers and over 7000 mobile devices.
  4. 4. CandyspaceWhy create a game? What are talking about? •  “Adding gaming elements to marketing campaigns” Why should brands do it? •  Leverages basic human desires: reward, status, achievement, self-expression & competition •  Great way to get customers to engage with brands – on their terms •  Very high dwell time •  Cut-through •  The viral effect / utilising customers’ social networks for brand activity •  Boost impact of media
  5. 5. Our best games…
  6. 6. Virgin Media TVTaking fans on an epictreasure-hunt, blendingrealities and delivering asupernatural experience
  7. 7. SupernaturalBackground •  Supernatural had an established TV show on ITV2 for 4 seasons •  Living TV bought it for seasons 5&6
  8. 8. CandyspaceOur challenge 1.  Migrate fans 2.  Fuel viewing
  9. 9. SupernaturalInsight •  Supernatural fans live and breathe their passion online -  We needed to tap into these existing behaviours -  Give fans a unique experience -  Show them we really understand the show
  10. 10. The strategyComms strategy Share their obsession! 1.  Prove that we are obsessive 2.  Shout about it
  11. 11. OverviewOur solution We created an ARG (Fight the Apocalypse) with the ultimate prize •  We created competitive armies of obsessed fans •  Launched a nationwide treasure hunt for hidden symbols •  Players could play online or via their mobiles
  12. 12. Developing the plotImmersing fans in the show •  Fight the Apocalypse was closely tied the storyline -  Use of Enochian Sigils -  Building armies to help in fight vs. Lucifer •  Worked with the talent -  Clues, content distributed via microsite –  Use of
  13. 13. Developing the plotGame overview Main game actions (via dedicated microsite): •  Create an army & build profile •  Recruit friends •  Form alliances to gain points •  Collect sigils via fans’ mobiles •  Listen to clues from Angel Castiel •  Take knowledge quiz to prove dedication
  14. 14. The microsite Build Army Players could recruit friends to join their army by email, text and Facebook. Advanced mapping technology Clue Portal feed The latest clues were incorporated in the dashboard, allowing all functions to be carried out from one place. Knowledge is Strength quizManageAlliances Launched half way through the campaign to find most dedicated fans Sigil Collection
  15. 15. A trail of discoveryEnochian Sigils •  Sigils formed the core currency of the game •  Players needed to find & collect 25 unique sigils via MMS Online TV Print Real world Various online sites & TV spots running on Various press titles Including haunted house blogs, forums, fan sites Living TV to remind fans including Metro we created, cemeteries & including SFX, AOL, that the show had moved other spooky locations YouTube, Digital Spy, to a new home, Flickr, Bizarre
  16. 16. Initial resultsUnprecedented uptake
  17. 17. Clues & contentUsing content to enhance the ARG •  The clue portal was one of the most exciting features of the ARG. Candyspace worked with Warner Bros’ scriptwriters to ensure scripts were on character •  Clues were released the portal through the game in video & text formatLucifer’s warning to the Angel Castiel’s video Fan clues UK cluesWe created a video with Lucifer Angel (Mischa Collins) filmed We engaged UK’s most to seed the game and create 10 video clues to guide fans dedicated fans to record one- anticipation towards the Sigils off special clues for the game
  18. 18. Clues & contentSocial – the glue of the gameTwitter Facebook Fan forums Some fan commentsMain communication channel Incorporated into build army Fans had created forumsfor the game mechanic just to discuss and•  Clue updates released via •  Players able to invite friends collaborate on the game. official ARG Twitter via FB Connect •  Find new friends to ally•  Fans used channel to discuss •  Players used FB to create with all things Fight the their own campaigns & •  Swap Sigils Apocalypse promote own armies •  Discuss and speculate on •  (One person even threw a the next clue to be party, promoted on FB to get released new recruits)
  19. 19. Real world activityThe Grand Finale We hosted a real-world grand finale staged at The Mall: •  The car with the final sigil with a special 1st find bonus of 5m points •  Fans for given clues about the final link in the chain during the week leading up to the event •  The clue to the car’s location was released in the form of a riddle at 1pm distributed via Twitter, SMS & the mobile site
  20. 20. The resultsIt worked! •  Audience figures exceeded ITV2’s peak •  16,000 armies created •  Average dwell time @ 14mins •  New audience brought in -  29% not watched it before •  Supernatural viewers watched other Living TV shows
  21. 21. Nintendo Coin RushUnleashing a realworld hunt forgamers
  22. 22. Nintendo Coin rushBackground •  Latest version of a successful franchise on new piece of hardware (3DS) •  Large existing Facebook community
  23. 23. Nintendo Coin rushThe challenge 1.  Drive conversation/involvement with latest version of franchise 2.  Engage existing fans online & in real world 3.  Drive sales & pre-orders (h/w & s/w)
  24. 24. Nintendo Coin rushOur solution We devised a digital treasure hunt to captivate and engage fans. Fans needed to collect coin codes that were hidden online & in the real world •  Gameplay was carried out via a dedicated Facebook App that could be played on web and mobile •  Coin codes were sporadically delivered via online & offline channels for fans to hunt down
  25. 25. ChannelsFinding coins •  Players needed to collect coin codes that were hidden online & in the real world to win prizes Paid channels Owned channels Earned channels Real world Various sites, blogs & fan forums. Use of Nintendo UK’s sites Extensive use of Twitter & FB to Codes hidden at Nintendo events & Formats included video, banners & including Official Nintendo distribute clues, content & codes. GAME stores across UK editorial features (e.g. in IGN) Magazine & UK site Facebook acted a central hub for activity
  26. 26. Nintendo Coin rushCollecting coins •  Players installed the Coin Rush Facebook App and submitted codes they found •  The App could be viewable online and via players’ mobiles •  The more coins they collected, the better the prizes they received!
  27. 27. Nintendo Coin rushResults •  Game generated fantastic buzz for Nintendo’s new release •  20% increase in Facebook Likes on NUK’s 3DS channel •  25% conversion rate on FB shares •  25,000 codes redeemed
  28. 28. Nintendo Coin rushInsight from campaign •  High number of low level prizes drive interactions (perceived to be more achievable) •  People will do anything to win -  Need robust plans around how do deal with cheats (before game kicks off) •  Short, quick burst of activity worked
  29. 29. Final thoughts
  30. 30. CandyspaceKey things to remember •  Know your audience •  Keep gameplay simple •  Promotion strategy is key •  Add in real-world interaction (content/events) •  Prepare messaging strategy (customer support, ‘challenges’) •  Factor in lots of time (2-3 months standard)
  31. 31. Keep in touchThank you! Nick Shadbolt Account Director candyspace media ltd 4 Turnham Green Terrace Mews London W4 1 QU Nick.shadbolt[at]