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Using Viral Advergames For Worldwide Advertising and Marketing

Aug 28, 2008
Branded online games are being used more and more as an advertising medium by everyone from small businesses to big worldwide brands, but can branded games really help as part of your marketing efforts?

Branded online games (or Advergames as they are commonly known) can be one of the most effective viral marketing agents, if used correctly. Unlike traditional advertising and marketing methods, Advergames can engage your audience and encourage repeat interactions with your brand, making the campaign far more memorable and greatly increasing your chance of making sales. You can also guide your audience (and make it easier for them) to take the desired action. Web links can be directed to an online store selling your product or service and a 'send to a friend' function can be incorporated to not only encourage passing on, but make it much easier to do so.

An Advergame can be successful on it's own merits. If the game is good, people will want to play it and pass it on. If that game happens to incorporate your marketing message then you're looking at massive brand exposure. A good viral Advergame can expose your brand to millions worldwide, for around the cost of a couple of glossy magazine adverts. Plus they don't expire like most forms of traditional advertising. After the initial cost they will continue to work and provide a return indefinately. Despite the advantages over more traditional marketing, Advergames do have their pitfalls.

It's always important to focus on creating something of value to the user. Many Advergame developers focus on the advertising part and make the actual game a means to an end, just a way to get the advert circulated. The resulting poor game provides not only little incentive to play and interact with your brand, but a poor brand experience for the user. This is why it's always important to hire an Advergame designer who has the specialist knowledge of video game design and development needed to create a great game for your brand.

Another crucial part of any successful viral marketing campaign is the distribution process, or 'seeding' as it is known. Without this process your Advergame will probably just end up sitting on your website, getting very little exposure, regardless of how good it is. Any experienced viral Advergame developer should be able to launch your campaign with a bang, get it out in front of an initial audience of hundreds of thousands and guarantee it's success.

Many businesses are still sticking with the safe option by allocating the bulk of marketing budgets to traditional advertising and marketing channels, despite the fact that a large proportion of these costly methods are known to provide limited exposure and minimal return. Companies taking this route are missing out on the massive worldwide exposure that viral Advergames can provide. As long as you use a developer who is experienced in both the development of Advergames and the viral seeding needed to make them a success, they can put your brand in front of millions worldwide and provide a great longer term advertising opportunity for small and big business alike.
About the Author
Simon Walklate is co-owner of Bristol UK based Flash Animation and Motion Graphic Designers The Motion Monkey who specialise in Viral Marketing and Advertising with Advergames.
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