Gamers were once seen as outcasts in the schoolyard, work-shy dreamers and lone rangers who struggled to blend into the real world. But now the old myths are gone. Everyone, from children to an older woman, loves games.
Our planet has increasingly become a paradise for gamers, with Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and a plethora of new game releases.
Yet, not all games are successful in being played and admired by players from all over the world.
In addition to the sheer nature of the game and its ability to draw players with its catchy gameplay, marketing campaigns play an important role to make the game worldwide successful.
Here is a list of some of the most successful online game marketing and advertising campaigns:
Mass Effect 3
This campaign has brought marketing efforts to an entirely new level!
Initially, when the game was released back in 2012 on Valentine's Day, six copies of the game were tied to weather balloons with Gps devices from which the players could control their positions and eventually catch one or more of them.
Image Source: kotaku.com
If players find a landed balloon, then it indicates that they can catch a copy of the video.
Mass Effect 3 was planned for the mass market. A TV commercial from multinational ad agency FCB was also strategically screened as part of the campaign.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Activision's Call of Duty has been promoting their games in some innovative ways!
One of which was a TV Commercial, "There's A Soldier In All Of Us."
In addition to only appealing to gamers who already knew the series, this commercial was also designed to appeal to those less familiar.
Activision also created three spots in the style of a documentary, directed by acclaimed director Amir Bar-Lev and starring Ret. Oliver North and P.W. Singer, author of "Wired for Military."
This game offers a realistic, believable and carefully researched near future. They used marketing to ground the near future of the game in the brand’s credibility.
The marketing initiative was influenced by Activision's Skylanders series and for the first time, action figures and interactive avatars brought Disney and Disney / Pixar's army together.
The marketing drive also included a sweeping campaign on social media that included provocative Facebook messages and Valentine's Day cards.
They built The Infinity Computer (TIM), a tailor-made YouTube experience, to bring the Infinite possibilities to life and to highlight many of the characters and gadgets inside the game.
TIM also made it possible for people to build combinations of characters and gadgets.
Image Source: work.ludomade.com
It can be extremely challenging to create a buzz for a product which has less credibility or market yet, especially in the online game industry.
With that in mind, with a fantastic cinematic announcement trailer, Deep Silver's Dead Island managed to leap this seemingly huge hurdle.
The Axis Animation is behind this game; and they have chosen to put all their marketing efforts on a beautiful and somewhat surprising video trailer that crossed more than millions of views on YouTube.
With so many game-related videos out there, being one of the most viewed game videos of the year on YouTube is no easy feat, but that's what the Fallout 4 trailer accomplished.
They also delighted fans to go along with the game with an unexpected companion app and gave them a preview of its final release..
And that’s not all!
They also launched a soda based on a drink from the game, a video series showing all the different skills you should try out in the game, and a Fallout Chat feature with game-themed emojis/GIFs that helped players and fans to talk with each other.
Halo 5: Guardians
Halo 5 was definitely a big seller owing to the massive reputation of the Halo franchise.
But they didn't just want to be a big seller; they wanted to be among the biggest! And the Halo 5 campaign started with a sneak preview for its most loyal fans.
Image Source: eurogamer.net
The campaign got the extreme players talking about the new edition right from the start and the trailer they released won awards for creativity and captivation.
Mario is surely the most iconic single character in the entire game history.
Nintendo launched a year-long marketing campaign to market the game that included everything from enticing screenshots and TV advertisements to pre-order packages and web-based promotions.
Image Source: bestmarketingdegrees.org
This marketing campaign has also featured Mario and his brother Luigi's endorsed NASCAR trip and trackside appearances.
Lara Croft: Rise of the Tomb Raider
The 2016 Game Marketing Awards were presented to this campaign: the "Outstanding Overall Marketing Campaign-Core Games" prize. That's because it was very good.
Below are some of the elements that it has implemented in its campaign:
Image Source: microsoft.com
- An event called "Siberian Bootcamp," where they sent influencers from YouTube to practice some of Lara's skills in the game.
- A photo booth where fans could dress up and have their picture taken from fun angles that made it look as if they were doing stuff like hanging off an icy cliff.
- An Instagram account where Lara's travels around the world can be tracked.
Activision's Skylanders series took a marketing approach to McDonald's Happy Meal, combining the pocket-lining influence of video games with an ever-increasing selection of adorable collectible toys.
It depicts the emotional connection we have with toys and the illustration of our childhoods, which just seemed like the perfect match.
It has been commented as one of the best sequels by many reviewers and was known as the innovation in the “toys to life” category.
The reason why the game and its marketing appealed to so many people is the intended result of the product — be simple and standard.
The people behind it did extensive market research, introducing their app to Apple, which listed it as the 'Game of the Week' on the UK website.
They also released a trailer that people could watch mentioning the fact on YouTube at the same time. This was one of the first times an ios game with such a trailer had been advertised.
Today, Angry Birds is more than just an app; it's a true brand that includes a movie with an upcoming sequel.
Market Your Game Creatively
The above-listed marketing campaigns show not only creative game design but also the end results of active users who were delighted in many cases to share their experiences with their friends and family.
As marketing trends keep evolving over time, marketers may want to keep up with its pace and create innovative approaches that will reach their targets wherever they are.