Going through this chapter the first quote that really stands out and represents the entire essence of the chapter is the quote at the very end by Mike Benson.
Paraphrased it states: “…you’ve also got to be aware of what the consumer will and will not accept. They know when they’re being sold”…”there’s an audience out there than can appreciate real creativity, and that will accept and buy an advertiser’s product if it’s done right. But if you don’t do it right, they’re going to write you off – fast.” Using this statement as a guide and going back through the rule we can come up with three types of branding that are common in games.
The first and strongest example that presents the least amount of risk to brand degradation but moderate brand recognition would be when a brand is inserted into a game previously unrelated to the brand. The game could stand alone and the branding within the game only makes the gamine experience more realistic and enriching. It borders more on advertising than total branding. Examples include billboards and signs within a game, or branded clothing which enhances the experience with realistic detail in this virtual world.
The second example that presents more risk but much higher brand recognition is when the game is produced by a company with a primary goal of branding. The game itself starts with a strong brand name and uses that name to promote and/or extenuate the experience around it. Two popular examples in the chapter are Burger King’s Xbox 360 game Big Bumpin and Dairy Queen’s DQ Tycoon. Both are successful but both risky in terms of cost vs. acceptance. Movies and television shows have utilized gaming to enhance the experience and promote an upcoming event, especially action and children movies. We believe that media has much more of a chance of success in this area. Do you agree or disagree with this assumption?
The third example is when example two does not turn out as planned. This happens when the branding itself becomes way too strong in a game that is not so good to begin with. They oversell and under perform. The end result is a commercial that went into overkill that eventually pushes everyone away and hurts the brand itself. When that negative connectivity is attached it could be very difficult for the company to release itself from the game image. Are there any games you can think of that have oversold and underperformed to the detriment of the company and the brand that developed it?