ARG’s Power to Spread Brand Awareness

ARG’s Power to Spread Brand Awareness

You may be wondering how exactly can an ARG bring forth so many people to collectively work together or to individually pursue such great lengths for what is essentially a game. Our previous two articles explain the fundamentals of ARGs’ potential and the impact it had on the past. But in this article, we’ll be seeing how exactly said impact is made. Right now, in the present and how said potential will continue to grow in the future, especially for marketing brand awareness.

How ARGs Gains Their Reach

Alternate Reality Games, in its essence, are puzzle solving games where the players would need to work as a collective to solve. Even ARGs targeted for individuals to solve alone like recruitment ARGs still encourages a sense of community within the players, collaboratively increasing their knowledge-base through networking. Therefore, it is through that collective process that ARGs spread like wildfire. Especially in this day and age, where sharing information through something like mainstream social media is only 1 click away.

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However, that is not the only reason an ARG can quickly become so popular. An ARG like the Twitter account The Sun Vanished makes use of surreal story-telling elements. An ARG is a narrative playground. If you can create a story for the ARG that would evoke a sense of interest alongside the challenge it provides, you can have yourself a viral hit ready to be sent out.

How Your Brand Can Tie to an ARG

With some ARGs, it seems almost impossible to put the face of your brand into it. But the key here isn’t to put your brand blatantly to the game. That takes away the intrigue of it all. Your potential consumers must know that your brand is an ever-looming presence in the game without being intrusive about it. Below are 2 examples of how a brand is implemented within a viral ARG.

I Love Bees, Halo 2 (Game) Marketing Campaign

In August 2004, hints of a website were dropped everywhere but were first advertised by a hidden message within the game’s trailer. When taken to the website, the players then uncovered that it was apparently being taken over by an A.I. and through this campaign, foreshadows and context of the story for the game is slowly uncovered. From the people that found it, spreading it, and reaching out for help, the campaign eventually reached out to over 3 million visits and players around the world. This campaign, titled I Love Bees was commissioned by Microsoft for their upcoming game, Halo 2. The campaign itself received many awards for being innovative and incredibly unique at its time. Although the ARG weren’t too blatantly obvious that it was a Halo 2 marketing campaign, the people that paid attention to its updates and the participating players never forget.

Why So Serious, Batman: The Dark Knight (Film) Marketing Campaign

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Some marketing ARGs are a bit more obvious as to what it promotes. The Batman: the Dark Knight’s marketing ARG titled Why So Serious. This campaign was a viral hit not only due to it being in the shadow of the big movie title, but also for its way of fan-service. The puzzles were simple enough, thus it doesn’t require super intelligence to solve but also hard enough to invoke many people asking questions, thus the sense of community. This campaign sparked over 10 million people to be immersed in a world-wide puzzle-solving agenda. And with a lot of the orders were to take pictures and share it online, it leads to a domino effect of intrigue and an ever-growing audience.

The Power that ARG Gives

Besides having the power to spread your brand and product, ARG has the capability to give a power as well. And said power is ownership. One of the key aspects of gamification is to make something done and worth the effort feel like it’s the player’s. Thus, they’d have a sense of bond to said experience. And with it, a bond with the product and/or brand.

“The experience must transfer ownership to the Audience, make it feel like it’s theirs”
Susan Bonds, 42 Entertainment President & CEO.

Alternate Reality Game for Recruitment

Alternate Reality Game for Recruitment

Companies and even certain government organizations have been using Alternate Reality Games to mask scouting processes since at least a decade now. And each time, through specific tasks, it almost certainly gets the organizers true quality employees. But some thinks that ARGs are limited only to harshly complicated and cryptic riddle-based activities. Well, this article will aim to tell you how that might not need to be the case while still getting you highly capable recruits.

How ARGs Were Used for Recruitment

As ARGs are often more collaborated to cryptic puzzles and conspiracy theories, most of the time, recruitment through it often is for positions requiring elite-level intelligence. Below are 2 of the many notable uses.

Can You Find It?

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In 2013, this ARG was promoted by the British Intelligence to fill elite positions within the GCHQ. And with it, GCHQ hoped to find coders fully capable of cracking such codes that may have been self-taught, doesn’t have the proper degree, or even simply never found the chance. This method proved incredibly effective as the challenge (not even the reward) proved to have attracted the attention of hundreds if not thousands of capable mathematicians. Some of them even joined a community to discuss it with each other such as this Reddit thread in the UK Subreddit.

Cicada 3301

Exploding the world wide web with the biggest scavenger hunt the internet has ever seen, at 2012 was the mysterious organization nicknamed Cicada 3301. Some would say that Cicada 3301 is the pinnacle of an ARG. Combining mystery with elaborate puzzle hunts both on the internet and in the real world. Players would need to solve puzzle after puzzle. From fields of cryptography, steganography, and other related fields. Those puzzles would at the time lead you to find posters spread throughout the world. After the game is complete and Cicada finds their sought after individuals, it would at times repeat again the very next year. Though there is no way to know how many players actually participated in the game, it is safe to say that the count goes up to at least millions.

