Is there a place where marketers won’t dare to venture in an attempt to capture a larger market share? According to Old Spice, not really. The male deodorant brand recently released a video game, titled You Land, which offered players a variety of game modes to experience.
Undoubtedly in-game marketing has always existed. And Old Spice isn’t the first non-publishing brand to create video game. 7UP had a terrible iteration in the 90s.
However, Old Spice’s new video game is something of an enigma in the sense that, even though it’s a marketing ploy, it’s been an overnight success. There’s something we – as marketers – can learn from such moves. In fact, here are three insights.
It’s genuinely a marketing ploy
Old Spice’s video game is genuinely a marketing strategy and makes no attempt of hiding it. To begin with, the video game requests to connect to your Facebook profile.
Let’s not kid ourselves, any app requesting access to your social media does so in order to mine data, whether that’s your own or that of your friends.
So this would make people very uneasy about signing up, right? Wrong. While Old Spice might be mining for data, they’re still giving something back in return. When you grant the app access, you’ll see the reward.
Basically the video game uses your own image and that of some of your friends to render 2D (sprite) heroes and some of the other in-game characters. So you play as yourself and come across your Facebook friends while you do so.
It has in-game advertising
In the age of ad-block, in-game adverts would be seen as a thorn in any gamers side. But Old Spice has them, and quite honestly, most people aren’t bothered. That’s because instead of serving the ads up like dreary stale bread from yesterday, the brand uses its refreshing, creative / cheesy narrative to entertain you while you engage in the ads. It’s almost as if the advertisers were satirically taking jabs at mainstream ads and informercials.
The game is genuinely relevant to the audience
You Land is a marketing success gone great. And that’s because Old Spice is a genuinely engaging brand, and they deliver value in their marketing.
Experts have been talking about interactive media for a long time now since smartphones came into the picture, and Old Spice is beginning to capitalise on its potential.
The game excels because it features more engaging content than you can imagine. There are three game modes that are utterly ridiculous in their objectives. One even has your physical body being transformed into a car, while another has you fighting office colleagues with stapler guns. We can’t imagine this will stay off the websites-to-block list in most corporate spaces.
But for the time being, this is probably where content marketing should be headed to. Both the audience and the brand benefit from this exchange. 1UP to you, Old Spice.