We all love to play computer games… well I know I do, so what happens when a company makes a game that helps you to remember their brand and makes you feel favourably towards them? This is happening a lot these days.
In around 2003 I was really into the clothing and lifestyle brand Emily The Strange. On their website was a really cool game called Homework hex and I would play it all the time. It’s kind of like checkers. That was the beginning of associating game content with a brand.
These days companies integrate games onto social networking site such as Facebook to encourage users to invite friends to play which increases Facebook fans for the brand and of course grows the brand salience.
Farmville is a cult favourite game on Facebook and Lady Gaga took it over a few months ago with her own areas of the game. McDonalds has also had a virtual presence in Farmville. With over 70 million active Farmville users (that stat sounds crazy high to me) this is a big marketing coup to capture the types of people that I imagine would play Farmville.
Real estate company Century 21 here in Australia has just launched an innovative new game where users are given $1 million to buy and sell real estate in a virtual neighbourhood to become a property mogul. CLICK HERE TO PLAY. It fuses the online world with the real world in a very clever way. When you log your postcode you are helped along in the game by your very own local real estate agent who is in avatar form… but is actually based on the real person. It also integrates properties that are on the market right now and you gain badges for achievements. If you visit a Century 21 open inspection and speak to an agent you can gain extra points for the game. Players can also entice their friends to start playing too.
I think this game would appeal more to women, probably because its kind of like The Sims and I know how much I like The Sims!
I think this is an incredibly smart social media marketing strategy and idea for Century 21 in a growing real estate market where new companies seem to be springing up over night. This game creates good will and a like factor that would encourage players to contact Century 21 and their virtual/real life agent if they needed to buy or sell a house. That’s what real estate is all about right? Creating relationships and trust with vendors so that the real estate agent can make some money! Century 21 hasn’t done a lot of advertising of their brand as far as I am aware and this is a modern and innovative step.
Good job Century 21!
Have you ever been sold to through gamification channels?