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Business – Catch them young with advergaming

K Rajani Kanth

Consider this. Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Entertainment’s gaming subsidiary “Zapak” alone has executed advergaming campaigns for over 300 brands across online casual game and mobile gaming genres.

An advergame is a custom-made game built around the attributes of a brand. The game is built around an objective which the brand manager wants to convey to the audience. The brand is the hero of the game and the consumer plays it to have fun. By the end of the activity, the gamer ends up learning a lot about the brand. The market for advergaming is projected to touch $68 billion by 2012 in the US alone.

Sample this: The AXE deodorant brand “talks” to young males, and hence Zapak has made an advergaming campaign – – for it. “With a fresh lingo and bright colours, the theme of this advergame itself is all about ‘getting the girlfriend of my choice’. A young brand has made a ‘youthful’ advergame, targeted mainly at the younger set of Indian male audience. However, the way the advergame is built attracts men of all ages from India by simply highlighting the fact that they are never too old for a ‘quick game’,” says Arun Mehra, chief marketing officer of Zapak.

“Considering online usage is on an average quite young in India, with 70 per cent below 30 years, it will be a generalisation if we say it’s the young India that advergames, online ad community and gaming are targeted at. Kids (5-12 years) and women (up to 45 years) are as eager and as involved in advergaming as the younger male target group is,” adds Mehra.

Besides the FMCG sector, food and beverage brands, entertainment and media, retail, travel and tourism, telecom, education and lifestyle are the other segments, are increasingly adopting advergaming.

Insurance companies like ICICI Prudential Life and IDBI Fortis too are using this interactive medium, developed by Mumbai-based Contests2Win, to explain complex products to consumers in a fun-interactive manner. Consumer profiling for insurance products and risk profiling are also done through advergaming. “Insurance and finance companies are increasingly understanding the potential of the interactivity to explain complex jargon through simple walk-throughs,” says Raj Menon, chief operating officer of Contests2Win.

Brands do not primarily look at advergames for revenues, says Menon. “Typically, a consumer spends 3 minutes on an advergame and an advergame generates 25,000 responses ie 75,000 interactive minutes spent on a brand. Brand owners cannot buy that in traditional media,” he says.

At present, Contests2Win gets 25 per cent of its revenues from advergaming campaigns. In the next couple of years, it expects the share of branded entertainment products to touch at least 40 per cent.

Nitin Mittersain, chief executive of Nazara Technologies, however, says that advergaming can especially be seen on new and popular platforms such as iPhone where there are a lot of free advertisement-driven games.

“Internationally, mobile games accrue 20 per cent of their revenues from advertising as many companies are providing games for free. At present, less than 3 per cent of our revenues comes through games advertising. However, over the next two years it is expected to grow to at least 25 per cent with the key growth drivers being the mass market distribution of mobile games and more awareness among advertisers of this interactive medium,” Mittersain adds.

January 7, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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