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.

How Live Streams Generate More Clicks

How Live Streams Generate More Clicks

How Live Streams Generate More Clicks

Live Feeds or live streams are slowly becoming more and more popular on the internet as many platforms now beginning to provide ease for it. From Youtube to Facebook, live streams are slowly becoming the mainstream way to broadcast be it news on entertainment as it also provides two-way feedback through chats. How will live streams be a key point in sales and marketing? Below we’ll try to share this insight with you.

Live Stream and Its Digital Marketing Use

Digital marketing is grossing by each year alongside the development of technologies and social media. However, some companies have not considered the possibility of combining it with live streams or live feeds. Due to the rise in modern streaming services, it is much easier to access live videos in the internet. Be it from an influencer or from official companies and broadcasts. This rise is considered so much so, that more than 80% of internet users from the billions have watched live videos than years prior.

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And the direct correlation here is that over 67% of viewers would be more interested in going to an event or making purchases that are shown and/or related to the live stream. Placing your products within the stream or sponsoring it, especially when the content shown is of interest to the viewers, will be more likely to help them appreciate your brand. Multiple reasons for this exist depending on the type of stream. For example:

  • An influencer can spread their trust for your brand to their viewers.
  • A news broadcast that is reliable will persuade the viewers that the ads are in turn, reliable.
  • Promoting your event via live stream would urge viewers to want to experience it for themselves.
  • Seeing donations and purchases made live in real time will help urge other viewers’ pride and ease their doubt in participating in the purchase/donation.
  • Direct feedback can be used for QnA to help further assure the legitimacy of content or ads provided.

Live Video Ad Potency

Not only will ads shown on live videos bypass ad blockers, but they are also said to have grossed more than $10 Billion in spending. And the numbers will only keep climbing by at least 10% until it will finally surpass television, if it hadn’t already by this second.

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But click rates aren’t the only thing that live videos are good for. Unlike a show on television, when someone loves a live stream, there are still the possibilities that they share it on social media. And this will be opening the floodgates for a domino effect of shares and increase in viewers, with over 90% of mobile video consumers sharing them according to Insivia.

Live Streaming Efficacy

By this 2019, it is even said that videos will account for a whopping 85% of total internet traffic. With the video-sharing giant, Youtube, making strides to improve their streaming services, live video sharing is becoming easier and more available to do at that much lower of a price.

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Not only will it be that much easier to manage your content or ad on a live stream, but it will also be easier on feedbacks as well. As mentioned at the start of this article, live streams provide two-way feedback for you and your viewers through chat. Should this feature be used properly, may be the key you need to show your company’s transparency through direct communication with your consumers. And through it, 73% of B2B marketers say they have been getting positive ROI impacts.

Transparency and Shift in Advertising

These days, many of the consumer base highly values the more transparent companies. And through a live stream, the chance to show that transparency is shown. While it is a risk that something done live may have difficulties and mistakes, it is those very mistake that sometimes remind the viewers that the people doing this are still human.

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That in itself is already marking the shift in modern day advertising. Where companies used to strive for perfection and blatant, bold remarks, today’s market is a bit more delicate than that. However, you keep your eyes on us because this topic will be further discussed in the next article.

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