By Harry Gold, The ClickZ Network, Feb 5, 2008
Following up on an earlier column’s theme, “Playing the Game,” I wanted to cover the other end of the gaming spectrum: the millions who are online and aren’t fighting in futuristic battles or driving stock cars through city streets. I’m referring to the moms and grandmas who are engaged in Scrabble and solitaire. I know because my own mother burns through hours and hours flipping through cards in tournaments that have thousands of players. She battles with an equal amount of engagement and zeal as your most avid 17-year-old gamer.
After exploring the online gaming industry, I realized there are more branding and advertising opportunities woven into online games than just in-game sponsorships. In a very real, way the program sponsorships, especially for these casual-game tournaments are massive experiential and event marketing programs. People aren’t just viewing impressions or clicking on banners; they’re truly interacting with the brand, feeling such emotions as fun, competitiveness, excitement, even elation, and they’re doing it for hours at a time! Furthermore, these online events have the potential to spill into offline championships to be broadcast on television and Web alike.