Monday, May 19, 2008

Let Consumers Play With Your Brand

Ironman, a recent blockbuster release featuring a whole lot of Audi's and Robert Downey Jr was said to have made US$100 million in it's first week. I'm sure many would agree that this is quite a sizable return. However, last month's eagerly awaited release of Grand Theft Auto IV by Rockstar Games brought home a record of $500 million in it's opening week.

There have been many more gaming titles released over the past 12 months such as Halo 3, as well as the next installment of the "Call of Duty" series. Consider further the family-orientated Wii gaming platform, the $18 billion industry is clearly quite a healthy and profitable one.

So how are marketers capitalising on this buoyant platform? EA Games' evergreen Sims franchise have already had BP on board for the petrol giant's educational green campaign. More recently, IKEA have produced an add-on in order to turn "your Sims' living room into a haven of comfort and relaxation" with a whole range of IKEA furniture and decor. EA have also struck a deal with Ford previously to enable Sims players' characters to own a Focus or Mustang car. To date, 2.7m Ford add-ons have been sold.

By keeping the branding and messaging relevant to the gaming platform and adding value to the user experience, brands can certainly gain a whole lot of return on their investment, especially with gaming on the increase.