by: Rick van der Wal  via Business and Games Blog

The Postbank (Dutch ING bank) in Habbo Hotel and eBay in the console race game GRID. It’s nothing new to see brands make an appearance in games to reach out to various demographics. Marketing agencies have discovered the secret of communicating with those markets hard to reach through traditional advertising. But yesterday at Branded Games 08 we got to see the complete motivation and results of Branded Games as presented by fairly large brands such as Elsevier, Wehkamp and Proctor & Gambles Dreft.

The mission of the event was simple: Show both developing companies and advertising companies games are no longer ’something fancy’ - they actually give good results, and can compete with the best of traditional marketing approaches in certain niches (and not just boys at the age of 12-18). The presentations were well supported by facts and figures and left a remarkably clear impression of the use of advertising through games. I think this was largely due to the clear targets, and actually measuring and achieving those commercial goals through games.

Especially the case of the Postbank in Habbo Hotel was remarkable. With well over a million participants at the live event, 130.000 user created ‘machinimas’ (movies) and 400.000 views in an effective campaign of turning this attention into awareness and actual new banking accounts the Postbank was very satisfied with their venture into the Virtual Hotel. They concluded their case with their findings:

  1. Find the places young people are active, and be visible through relevant content.
  2. In communication with your niche: Be yourself (Don’t try to be popular, and be clear about what you want)
  3. See ‘the virtual world’ as the real world (Everything you can think of in the real world, can also be done in the virtual, i.e. a press conference)
  4. Integration of a campaign/concept in Habbo is possible for nearly everything, even banking products: It’s about using an innovative and creative approach towards your customers in collaboration with Habbo

For the complete (Dutch) presentation of the Postbank in Habbo Hotel, and overview of all case studies/presentations (in English) visit the official website here.

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