McDonald's introduces branded farm and other content with popular Zynga-owned social game.
McDonald's has launched a one-day integration with FarmVille today. A branded farm and other game items have been placed within the popular Zynga-owned social game FarmVille and users are being encouraged to interact with the McDonald's content until midnight tonight. Those that do so will be rewarded with branded virtual goods, and other items to aid progress on their own virtual farms.
The campaign was sold on Zynga's behalf by appssavvy, - a firm that specializes in marketer integrations with social experiences such as FarmVille - and executed in conjunction with McDonalds' agency partners OMD and Tribal DDB.
"Joining forces with FarmVille is an incredible opportunity for us to engage with millions of players in the most popular social game," said Anja Carroll, director of media, McDonald's USA. On Facebook alone, the game has over 61 million registered players, and Zynga says tens of millions of users play the game daily. "What makes our FarmVille effort unique is that it reinforces important features of the McDonald's brand while enhancing game play for FarmVille players," Caroll added.
The McDonalds farm will only be accessible today, but users can place a branded hot air balloon decoration on their own farms that will remain as long as they wish, extending the visibility of the McDonalds brand beyond the initial 24 hours.
"It’s not about the length of the campaign, it’s about the value add and a sense of urgency for players, which encompasses a mass audience, to engage," said an appssavvy spokesperson, in reference to the farm's limited lifespan. "Social campaigns like this are about re-thinking the delivery and reception of advertising... It's a way to engage where you're relevant, not irrelevant."
The campaign will not include any "real-world" extensions such as coupons or special offers. "Social campaigns could be about traditional forms of marketing, like coupons, but in this case, it is about enhancing the game experience while reinforcing important features of the McDonald’s brand," the spokesperson said.
Manny Anekal, global director of brand advertising at Zynga, suggested the company is focused on keeping those brand interactions within the game-playing environment. "Our mission is to connect the world through games by offering consumers meaningful experiences that enhance their game play," he said.
Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
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