Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Are you Game???

There has been an exponential increase in online game playing population in India. With the increased penetration of Internet, usage of Games as an entertainment medium has gained extreme popularity. All types of games are being readily accepted by Indian Internet audience, be it a free flash game or a fish breeding game in a Social networking site – people are SPENDING their TIME in this. Even the Orkut obsessed country like India made a shift to Facebook just to sow their Farm, feed their Fish and enact a Mafia..! The so called Facebook apps/games attracted immense interest in the Indian audience and thus had a manifold increase in their member list and usage.

The above example just describes a pattern on how people react to an idea which is interesting and INVOLVING. Using games as a platform to increase visibility and for branding purposes is known as ‘ADVERgaming’. A novel and innovative concept is the need of the hour, gone are the days where you can establish your Brand just on the basis of flooding media with advertisements. People these days are inundated with advertisements in their daily life and their Brand Recall has diminished due to this. So advertisers thought of doing something that will engross their target customers/existing customers and in a way indirectly enrich their brand.

And GAMING was the answer..! Initially companies used games to persuade customers spend more time on their Websites. The response for this was enthralling and it led to use of games as a proper advertising medium. Thus Advergaming came to scene.

In Indian Scenario, an excellent example for this can be the game launched by the Mahindra Automotive Group. They already had 2 very successful brands in their kitty – Scorpio & Bolero. Both the SUV’s were the most popular ones in the Indian Market. As we know that good Brands can create cult status only if they are out of the box and deliver to their promises incessantly. The Brand Managers thought why not launch a game with the youth segment in mind. And the specifications of the game were designed accordingly (like bringing in the Kanha reserves, Himalayas and Thar Desert in the background); this in a way allowed these vehicles to be projected as true OFF-ROADERS..!

And boy, this attempt of Mahindra was a great success. It won two prestigious awards at the FICCI BAF Awards 2010 viz., 'Best Online Game and 'Best Producer (Game Developer)'. And just in three months time Mahindra had one million unique visitors registered with a total number of eight million plays..!
Several companies in India, like ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Airtel, etc. have advertised their products using games. ICICI Prudential had developed a game by featuring its mascot; Chintamani wherein Chintamani plays several roles like a doctor, a gym instructor and asks the customers about their financial and medical information. The character also suggests some insurance plans according to the customers' needs. Similar things are done in mobile platform to reach to a wider audience. Even many Bollywood movies have used this formula!! Like our very own 3 idiots -




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