根据作者Brian Anthony Hernandez引用的数据，到2012年底，美国社交游戏玩家数预计达到6870万。那些大品牌不会忽略此等事实，许多会提供品牌化的虚拟商品，把广告、推广与游戏进行整合，将数字世界和现实世界的动机结合起来。
MasterCard便是个使用社交游戏吸引顾客的公司。在《You Play, We Give campaign》中，玩家可以射击该品牌Facebook页面上的小球。玩家每玩1分钟，MasterCard就会为Junior Achievement Hudson Valley捐赠10美分。此刻，已有3.6万人“赞”过公司页面，MasterCard向慈善机构的捐赠也超过10万美元！
流行歌手Lady Gaga上个月也与《FarmVille》展开合作，开始在一个新合作站点GagaVille上提供《Born This Way》专辑的新歌曲。据Entertainment Weekly所述，玩家可以通过完成简单任务来解锁音乐。
Jane McGonigal在2010 TED大会上发表题为“Gaming Can Make a Better World”的演讲，充满激情地阐述了游戏如何帮助我们改善社交状况和生活。她表示游戏有下列好处：清晰且强烈的目标；适合我们能力和技能的挑战；提供努力提升技能的机会；非经济性奖励和认知；有机会成为拯救世界的英雄。
《Game Frame: Using Games As a Strategy for Success》作者Aaron Dignan表示，人们选择游戏是因为他们对学习、工作和生活感到厌烦，游戏提供了个逃避的空间。McGonigal引用了一项数据，玩家每周在网游上花费的时间多达30亿小时！
Trends We’re Watching: Social Game Marketing
I’m not a gamer, but I can’t help noticing that games have become a big part of how marketers are engaging consumers with their brands; Foursquare, for example, is a game that rewards people for “checking in.” In fact, there’s an official name for games used in marketing: social game marketing.
Mashable ran an excellent post showcasing five brands that have incorporated social gaming into their marketing.
According to stats cited by author Brian Anthony Hernandez, the social gaming population is expected to reach 68.7 million players by the end of 2012. Big brands haven’t ignored this fact, with many offering “branded virtual goods, integrated ads and offers as well as games that combine digital and real-world incentives.”
MasterCard is one company that’s using a social game to engage customers and prospects. In the You Play, We Give campaign, players shoot at colored balls on the brand’s Facebook page. For every minute someone plays, MasterCard donates 10 cents to Junior Achievement Hudson Valley. As of this writing, 36,000 people have “liked” the page and MasterCard has donated over $100,000 to the charity!
Pop star Lady Gaga last month partnered with FarmVille (another huge game played on Facebook) and began offering tracks from her “Born This Way” album on a new partner site — GagaVille. According to Entertainment Weekly, players can “undertake lightweight tasks to unlock tracks.”
Why games matter: they’re part of the human condition
In her 2010 TED talk, Gaming Can Make a Better World, Jane McGonigal gives an impassioned talk about how games can help us improve our society and our lives. Games, she says, offer the following benefits: Clear and compelling goals; Challenges suited to our capabilities/skill level; A chance to work hard to improve our skills; Non-financial rewards and recognition; The chance to become a hero by saving the world.
We all like games, says McGonigal, because they make us feel good. Even more important, research has shown that we like people better after we play a game together, which is why brands like MasterCard and Lady Gaga are using games to connect with their audiences.
According to Aaron Dignan, author of Game Frame: Using Games As a Strategy for Success, people have turned to games because they’re bored — bored at school, at work in their lives — and games offer an escape. In fact, McGonigal cited a statistic that gamers spend 3 billion hours a week playing online games!
I find social game marketing fascinating, especially since many of the ideas being put forth by people like McGonigal and Dignan resonate with what I see in my own life.
Games, says Dignan, give gamers the motivation and internal drive to do something (e.g., get to the next level, meet a challenge, solve a problem, etc.), and they give players the necessary skills and tools to handle the challenges presented — something that’s often missing in real life. They also allow you to score an “epic win” — a positive outcome so extraordinary you can’t even imagine it, according to McGonigal.
While developing a game may not be something your company can implement right now, I highly recommend that you read Game Frame and watch McGonigal’s TED talk if only to gain insight into consumer behavior and how games affect us. Both Dignan and McGonigal are brilliant.
You can also follow how marketers are using games by subscribing to the Inside Social Games blog (scroll down and click the “Marketing” link under “Topics”).
Do you have examples of social game marketing that you like? Let me know in the comments section! (Source: The Heinrich Report Blog)