New name of the game for brand and game developers

Remember the zoom-in on the name plate of a car in that blockbuster moview... or the hero quaffing a well known make of drink? That's  so yesterday!  Advertisers' placements have come to the world of Games.The Digital Gaming industry is a $200 million industry today. Zapak, a leading gaming portal with over 5 million unique users on its network, is a pioneer in what is being called of Advergaming in India. We bring you a heads-up on this new trend: Advergames are games developed to promote a particular brand. For example an automobile manufacturer featuring the exact makes and model of a SUV in an off-roading game. As players advance in the game, they could update to a higher model SUV and also select upgraded vehicle features. For an end user it is like any other game he/she would play with proper game play but inside the game, some brands are promoted directly or indirectly. 

The concept worldwide has been around since gaming became mainstream. However in India it came to the force with Zapak leading the way in 2006, by creating popular gaming destinations and then pitching that to brands for leveraging the reach. It is usual for brands to look for engaging & interactive ways to reach their consumers and gaming was a natural way for them to achieve thisHow is adver gaming beneficial to a particular brand or company?
Brands today look to engage their consumers in a far more interactive fashion than earlier, where only mainstream media would be get brand manager’s attention. Gaming is the stickiest and most engaging platform for the young. Brands who do advergaming can reach their end users in a non-intrusive way where a target gets the brand’s message in a fun-filled and interesting way. Today there are at least 50 million gamers in India across the PC & mobile space --mostly casual. So brands can possibly leverage these highly active, tech savvy, new age consumers.
Advergames would need a platform for users to experience it. On the PC, it would need a destination where users come and play games, hence destinations like or play important role there. Similarly on mobile devices, they would need to know from where they can download these games hence the easy availability of these games across handsets should be made. Advergames cannot succeed unless backed by a proper ecosystem and technology
Zapak has developed games for over 450 plus brands in the last 6 years.They are currently promoting a puzzle contest for Mentos titled “Circuit Challenge”. It is available both online as well as on mobile. Some of the examples in the past year is Paddlepop Gaming League (HUL) & Mahindra Great Escape – Thar Edition ( Mahindra & Mahindra ). They are also working on a project with Domex for a PC game.
The Advergame market today is valued at $10million in India. It is not very big -- but it was just $3 million about 2 years back. It is expected to cross $50 million in the next 2 years. One of the newest technologies in the gaming world which is called  Augmented Reality is being introduced in India. It is a technology that creates a real-world environment in which the sensory inputs detect sound, video, movement and graphics.

May 15 2012