Advertising getting me off my game

20 Jun

( Post by Marketing Intern Brad Tribbeck)

Over 90% of smartphone users play a mobile game at least once a week, and I am one of them.

I recently downloaded a free game for my phone where I had to serve customers in a restaurant as quickly as possible. I’m never surprised when free games have banner ads built in or, like in this case, pop-up ads. However, the thing that set this game apart is that not only would it present an obtrusive pop-up ad mid-game, it would do it without even pausing the game. Not only was the ad presented right in the middle of the action, it was costing me points just for being there.

What does the advertiser expect the player to do in this scenario? Forget about the game, read their ad, and fall in love with what they are offering? Doubtful. The ad could not be positioned at a worse time – interruption advertising at its ‘finest’. What an awful way to attempt to start off a relationship with a potential customer – by interrupting their gameplay. It’s almost like a new challenge within the game – how fast can you close the ad and get back to the action?

There are other, less frustrating ways to reach gamers. I recently read about a new start-up called Kiip. They have developed an entire business model around the concept of reaching players when they accomplish something within a game. Not only are they reaching them at a positive, momentous time, they are actually rewarding them with real products like snacks or lip gloss for playing. They offer players a gold star for their efforts.

Just as the mobile phone has changed the way we communicate, it needs to change the way we advertise.

Check out the Kiip Video Here:  http://vimeo.com/22201693

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4 Responses to “Advertising getting me off my game”

  1. Eleanor June 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    speaking of interruptions, Doug Brown of Copeland is interrupting the regular workflow at aasman brand communications in Whitehorse by challenging us to a little gaming of our own. In celebration of the solstice, we’re having a midnight sun contest. Guess what time the linked photo was taken and win a $50 amazon gift certificate. guess quick!

    http://bit.ly/m5k5nR

  2. Brad June 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Thanks Eleanor. I’ve got my guess in!

  3. andmerson June 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    This weekend I became addicted to Airport Madness Challenge (try it). There are banner ads at the bottom of the game but I regret to inform the poor paying advertisers that I’ve never once taken the time to read the ads- too busy re-routing airplanes to be bothered. I think Kiip is on to something trying to provide value to players rather than interrupt them.

    I wonder though how Kiip plans to inform players about the possible upcoming rewards. More banners? A unique icon that indicates it’s a Kiip enhanced game? These corporate rewards seem like a good alternative but I wonder if the model is practical.

    Great post Brad.

  4. Brad June 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    Thanks Andrea. It will be interesting to see how Kiip rolls this out. I like the idea of a unique icon or stripe on the app button to indicate Kiip integration and I would definitely place more value on a game that guaranteed me free stuff instead of a pop-up to the face.

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