Your feature “Advertisers find a new playmate in the computer games industry” (MW August 18) is very perceptive. However, it’s just another form of partnership marketing that brands should be looking at anyway – and many already have been.
It doesn’t have to include money changing hands – many brands have been doing it for years on the basis that the game in question gets marketing benefits from being able to access the communication channels of the partner brand that is being featured in the game.
The growing ability and willingness to be able to market to people through computer games is just another example of how partnership marketing is infiltrating every part of open-minded creative marketers’ thinking.
Getting inside a computer game is just like getting retail window space or point-of-purchase inside a store or bar or any venue. It is just another way of marketing to people at no cost, using alternative media through partnership marketing agreements that benefit both brands.
Why should a computer games company spend money on posters and direct marketing when it can create a partnership with, for instance, a high-street retail brand that has hundreds of stores and can create posters for the games brand to use inside and outside its shops. The retailer could create relevant direct marketing to its cardholders and e-mail its database of customers. In return the retailer could gain branding in the game; both partners get the benefit of the other’s customers.
An example of a tie-up promotion could be that when consumers buy the game they get &£100 of vouchers to spend at the retailer. Likewise, customers spending &£50 in the retailer can get a discount off the game or access to an extra level, a t-shirt or be entered into a “money can’t buy” prize competition.
A good example of cost-effective, targeted, partnership marketing. You don’t need to spend money to achieve your goals.