What We Can Learn From the Examples

Despite the two examples given the sound more elaborate than what a regular company might need, there are some very valuable points to take from them.

  • Can You Find It proves that you can be more direct with your intentions to draw in interested parties.
  • It also proves that such an ARG are an incredibly efficient way to grasp the attention of hidden talents that may even prove more capable than those that have official titles.
  • Cicada 3301 proved that a phenomenal ARG can attract the curiosity of countless throughout the world.
  • While at the same time, it may not need to cost more than you think.

How an ARG Could be Cheaper to Make than It Appears

Returning to the point of Cicada 3301, many of the puzzles that they’ve made are intricate. Even the red herrings were intricate. And this sound like it would take a lot of effort and cost-heavy. Especially the part of interconnecting the scavenger hunt to the real life with the posters spread throughout the world. But that may not be the case.

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While some of Cicada’s puzzles were obviously handcrafted by experts, a less hard and more open to general individuals may not necessarily need such things. For one, many free softwares are available online if you simply want to create encrypted messages. And anyone can now hire a number of services to simply do tasks such as placing a poster in certain parts of the world. And it would hardly cost much.

Even beyond that, with the growth of social media today, it is quite easy to make a number of smaller scale ARGs if you prove creative enough.

Closing Point

ARGs are still not within the mainstream but can easily attract the curious attention of the public. With this in mind, the earlier you are to try and use it, the more unique and creative your implementation will seem by comparison. And thus, would draw in more interest.

Creating a Brand Sensation with ARGs

Creating a Brand Sensation with ARGs

According to eLearning Industry, ARGs or Alternate Reality Games are “An experience that takes place across multiple platforms, formats, and locations.” Something that “Has elements of eLearning, computer games, geocaching, scavenger hunts, live action role-playing, and social learning in Alternate Reality Games.”  But that in itself is not the full extent of this initiative. With proper implementation, this initiative has the potential to attract up to millions of players worldwide. Alternate Reality Games could possibly be one of the best method of getting the involvement of your potential consumers through a marketing campaign and this article will tell you why.

What is an ARG?

Alternate Reality Games are more than often a collaboration of a scavenger hunt and a mystery case. Sparking engagement through the puzzling clues it leaves and drives collaboration within individuals that are equally interested in finding the answer. Through the challenging tasks it provides and offers to the players, often times an ARG is seen as something that might alienate consumers instead of draw them in. However, what is often overlooked is that despite not everyone is able to participate in such a hunt for clues and puzzles, everyone can bear witness to it. The mere activity in itself becomes intriguing and often leaves people fascinated by them, and this often leaves quite the examples.

The Problem with ARGs

Albeit having early 2000s with Microsoft’s marketing campaign for the movie; Artificial Intelligence, ARGs had always been thought as expensive due to the need of in-depth elements such as puzzles, mysteries and the incorporation of those elements to the real world. Combine this with things such as website maintenances and other variety of costs, Alternate Reality Games have always been considered an intimidating campaign to plan, let alone execute. And despite the results ARGs seem to bring, with its level of virality and reach, it has never been a true trend or mainstream within the world of marketing. However, the argument here is that perhaps now it is the time to ignite a more creative approach to ARGs.

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Why ARG is Now Simpler

After nearly 2 decades of its first case, ARGs are now getting simpler to plan (With the creation of intricate elements of the game aside). This is due to the fact that communication and media had grown wildly since then. It is much easier to spread the fire of the game’s virality online. And such ease comes from (but not exclusive to) the following:

  • Growth of the Internet and its ease of use
  • Growth of Social Media
  • Rise of services that serves to ease phases of an ARG’s creation

How Alternate Reality Games Drive Such Engagement

Everyone loves a mystery and many people love challenges. A good ARG brings the best of both worlds. An ARG can create a challenging mystery, driving the curiosity of its players and bringing creative ways for the players to progress the game. In its essentiality, an ARG uses the same drive that makes people think up and love things such as conspiracy theories. Since, within an ARG, initially you would not know what the purpose of the challenge is. The cryptic nature and intermingling over the world-wide web would spark a sense of genuine curiosity and fascination.

ARGs’ Effect to Brands

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Besides leaving behind a spectacle in the brand’s history, players that had partake in the game or even onlookers that observed its progress will familiarize themselves with the brand that conceived it. And this is no small matter. As, if the game itself reached the ears of hundreds of thousands or even millions, those very millions would be the one to see the brand in high regard for the clever marketing. And besides spreading brand awareness, would most likely also promote a better image for the brand as all creative marketing plans tend to do. And should this be coveted into recruitment for capable hands, the campaign itself would also serve to be the best type of assessment for it.

