Advergaming – the Good and the Pointless

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Advergaming is a growing trend in online promotion. Even Microsoft plans to get in the game (MarketingVox)
In an earlier post (Advergaming – When Done Right it Works) I wrote that advergaming, if done right, can definitely drive results. To do this, the game must be relevant and fun for the player and the marketer must be able to track results – so you can prove it is working.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of advergaming that I have come across and let’s see how they fare.


*Tim Horton’s*
Tim Horton’s, the real Canadian “coffee house”, recently launched a microsite called GuyLogical targeted at the younger male demographic. One of the advergames on the site, GuyLogical Goalie, asks players to choose to block “shots” by clicking on things that would appeal less to guys. While the graphics are fine the game seems pointless. I asked a number of people in the targeted demographic to play and the ratings were unanimously low.
_GuyLogical Goalie Rating – Relevance: Poor; Fun: Poor; Tracking: Poor._
*Skittles*
Skittles.com has long been known as a site featuring many online advergames targeted at kids. I took a look at one game in particular, the Sour Skittles Race. In this game a player navigates a course on a skateboard while trying to throw sour Skittles into the mouths of bystanders. Generally this is a fun and relevant game.
_Sour Skittles Race Rating – Relevance: Moderate; Fun: High; Tracking: Moderate_
*United Airlines*
A while ago I heard about an advergaming promotion for United Airlines. In the United Airlines Trivia Challenge (this promo is now over but you can still access a version of it here) players compete to score points and win prizes by answering trivia questions. The unique thing here is that players are rewarded for memorizing marketing messages! This is not about slapping a logo into a game; the game becomes the vehicle and the questions are the marketing message.
_United Airlines Trivia Challenge – Relevance: Excellent; Fun: Moderate; Tracking: Excellent_
In the end, three very different advergaming examples; two seem relevant, one virtually pointless.
What do you think? Let me know what advergaming promotions you think are good… or pointless. Post a comment or email me.

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2 thoughts on “Advergaming – the Good and the Pointless

  1. Stefan Eyram

    I just checked and it seems the whole GuyLogical site is down. Since it has an “under construction” message on the home page one might surmise they pulled the plug on it. I have seen a number of negative comments about the site, including suggestions it was sexist, so it doesn’t seem too far-fetched if Tim Horton’s pulled the plug completely.

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