Digital Hollywood L.A. 2011:The Gaming Addiction
Digital Hollywood: The Gaming Addiction
By Patty Rappa
Ritz Carlton Hotel,Marina del Rey,CA(Hollywood Today)10/23/11/–Just a short time ago games were those things stored in boxes that you took out from the “game closet” and played during the family-get-together. An even shorter time ago the mention of gaming would bring about pictures of nerds gathered around computers drinking Mountain Dew and clicking away on keyboards for hours on end. This picture is now changing and rapidly.
The age of casual and social gaming has developed a new picture that includes a different variety of player. The vast majority of users of casual games are females ranging from the age of thirty-something to forty-something. Also worth mentioning is the fact that these women account for 85% of all consumer purchases and spend more than $5 trillion annually
on customer goods and services (according to Mindshare/Ogilvy & Mather
It’s easy to understand why Digital Hollywood would invite Jeff Pray of Starcom – a media communications agency, Rob Oshima of PlayFirst – creators of social and casual games, amongst others to host a panel to discuss how brands might interact with consumers on this new and growing platform.
I think the biggest take-away from this session was simply to “make it fit”. Advertisers and game developers need to be careful that – as Rob Oshima put it “…your brand and the game make sense”
. Making sure your brand placement doesn’t take away from the overall game experience is an important factor. If you lose the player immersion – how connected they feel to the game world – you lose the stickiness of the game and in turn you lose the player. For instance, it might not make sense to create a brand-name sports-car for Farmville; unless of course it was equipped with the workings of a combine.
I like how Jeff Pray put it when he said “We want some brand recognition, but we don’t want to smack people in the face with it”
. This shows the importance of doing a great job of not only making sure you don’t overwhelm the user with brand placement but just as importantly that you make sure that the brand makes sense as part of the game experience.
It’s definitely a new era with a wide array of burgeoning possibilities to interact with potential customers through the various casual gaming vehicles. However, I would tell advertisers to keep the old saying in mind – Just because you can doesn’t mean you should
. Take the time to determine if your brand is a good fit for the advertising vehicle. Then, make sure you implement your branding in a way that makes sense for the game environment and ultimately the player.
Business Team LLC.
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