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The Happy Marriage of Gaming and Marketing


Callum Moates

The metaverse represents the next frontier in digital interaction, blending the physical and digital worlds in immersive 3D environments. This concept is increasingly relevant in marketing, offering innovative avenues for brands to engage with consumers beyond regular media. The integration of gaming elements into marketing strategies, known as "gamification," is a testament to this shift, leveraging games to enhance user engagement, loyalty, and brand awareness. As consumers spend more time in these virtual spaces, the opportunities for marketers to create unique, interactive experiences that captivate and resonate on a deeper level are expanding. This blog dives into key examples, benefits, challenges, and future trends in gaming and marketing.

Virtual worlds for brand engagement

Brands are increasingly venturing into virtual worlds and online gaming platforms as areas to engage with consumers, leveraging these spaces' immersive and interactive nature to create memorable brand experiences. They allows for unique forms of customer interaction that transcend traditional marketing boundaries, offering scalability, heightened interactivity, and access to global audiences.

One of the most notable examples of this trend is the collaboration between major brands and popular gaming platforms like Fortnite and Roblox. These platforms have hosted various virtual events, branded experiences, and in-game activations, enhancing brand awareness and engagement. For instance, Fortnite's live concert series, featuring artists like Travis Scott and Marshmello, attracted millions of participants, blending entertainment with interactive brand exposure. Similarly, Roblox has become a hub for virtual brand activations, such as Gucci's virtual garden experience, which allows users to explore and purchase brand-themed virtual items, effectively translating Gucci's luxury appeal into the digital realm.

Here are some key benefits of using virtual worlds for marketing:

  • High scalability: The metaverse offers a space where many users can enter a space concurrently, bypassing the physical and logistical constraints of traditional events and experiences. The metaverse can also grow and expand, and the demand from individuals increases without jeopardizing the user experience. 

  • Unparalleled interactivity: It Offers consumers the opportunity to engage with the brand in a dynamic and participatory manner, enhancing the depth of engagement and fostering a stronger emotional connection.

  • Global reach: A virtual world breaks down geographical barriers, providing brands with an invaluable opportunity to tap into new markets, demographics, and new communities, thereby expanding international brand exposure and engagement.

Creating branded games and experiences

A report by EY found that there were 3.2 billion gamers worldwide as of 2022, with the gaming industry predicted to exceed $200 billion in revenue in 2023, as per Forbes. The booming sector has attracted thousands of brands looking to get a piece of this pie and connect with billions of gamers worldwide. Marketers leverage interactive ads, branded experiences, and games to build an authentic brand narrative and ensure unavoidable engagement. 

Some brands have successfully launched branded games and experiences:

  • Burberry's B Bounce: Burberry launched this game in which players could dress their character in the latest Burberry collection and bounce their way to the moon, blending high fashion with interactive gaming. The idea behind the game was to build brand value within an existing community.

  • Louis Vuitton's Endless Runner Game: Inspired by their 2019 Fall/Winter collection, LV created an 80s-style arcade game that entertained and uniquely showcased their products.

  • Chipotle's 'Scarecrow': The brand designed the game for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, taking a gamer through a scarecrow’s journey to bring wholesome food back to the people. It highlights sustainable farming practices, aligning with the brand's commitment to natural ingredients and ethical sourcing.

Here are some benefits of branded gaming experiences:

  • Increased brand affinity: Games create a unique, memorable interaction with the brand, meaning users spend more time with a brand’s marketing message. Players spending time in a branded environment develop a stronger connection and loyalty. Nike created the NikeFuel Missions game, which is played using the Nike+ FuelBand, allowing users to earn points for physical activity to advance to the next level. This innovative approach led to increased brand engagement and loyalty. Users were not just wearing a fitness tracker; they were part of a game that motivated them to stay active.

  • Boosted user engagement: Interactive experiences are engaging and lead users to spend longer in branded environments. EY predicts that 25% of consumers will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse’s 3D game-like environment by 2026. These games are also sticky and keep users coming back for more. In 2020, Starbucks launched a gamified mobile app experience called Starland. This AR game offered rewards like free drinks, bonus stars, and more. This repeated engagement helped the brand deepen its relationship with its audience.

