Marketers Put Their Game Face On: Under Armour, Gatorade and Warby Parker Engage Consumers by Way of Gaming

By Monllos, Kristina | ADWEEK, October 3, 2016 | Go to article overview

Marketers Put Their Game Face On: Under Armour, Gatorade and Warby Parker Engage Consumers by Way of Gaming


Monllos, Kristina, ADWEEK


It's no secret that brands are having a difficult time getting consumers with ever-shrinking attention spans to focus on, never mind notice, traditional advertising. But some marketers, including Under Armour, Gatorade and Warby Parker, may have found a solution by way of gaming.

Last week, Under Armour became the latest marketer to experiment with an interactive game on Snapchat's Discover. It Comes From Below, from RED Interactive and Droga5, turns players into Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton where, with some fancy footwork, they dodge obstacles in a forest. In August, Gatorade released its first video game within Snapchat's Discover ESPN channel, Serena Williams' Match Point, from game developer Ludomade and TBWA\Chiat\Day. Here, players get their chance to win one of her Grand Slam singles titles. And in the same month, Warby Parker collaborated with video game company Kill Screen and Highline Games to create Worbs, a "physics-based matching game" tied to the launch of a pair of limited-edition glasses.

"Brands are hungry to get your attention," said Peter Petralia, managing director of digital strategy for brand engagement firm Sullivan. "We're all super busy, we're fragmented and what a game does is it gets you sucked into something that you want to repeat again and again and again."

According to Renato Fernandez, executive creative director at TBWA\ Chiat\Day, that's exactly what Gatorade's effort succeeded in doing. The 22-level game allowed consumers to see what it would be like to compete against Williams. That conceit, which was timed to the U.S. Open where Williams was aiming to win her 23rd Grand Slam, was played by over 2 million consumers and on average players spent 217 seconds playing the game. "Not bad if you consider the average engagement rate on Snapchat is three seconds," said Fernandez.

"Consumers favor experiences and the nontraditional," noted Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker. (The company declined to share either the number of players or the amount of money it spent.) "Ultimately, it's not about the money, it's about the idea--and the ability to connect with our consumers," explained Blumenthal. …

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