First, a quick primer. Branded mobile games are games that carry a brand presence. Most of them are casual themed games with a compelling game mechanic.
The question most brands would like to know, is what kind of ROI (Return on Investment) they're getting. If the brand execs are investing 4-5 figures to build and launch a game, what do they expect out of it? How do they justify their money's worth?
The answer is, it depends. There's no one single metric, when it comes to measuring the ROI of branded games. Each project is evaluated on a case by case basis.
Here's a quick rundown of projects we've observed (and collaborated on), with their intended goals. Notice how they vary in terms of goals.
Tic Tac built a simple game, where users could design their own Tic Tac packs and spread the word. Over 100k people played the game over 5 locations (Texas, Florida, Georgia,Minneapolis and Denver), amplified via social media.
Kia built a Plinko based game for a car showroom, allowing prospective buyers to connect with the brand, and win free test drives. These would then be converted into hot leads for the sales team. Since a car sale is typically 5 figures, the cost of building the game is very tiny, compared to the huge upside.
ITV built a game to promote their hit TV series, Thunderbirds. It was launched through a variety of web properties to drive viewership to the new season. This would be classified under brand activation for a new series launch.
Disney built a game leveraging the Phineas and Ferb characters which launched on the official iOS and Android apps to millions of hungry kids who follow the TV series. It gives them another avenue to connect with their favourite cartoon characters.
Doraemon, the popular japanese manga series built a game to celebrate the launch of it's main iOS game. It was launched alongside the massively popular facebook page.
As you can see, results and goal vary for each campaign. The main question to ask is this: are the ROI goals clear for the brand executives? What do they expect out of the launch of a branded mobile game?
In the next post, I shall cover a very niche segment of the branded games universe. Stay tuned!