Why 5 Big Brand Marketing Campaigns are Betting Big on Social Gaming

The answer: Because their agency partner convinced them to buy a shiny new social game.

In a recent article by Mashable author Brian Anthony Hernandez titled Why 5 Big Brand Marketing Campaigns are Betting Big on Social Gaming, Brian attempts to tout the big wins coming from social gaming. To be completely transparent, I am a social gaming skeptic, but was eager to understand how brands were successfully leveraging this buzzing tactic. Upon reading this article I am more skeptical than ever.

The reason is in the results, or lack thereof. Here are the “results” that marketers and their agency partners point to:

  • “92% of We City players have incorporated Century 21-branded structures into their virtual cities”
  • Martercard game got “30,000 Likes and gets more than 80% of visits from returning visitors. On average, gamers spend 45 minutes on the game page each visit.”
  • “After the launch, users’ time on the Psych website increased from an average of 14 minutes to 22 minutes…”

The only thing this proves is that people like to play games and if you put a game on your site people will play it. Unless the objective was to have someone play games on your site, I don’t see the brand benefit.

All marketers should reserve 10% of their budget each quarter to test and trial new ideas and tactics like social gaming. However, until there are tangible ROMOs from these trials, let’s agree that its just for fun.


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