Agate Level Up Launch Media Gathering

Agate Level Up Launch Media Gathering

Agate Level Up Launch Media Gathering

On last 30th of January, at CoHives’ D’Lab, Central Jakarta, we had held our first Media Gathering event with the occasion of spreading word of Agate Level Up’s official launch, despite having been operational since 2010. And in the process, we also made our way to showcase the potential of gamification to the press with some of our finished products.

With some of the participants showing eagerness and showing up early, the rest of the day was filled with what seem to be unexpected enjoyment from the Media’s side.
We had showcased a handful of VR games such as Skycage and Pasien Terakhir games that were said by the participants such as Mr. Mandro from Republik said was “Incredibly immersive and realistic”. And a fun little AR game called Treasure Hunt where the participants were divided into two groups and was made to familiarize themselves with the event location by going on an AR scavenger hunt.

Despite the reluctance of the participants at the start of the event, after experiencing the AR game and was explained how it would play a part in event activations, expressions begin to brighten. And after a brief lesson on who Agate Level Up are, and what we stand for and do, the participants were quickly introduced to video reels of some of our gamified solutions. Among them are those for Upnormal (CRP Group) and Astra.
Afterwards, a quick collaborative demonstration was held with the game Pasien Terakhir when Mr. Ardi from GameOnlineKu had to wear the VR headset while two other volunteers act as his hands. The experience was “Heart-throbbing but incredibly fun” according to Mr. Mandro. And with comments such as “It has quite the large potential in businesses” from Mr. Bill Clinten of Kompas and “With further R&D, it could achieve greater heights” from Mr. ArdiIt was no surprise that many of the other participants acting as audience were also intrigued by the potential of such games in a serious environment.

Topped with a teaser of our upcoming solutions platform Levio and Q&A sessions both on the stage and while at lunch, the event was topped off with many of the participants excited to see what the future has in store for Indonesia’s rising gamification industry.

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Drastic Changes to How Ads Work

Drastic Changes to How Ads Work

Drastic Changes to How Ads Work

Although the title above says ‘drastic’ the change to advertising due to modernization and advancement of the digital era has been chipping slowly little by little. However, it is that very accumulative stride that will lead to a sudden shift that must be made now in order for a company’s marketing to not be left behind. Below we’ll be going through what those changes are and how a company can cope with them or perhaps even take advantage of those changes.

Traditional Ads vs Digital Ads

As technology advances and slowly surrounds our everyday life, it is only natural that they would be the perfect target for advertising. We live in a strange time where a company’s advertising can show up in a digital monitor on our fridge or car after all. But what is that to say about traditional ads? Will there be no more room for them?

Something that needs to be separated

While it is true that these days digital ads are so much easier to consider than regular real-world advertising, this is not the change that needs to be considered. Even in the digital world, a regular advertisement is still just an advertisement. It is often invaluable to the consumer and the internet user would want to be rid of it. Be it from using an ad blocker or skipping immediately when they are allowed to. And this is said to have costed the digital marketing industry over 22 billion dollars.

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Is there room for real-world advertising?

The short answer is yes. And yet, not in the way most companies might think. How many times do you see a billboard or poster catching your eyes these days? Most likely, it happens rarer than a decade or so ago. And yet, it still happens does it not? Occasionally, creative and eye-catching advertising will pry your eyes away from your activity to get a look at it. And that is most likely the drastic change you need. The key here is that there is in fact, room for traditional advertising, but it must serve to must be more meaningful and charming to the audience. Not simply blatant advertising.

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Consumers Demand Creativity in Advertisements

Blatant advertising is rarely accounted as ‘informative’ to consumers these days. And over 60% of people are saying that today’s ads are annoying and/or intrusive. And indeed they are. In fact, some companies still believe that by being intrusive you can generate more attention because you’re all up on the consumer’s faces. But is that really the case? If your advertising proves to only be a nuisance to your potential customers, it will only serve to hurt your brand’s image.

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And of course, this would at times mean a higher investment. Be it cost, creativity and time investment, these things prove to be essential in modern day marketing. But the key investment you really need is creativity.

The Change Doesn’t Stop There

Creativity is even more needed today than ever before as other forms of scouring the web come to existence, mainly voice searches. Beyond the United States or parts of Europe, this may not yet be that big of a deal, but it certainly is so when it will be.

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This new type of browsing the world wide web can change and disrupt regular SEO as we know it. Don’t think that this might be true? Below are the facts of how voice searches are being used that benefits businesses according to BrightLocal Study.

  • 58% of consumers have used voice search to find business information.
  • 46% of voice search users look for a business daily.
  • 27% visit the website of business after conducting a voice search.
  • 53% of voice search users are performing daily searches.

What Awaits 2019

With everything’s pace coming up a slope, waiting at any time to have that boost of downhill speed, no one is really sure what awaits us at 2019. However, with the changes that we know in mind, we should always try to stay steps ahead. So be sure to use any means you can for your marketing, lest it gets left behind. Controversial ads, live streams, gamification, or a whole other entry only you can think about. Just remember to keep it creative.

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