It’s not hard to gather why Accenture started developing mobile games. I mean, it is not exactly Accenture’s core business, but what exactly is its core business? Accenture is possibly the biggest consulting firm in the world, with revenues of almost $30B last year.

As a super successful company, it is successfully innovative in marketing: the game Sky Journey is designed to tell potential customers what exactly they can achieve with the company’s services, and how to use them. On top of that, the game also showcases Accenture’s own development capabilities, as the company owns a gigantic software division.

The Guardian’s Stuart Dredge recently reported about a marketing trend of mobile games developed for big companies. Among these, he tells of a Unilever game, offering mobile device players to experience a bleach substitute without getting their hands wet. This is a rather new trend, but it is no surprise: content marketing is the fastest growing marketing domain in latest years, and marketers are getting more and more creative in the battle over the consumers’ time and attention.

Accenture's Sky Journey

Games as a marketing tactic are an efficient method to convey a complex message, and even to tackle potential resistance to messages which are not necessarily acceptable to everyone: Early on this year, the game Music Inc. was launched. This is also a management game, where players try to run a music label, to “nurture” recording artists and to fight pirate-distributors of music. This game was developed for UK Music, the British music industry’s policing body. This organization, as similar organizations in the western world, discovered in recent years that it is being vilified and increasingly perceived as one to exploit musicians rather than contributing to culture. Such organizations use marketing games to paint a different world image, where they are the good guys.

Music Inc.

These two games are much alike: both are management games, both marketing mobile games and  both developed for big business representatives. Choosing to allow their customers the experience which represents their own point of view, these two marketers probably chose the simplest means to garner brand-identification by their audiences. But there are some differences as well: the first game is intended to simplify an experiential message, whereas the second game is intended to deliver a political message, not necessarily acceptable to the target audience. The first game was developed by the company which it represents, out of a a deep perception of strategic vision, whereas the second game was developed by a new media agency to solve an image problem.

Marketing games are nothing new. In the previous decade, various brands developed Alternative Reality Games, which were game events,usually circling a new product launch (a new Doritos flavour, for instance, brought  The Quest). But this kind of content marketing is an expensive,  one time event with usually no follow up and ultimately lacking the impact that regular advertising campaign might have brought.

New generation marketing games allow marketers to grab the customers’attention for longer periods as opposed to traditional advertising campaigns. It allows the to provide their audiences experiential reward, which brings the players as close as possible to the brands’ values. In short: this is powerful content marketing


Posted by Samuel Miller

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