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4 Common Missed Opportunities in Reskinning Games for Brands and Agencies

by Ben Chong on 10/25/19 10:39:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

4 Common Missed Opportunities in Reskinning Games for Brands and Agencies

Based on our observation, we see five common missed opportunities in reskinning games for marketing campaigns. Whether these come from advertisers, developers, or brands, there is a recurring list of missed potentials and opportunities that can really give a home run to their brands. 


Missed Opportunity 1: Forgetting to implement branded characters in the game reskin project

This may sound too rudimentary to even make it into our list. After all, most brands have their own identities or personas through mascots and other brand characters. All brands need to do is send us the assets to implement their own characters into their games. Whether it’s a product, a corporate logo, or a mascot, our creative team can figure out how best to integrate these things into a game. 

For instance, if the product to be advertised is a beverage (eg: a soda water can), our creative team can easily personify that soda water can into life, such as animating a character and inserting that character into an endless runner game. This setup instantly makes an emotional connection to the consumer.  

Brands often look at a game project as a separate, standalone experience and not an integral part of a campaign. If they view it as an element that’s tied closely to the core goals of the campaign, there’s a lot more opportunity and consumer engagement to be won.

Our most successful clients are those that attached their characters to their new game reskins. Take a look at this project by Bobbies - a luxury women’s shoe designer brand based in Paris.

They completely transformed a simple fruit-slicing game concept into a Christmas-themed online competition that included their iconic Pelican character, along with their best-selling shoe designs, as part of the gameplay.

Their game quickly became a frenzy with over 1,500 players competing within the first 24 hours. It was such a success that they followed it up with another online game contest a year after.

Miss Opportunity 2: Not having clear goals of the project

Game reskins need to have goals in order to succeed. Yet, having clear and attainable goals is an entirely different story. One of the best methods to set a well-defined goal is to answer the five ‘W’ questions.

Who: Who is my target audience?
What: What do I want to accomplish?
Where: Where do I want to deploy my game reskin?
When: When will I start and end my campaign?
Why: Why do I want to achieve this goal?

To best answer these questions, let’s use an example. Check out our Toyota’s branded mini-game case study. Here’s a brief outline: 

What: the game’s main goal is to showcase the new Tundra’s truck maximum towing capacity (10,000 lbs)
Why: the brand wanted to inform their target buyers about the new model’s improvement
Who & Where: localized to appeal to French audiences since the marketing campaign was going to be held in France
When: the entirety of the product launch event for the new Tundra truck models

In Toyota’s marketing campaign, all the prerequisites of a clear goal have been covered. On top of that, their goal is measurable and attainable through the number of gameplays.


Missed Opportunity 3: Wanting to launch on Google Play/App Store

Launching on a native app platform on the first game release can be difficult right now. This type of distribution increases development time due to the platform’s legal and operational policies. 

Sticking to HTML5 web is often the best solution because HTML5 games run directly from all browsers of smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops. Furthermore, it’s extremely easy to distribute HTML5 game links on social media, which amplifies the user base multiple times. HTML5 offers instant gaming - all the user needs to, is to click on the link, and the game loads in their browser within 5 - 30 seconds, depending on the size of the game. This is so much faster and less hassle. No downloads; just instant play.

Once we find success outside of the app distribution industry, then we can start building versions for Google Play or Apple Store. We highly recommend a step by step approach, before venturing further into complex goals.


Missed Opportunity 4: Not collecting leads (Very Big Opportunity)

While players are having fun, not collecting marketing leads is a terribly missed potential. 
Quality lead generation is important as it allows a business to increase traffic, which in turn increases conversion rates or sales. 

Brands and agencies often skip lead generation since the strategy also increases time and budget. That being said, we still recommend collecting leads in game campaigns, if you have a plan to nurture those leads. 

The little effort done on lead gen can take a game to a whole new level of favorable outcomes. Here’s a great idea for collecting leads with game reskins. We worked with a Food and Beverage (F&B) brand in the United States to develop a game called “Bubble Popper” as part of its brand discovery and customer retention campaign.

The game utilized a different kind of online contest and rewards system. Players are required to register and use access codes to join the online contest. These access codes can only be acquired from the bottle caps of the brand's products. 

As a result, this lead gen strategy created a strong interest for customers to patronize the brand. Sales increased with the number of gameplays, as gameplay directly affects conversion.

Closing Remark

There are still many missed opportunities out there, that can be easily spotted and taken with proper project planning. We hope this list will guide you on your next project.

If you need help with rebranding games, feel free to visit our Game Reskin page. We break it down into actionable insights and answers for any prospective brand looking to make a difference in consumer’s lives.


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