A whole new reality
Zynga is a company which makes “social gaming” brands (Farmville, Mafia Wars etc). People with too much time play them on Facebook and the like. This sounds very niche to an over forty- something like me. And we have all read about branding in second life. But here the flow of traffic is reversed – Zynga brands are selling product through partnership with 7000 7-Eleven’s.
But this isn’t the only way Zynga are blurring the line between the virtual and the real. They are running a promotion where consumers can redeem virtual items within the games off the real-world purchases. This drives traffic to the games, where Zynga will also charge real money for additional virtual purchases. I assume this is all clear to the under ‘40s?
So what? Well, firstly it’s interesting to see the online world step into the real one, rather than vice versa. The breadth of competing brands has just expanded to potentially include lots of new players from another dimension. And in design terms these new players come with a visual language all of their own – will subsequent promotions blend the language of packaging and the language of gaming to create a whole new category?