Boosting Brand Awareness - How to use Branded Games the right way
Together with the streetwear and lifestyle retailer SNIPES and the global brand Converse, we at Demodern developed a branded minigame for the social feed of the SNIPES app, whose revolutionary e-commerce concept thus enters the next round.
The project was about tapping the potential of branded games as a marketing tool for customer loyalty for the app. Our overall goal was to increase brand awareness among a young, stylish target group for the new Converse Pro-Leather and ultimately create a gamified path to the SNIPES store.
What are Branded Games?
For several years, branded games continue to be a refreshing way to reach potential customers in an intrinsic way and get them excited about the brand and product. They are recording huge growth and interaction rates of over 40% over the previous year, particularly in times of pandemic, in the mobile app economy. At the same time, they also offer the opportunity to create targeted and sustainable brand experiences without giving the feeling of a continuous advertising show. The playful staging of products, in the form of game elements, sensitize us to the brand and make it seem tangible.
The fact that big brands develop their own mini-games to increase their brand awareness is nothing new. A few examples are Gucci, Louis Vuitton or Adidas, which have used mini-games to promote seasonal campaigns or products.
What is our Branded Game about?
In our case, the implementation and coordination had to be quick on the production side; strategically, the game had to allow sufficient space for product staging in addition to the entertainment factor.
Due to the in-app integration, however, the most important point was that we had to use an intuitive and familiar game logic in order to reach casual gamers, in particular the ones who would simply scroll through the SNIPES app and get hooked on the game through a catchy teaser alone.
After all, an in-app minigame that finds itself in a feed of user-generated content should be able to do one thing above all else: Surprise and offer a visual break from selfies & product tagging.
RUN PRO-LEATHER RUN!
To achieve our goals, in collaboration with SNIPES and Converse we decided to use the tried and tested principle of an endless runner. The reason was as trivial as it was catchy. We wanted to promote not only the brand but also a specific shoe, and what do you do with shoes? You run them. As simple as that.
An Endless Runner Game is a well-known and popular pattern, which can be implemented at short notice due to its low complexity. It also gives the user great pleasure thanks to its entertaining nature. Given its short but exciting game duration, the principle of "Endless Runner" therefore increases not only its replayability, but also the potential addiction factor.
The Product Hero
The basic goal of the game is to collect as many collectibles as possible while the difficulty level increases continuously in order to break the high score. The spotlight is on the Converse Pro-Leather, which has its origins in basketball and hip-hop culture. The Pro-Leather is still an icon today and therefore more than just a shoe for these subcultures.
To do justice to this role and create an authentic user experience, we decided to develop an on-brand environment that reflects the cultural and sporting significance of the Converse Pro-Leather at the retailer Snipes.
Design and Realization
The result is a minigame that takes the user through a world of street basketball, challenging him to overcome various obstacles, such as chewing gum or puddles, and thus keep the Pro-Leather shoe clean. But that's not all: In order to crack the high score of the mini-game, the user has to collect as many Converse shoe boxes as possible. This can be done either regularly or with the help of the unlocked "Magnet" bonus collectible, which magically attracts the shoe boxes, or the "Power Up" bonus collectible, which increases the speed of the game. All game interactions, such as jumping and dodging, are of course done via swipe.
The project was realized with the help of our own 3D modeling and technical development based on Unity DOTS. The latter has the advantage that the game can be sustainably expanded to be ready for ballin' in the short term.