Social gaming is one of the up-and-coming marketing phenomena of our times, with games overtaking Facebook and other websites all over the UK and the world. Similar to the popular Sims games, these games allow users to create virtual lives with a twist; they can interact and social network with other users while playing. Whether you are interested in running a farm or running a college sorority, there is sure to be a role playing game perfect for you.
However, there is more to this movement that fun and games. These websites and the games that they promote offer invaluable marketing and branding opportunities for companies both in the UK and throughout the world. Because users spend a great deal of time playing on their favourite sites, there are literally hours every day per person that marketing messages can be subtly offered. Logos and brands can be placed in a variety of different situations, possibly adding new facets and promoting brand versatility. Best of all, players may begin to associate the brand and logo design of the sponsoring company with the enjoyment they receive from the game itself, creating unstoppable momentum.
The Walt Disney Company, which for all of its corporate faults remains a branding genius, has recently recognized the power of social gaming and taken steps to harness it. The company recently bought Playdom, a social media gaming site popular in the UK and the United States, for over 500 million American dollars.
Launched less than three years ago, Playdom now boasts two of the most popular social networking games on the internet and brings in an astonishing millions of new players every month. This presents an enormous potential market for marketing the Disney brand and logo design. Disney plans to add some of their own well-known characters to the website’s games, keeping the characters in the public consciousness in a never ending marketing message aimed at a new, web-savvy audience.
Disney is not the only company looking hopefully at social media gaming. In fact, it seems to be quite a trend. Less than a year ago, London-based website Playfish was bought by Electronic Arts for similar reasons. Google recently invested an enormous and as of yet unverified sum of money in Zynga, the maker of Facebook’s popular Farmville. Clearly marketing via social media and gaming is poised to become the branding technique of the new millennium.
What does this mean for smaller companies? Obviously most businesses in the UK can ill afford to spend hundreds of millions of pounds in a single marketing scheme. However, there are ways to use this strategy on a smaller and more affordable scale. The key is to use the internet to link your brand with social interaction and fun in a way that reaches your target audience. If you have any questions about how this can be accomplished, or if you aren’t sure whether your brand is ready for this kind of exposure, talk to a logo design and branding consultant today.