Why Make Branded Games (5 Use Cases)
1st November 2022 by Chris Drake
In the previous piece, we focused on what branded games (aka branded mini games or advergames) are. Essentially video games focused on promoting a particular brand, product or service. As such, branded games offer the opportunity to entertain audiences, (unlike ads that tend to interrupt or annoy and in doing so drive behaviour like ad-blocking). Because branded games have this entertainment value, they enable brands to spend longer periods of time with their target audience and connect with them in a positive way. This positive connection can drive positive results for businesses. Below are 5 uses for branded games, connected to where they are distributed, with examples of games developed by Flarie.
1. In Paid or Earned Media (Engagement)
Branded games can be distributed in paid media, both online as an alternative to standard display ads or video, and even offline via tools like QR codes. There is a body of evidence to show that people generally do not like ads and many people actively avoid them by ad-blocking or investing in subscription services. Branded games in contrast deliver higher engagement and a positive experience. This leads to higher brand / product recall and positivity towards the brand, making brands more likely to be chosen at the counter. There are also additional mechanics that can be added to make the game experience even better - for example giving away samples to participants or winners.
Example: Oral B used Flarie branded games in social media to launch a new toothpaste. Whilst Subway used Flarie branded games in display to launch a new sandwich.
2. On Website (Conversion)
Branded games can also be distributed on websites to enable longer time spent on site. Low session durations and high bounce rates (landing on one page and then deciding to leave) are clear indicators of how people feel about your website and of course this is directly related to conversions or sales. Branded games are a great tool to address this, especially if they are well designed, fun, allow a community to comment on them, and/or you connect to other elements on your websites. This is true whether you have a content, B2B or ecommerce/retail site.
The supermarket chain Lidl used Flarie branded games to promote their super fresh fruit and vegetable selection, and had a specific campaign page on their website.
Lookfantastic beauty eCommerce site used Flarie branded games to reward visitors with discount codes to be used at their online check-out.
3. Service (Retention)
In the same way that branded games can be distributed on websites to improve conversions, they can also be distributed as part of the broader service offerings to drive high retention and loyalty. For example this could be part of an app user experience or as part of physical experience, for example sports, theme parks or music venues. It could also extend to CRM (community relationship management) activities like social or newsletters. Fundamentally this involves making the experience more enjoyable or simply better.
The fintech company Klarna, used Flarie branded games in their app to reward people for paying their bills.
4. 1st Party Data Collection
Across all the above use cases, mechanics can be added to collate 1st party data - for example via a ‘form fill’. People are increasingly aware of giving away their email addresses if there is no value exchange. Branded games are therefore one of the best tools to deliver on this given that the user gets immediate and direct value of playing the game by providing their information. The Flarie solution allows brands to also connect the branded games solution directly to their own tech platform to allow an easy and free flow of data. The data can be used for better insights (via customer data platforms), better audience building (via data management platforms) or operations (via customer relationship management platforms).
5. Loyalty Programmes
Once a loyal customer base has been built through a loyalty programme, brands of course need to keep customers loyal by continually surprising and rewarding them with added value. Brands can no longer get away with just offering simple discounts. If brands want to build strong relationships with customers, they need to appeal to their emotions. Branded games are therefore a great mechanic to bring loyalty programmes to life. Not only are games enjoyable but they increase the feeling of achievement and the likelihood that any offers are actually redeemed. Flaries “Studio” platform allows brands to manage various games over a longer period of time and offer rewards for achievements in game or earnings points.
The Nordic fuel company INGO, used Flarie Studio as a central pillar of their loyalty programme, which has its main interface as their app. Players compete in weekly competitions to win points to access free fuel.