Wednesday, October 3, 2007

More fun with advergaming

So, while it isn't terribly recent, I found Burger King's Sneak King in a GameStop the other day and decided I had to try it out. For anyone who hasn't played it or heard of it since it came out late last year, you play as the ever-creepy Burger King and run around trying to surprise people with various food items from the BK menu. It's surprisingly fun for about 15-20 minutes, and every bit worth the $1.99 to play. The key here is that it's fun for 15-20 minutes - which is much longer than anyone ever spends looking over an ad, and it's fun enough, and novel enough that people are willing to pay for it. Check out this video, made months after the game came out, which shows just how involved some people got.

So my question is, why hasn't anything like this come out since? It was an example of advergaming at its finest, getting people really excited about engaging with a product in a medium that is entirely theirs. The vast majority of advergaming consists of examples like the ones I gave last week, with games on the company's website that make it interesting to go to, which is a good start, but that doesn't get anyone interested in the product to begin with. They have to visit the site to even be exposed to those games.

Obviously, the Burger King example would not work with all market segments, but maybe that's not important. In a recent post by Doug Meacham, the point was made that campaigns that try to target everyone are not necessarily the best way to go about things anymore. Marketers who are able to maintain the loyalty of a narrowly defined market are going to see much greater profits, because consumers want to be treated as individuals.

With Sneak King and the other two games that came out at the same time (Pocketbike Racer and Big Bumpin'), as well as the mobile games that are in the works, Burger King reached out to a specific market segment and connected with them on their own terms, instead of just expecting them all to migrate to the Burger King website and trying connect with them there. If more companies took advergaming to that level, they would probably have much greater luck reaching their harder-to-reach target markets.

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