  • Valuable data collection: Games are data goldmines. They offer insights into user preferences, behaviors, and engagement patterns, which can inform future marketing strategies and product developments. Duolingo, a language learning app, uses gamification to encourage daily use and lesson completion. With over 500 million downloads in 2020, Duolingo collects vast amounts of data on learning patterns, which helps them continuously improve their educational strategies.

  • Viral potential: A well-designed game can go viral, spreading brand awareness like wildfire across social media platforms and word of mouth. The game Among Us saw a meteoric rise in popularity in 2020, partly due to its viral spread on social media platforms and through streamers on Twitch and YouTube. This virality was not just a boon for the game's developers but also for platforms and brands that quickly associated themselves with the game, showcasing the potential for games to amplify brand visibility across the globe rapidly.

NFTs and the future of in-game economies

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique digital assets verified using blockchain technology, ensuring authenticity and ownership. In the gaming world, they're like rare in-game items whose scarcity and value increase player engagement, provide opportunities for asset monetization, and create new business models. In 2021, the NFT market witnessed explosive growth, with sales volume hitting $2.5 billion in the first half of the year alone, compared to just $13.7 million in the first half of 2020, according to data from NonFungible.com. This staggering increase highlights the skyrocketing demand and the potential for NFTs to revolutionize asset ownership. 

NFTs are revolutionizing marketing by offering exclusive, digital ownership experiences fostering deeper brand engagement through scarcity and personalized rewards. For example, NBA Top Shot leverages NFTs for fan engagement, generating over $700 million in sales in less than a year, as per a publication by CoinDesk, by allowing fans to own and trade digital highlights. This initiative showcases NFTs' potential to blend innovative marketing with tangible rewards, enhancing customer loyalty and opening new avenues for creative brand storytelling.

Coca-Cola also ventured into the NFT domain by launching its first-ever NFT collectibles on International Friendship Day. This initiative featured four unique NFTs auctioned as a single "loot box" on OpenSea, symbolizing the brand's iconic heritage and its embodiment of shared moments of joy and friendship. The highlight of the auction was a multi-sensory, dynamic "Friendship Box" NFT that included a virtual Coca-Cola Bubble Jacket wearable in Decentraland, a Sound Visualizer capturing the essence of enjoying a Coca-Cola, and a refreshed Friendship Card from 1948 artwork, all designed to reimagine Coca-Cola's timeless symbols for the metaverse.

While the potential is enormous, incorporating NFTs into marketing campaigns comes with its own challenges; here are a few:

  • Authenticity and ownership: Ensuring the NFTs' uniqueness and ownership rights can be complex, requiring robust blockchain integration and legal oversight.

  • Sustainability concerns: The environmental impact of blockchain technology and NFTs, particularly those using energy-intensive proof-of-work systems, has raised sustainability concerns. Brands need to consider eco-friendly blockchain solutions like transitioning to Proof of Stake (PoS) networks, which consume significantly less energy than traditional Proof of Work (PoW) systems, or leveraging Layer 2 scaling solutions to reduce carbon footprint while maintaining blockchain integrity and security.

  • Market volatility: The volatility of the NFT market is primarily due to its nascent nature and speculative behavior among investors and collectors. For example, digital artist Beeple's artwork sold for $69 million at auction, highlighting the potential high value of NFTs. However, the market has also seen significant fluctuations, with some NFTs losing value over time due to changing trends and consumer interests. Brands entering this space need to be mindful of these dynamics, focusing on creating NFTs with intrinsic value—such as those offering unique experiences or tying them to physical products—to provide lasting worth beyond speculative trading. This approach helps navigate market volatility and build a sustainable engagement model with their audience.


Callum Moates

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We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2024

Landvault · Wam Group

All rights reserved


We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2024 · Landvault · Wam Group · All rights reserved


We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2024 · Landvault · Wam Group · All rights reserved