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.

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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Using Viral Social Media Marketing

Using Viral Social Media Marketing

Using Viral Social Media Marketing

Social Media marketing is something that a lot of brands and companies are looking to these days for what is sometimes a cheaper alternative to traditional advertising. However, should that really be how this initiative is viewed? The matter of the fact is, that this type of marketing has proven to be more than lucrative with the right amount of investment, creativity-wise and funding-wise. Below is how some companies had used social media to their advantage and at times manipulated its virality. And why this method of marketing is essential in this day and age.

What is Virality

Virality is essentially the status of a post’s engagement. When a post is viral, it would drag in hundreds of thousands if not millions towards that single post. But a state of virality is an elusive one. Many companies also try to recreate this without understanding the bases of what and how the youth—or rather, the masses of social media—thinks. This statement is proven in this video that rejects such blatant attempt at virality in a TV ad for Wendy’s. And yet ironically enough, the video itself became viral.

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To a degree, the virality created by the ironic hate of this commercial indeed worked. But at the cost of damaging the brand’s image by the people that resent it. But using memes isn’t the only way to boost your virality. And in fact, that inside joke-like internet culture is better off left to a whole other topic entirely.

Using Controversy and Rivalry

Nothing is better than a little healthy rivalry right? Wrong. The internet is quite the brutal place where most of the time childish humor and backlash actually might help you win the day. An example of using controversy is mastered by the fast food brand Wendy’s. That’s right, where their TV ad fails, their twitter rivalry saves them.

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Wendy’s Twitter account is infamous for being extremely hostile towards rival brands and to back this up, the admin of said account is extremely proficient in dishing out insults. However, what most would think as bad business practice actually played an incredible part towards Wendy’s brand awareness and loyalty from their followers.

And with most other restaurants retorting back at Wendy’s twitter account, customers get to choose sides. And with their pride for their favorites in line, becomes more loyal with each supporting action such as re-tweeting and sharing. While your brand might antagonize some potential customers, it gains great loyalty by the ones that truly love what you have to offer. This helps improve the quality of your customer base for the price of some of its quantity.

Using Influencers and Social Figures

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Another most common social media marketing tactic is to simply pay an influencer to promote your product. This will help not only spread brand awareness, but perhaps earn you the loyalty of new customers that are loyal to the influencer that’s sharing it. And with over 69% of marketers considering this highly grossing initiative, its effectiveness is only further proven. And being that most influencers have multiple channels across the varying social media platforms, you won’t have to worry about missing any.

Through Acts of Charity

Companies sometimes underestimate how moving the force of good really is. This is especially the case when your acts of charity is shared for everyone to see.  And when the charity is crowd-funded, everyone that takes part in it gets to see your brand at the center of it all.

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The act of charity is not only beneficial in spreading your brand awareness throughout social media, however. As the main benefit you earn from creating such a loving and charitable campaign would mean it helps improve your brand image as well. This will be earning you the trust of those that follow your campaign with good will. And of course, you’ll also help many in need as well which never hurts.

Other Benefits to Social Marketing

Not only is social media marketing most of the time remains easier and cheaper, but it also goes by the 30% of people using the internet with an Ad Blocker in tow. Since your advertising won’t be detected as an ad but as content. Though ads in video sharing platforms like youtube remains blocked, it still won’t be if your influencer accounts the ad within their content itself. And yet, besides from that, online videos have other means of generating clicks.

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