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What’s the Future for In-App Marketing?

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How much?!?

There is general rumbling against in app purchasing, especially in games marketed at children. Parents are happy to download a free game for little Timothy to play but not so happy when the credit card bill, feature charges for bliss bombs, unicorn hats or whatever lands on the doormat.  As this news story shows the Micro payment model isn’t always that micro.

And on paper it is kind of an odd premise.  You pay real money for a series of 1s and 0s that can only exist within the confines game.  Well I suspect that it won’t be too long before gamemakers, marketeers and brands put their heads together to come up with a whole new way of selling.

Imagine what would happen if in-game money actually bought you a real, tangible thing. What if when you bought a product in a game it actually turned up on your doorstep the very next day? Or in the not too distant future you got the downloadable blueprints for your 3d printer?

In a game like Sims Freeplay it would mean that whenever your online character bought something, say a magazine, you’d actually get a copy of that magazine delivered to your real home or be able to download it as a digital copy. And because it was bought through the game all your friends would see it as a personal recommendation and be more likely to buy a copy too.  This type of exposure could also be wonderful for emerging artists and talent. If celebrity avatars suddenly started wearing your designer clothes, or displaying your art in their homes it wouldn’t be long before they hit the mainstream.

With Tap style games and apps that track your progress there are obvious links to products and services.  If you’re trying to get healthy for example then having an app which allows you to buy a subscription to a local gym would make real sense.  Having to check-in 5 times to unlock your Buff Badge and upload all you times/reps for the Feel the Burn award might just be all the encouragement you need.

As with all new forms of product placement and advertisement this model opens up a whole can of worms when it comes to ethical issues.  Whereas buying a day pass to a zoo in-game might be acceptable, receiving a gun in the post certainly wouldn’t be.  Why not leave us a comment below with your thoughts?

Putting All Your Eggs In One Channel

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Over the last decade there’s been a drive towards specialism fueled by the rise of new marketing channels and from what we’ve seen it’s driving clients mad.  I’ve had several conversations with clients over the last couple of years, all bemoaning the fact that they’ve had to work with several different companies to get the campaign they wanted.

And who can blame them? Running the average campaign can take 1 Creative Agency for the concept and strategy, 1 Digital Agency to create the website and online assets, 1 Production Company to create the moving media, 1 Print Company for direct mail and 1 Social Media company to run the twitter feed and write the blogs.  That’s not to say these individual specialists don’t play nicely together but without one company acting as project lead, that job falls to the client who’s busy enough as it is…

That’s one of the reasons why we set up Workspace 1.

For several years I’ve seen (and preached to those who know me) that specialism is not the all singing and dancing advantage it once was. Every new innovation or marketing development has seen the creation of another breed of specialist agency, which increases the risk of siloed marketing as a specialist looks to move the focus of the project into their own area of expertise.

Clients want (correct me if I’m wrong) effective, clear and comprehensive solutions.  I’ve got absolutely nothing against specialist organisations in fact, we work alongside an awful lot of them to offer the full range of services we do, and will continue to do so. We merely believe that offering a comprehensive solution to our clients creates more effective communication than putting all our eggs into one channel.

Traditionally we’ve gravitated towards projects where film becomes the central pillar of the creative, as they’re a very effective communication tool, and they’re also fun to make.  We recognise, however, that it’s important to create a well-rounded eco-system around whatever the core platform is (whether this is film, web an event etc) which is controlled by one creative point of contact.  This approach ensures a creative continuity and means that no matter how the customer engages with a campaign, the level of quality and messaging is the same throughout.

There are plenty of people out there who only make films. We make dreams come true. Your dreams. Come run free in the fields with us.

 

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