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Branded Games: Review Of Successful Case Studies In Russia 2021



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During the pandemic, the indicators of customer engagement and retention have decreased, as evidenced by the data of SaaS independent analytics platform for B2B and Finances Online financial solutions.

In light of this, advergaming, or promotion of brands through promo video games, came to help business.

By 2023, the global video game market will reach more than $170 billion and probably overtake the music, film industry and subscription movie services. For this very reason, it is already the case that own games for brands are a powerful tool to enhance user engagement, increase sales and solve specific business problems. And successful launches of branded games grow into events that go viral due to discussions on social networking sites and online media. The experts of RMAA Games Marketing Agency will tell you how brands caught up the trend and successfully implemented their own games in 2021.

Battle Royale, Promotion Of The “VKontakte Food” Service

VK's innovative solutions team has launched a mini-game based on the popular online multiplayer game genre "Battle Royale", where players encounter on a limited map and fight in an ever-decreasing "safe zone". The gameplay is based on jumping on platforms, collecting loot (items that a gamer finds around of the game world) and collisions between players, where only one will be the winner.

An average of 10 people participate in one game session, and several battles are simultaneously going on. Each participant has a first aid kit with food to replenish vital energy. When players order in the “VKontakte Food” service, they get extra points. There is a store inside the game, where users can update their user picture by means of points, go to one of the four available clans (for example, a clan of burgers, sushi, pizza, breakfast of noodles), as well as take promo codes, new stickers and Battle Royale statuses in the VK Food Service.

Pop-It For Entrepreneurs, Sberbank

The analysts of the Romir Holding research center determined that more than half of Russians (55%) were stressed in January-February 2021. Entrepreneurs are also on this list, because stress is a everyday companion for them. They are worried about contracts, deadlines, deliveries; it is difficult to stay calm and quiet when everything needs to be kept under control.

Sberbank started wondering: “How can business owners learn to relieve nervous tension and learn to distract themselves from the routine?”, and came up with an extraordinary solution. It took a new look at the popular children's anti-stress toy and created pop-it online for business owners. Popping a bubble, a player receives a pleasant message with description of a favourable business situation. In addition to the opportunity to pop bubbles, Sberbank hid special offers behind bubbles: SberMarket promo codes, and SberLogistics advantageous rates, as well as discount prices for My Accounting Outsourcing and Business Environment Premium subscriptions.

Magnetic Therapy, Magnit Retail Chain

Magnit has long put a stake on digital technologies, almost turning into an IT company. The retailer is successfully integrating into the modern digital economy, actively using video analytics, artificial intelligence, as well as gamification. Together with Group and Digitas Moscow, "Magnit" has released a new gaming application on VKontakte on the occasion of its birthday, that offers users take a look into the future. The game carries us forward to the year 2294 to the Magnit corporation satellite, where Robot M-3000, the main character, overcoming obstacles, must reach the control cockpit, from which he will send a greeting to people of Earth on the Magnit 300th birthday. If a user manages to collect all 5 parts of the greeting, he gets a chance to fighht for the main prize — a car. At different levels of the game, participants receive branded stickers, and can also catch extra bonuses and increase their chances of super prizes by downloading receipts from the stores through the ”Checkback" service. More than 725 thousand users joined the game within the first 10 days, having played more than 2 million times in the mini-application and downloaded an average of 100 thousand purchase receipts.

Merry Hunt, Felix Cat Food Brand

The slogan of Purina FELIX is “Merry hunt” — a new treat for a delicious game. The brand decided not to stay aside from the "cyberactivity" of other brands and offered to play the game in the literal sense. Gameloft for brands has developed a fun online game about the brand's mascot Felix the cat. You need to help a mischievous pet catch delicious rings and packages of cat food.

Some tips for developing branding promo games:

  • Clearly formulate the key business objective for creating a promotional game: to increase the number of sales, increase brand awareness and loyalty. It can be several objectives, the main thing is that they do not contradict each other.
  • Formulate long-term objectives. Creating games is not cheap, so it is important to constantly develop a game, adding new objectives and content there, integrating promotions.
  • Do not allow contradictions in the rules. Clearly explain the conditions and rules of the game using a properly built visual code.
  • Don't make the game too serious. A fun game will not only entertain users, but also create a positive association with the brand.
  • Give not only real prizes, but also virtual ones. The ability to go through new scenarios, upgrade a character or play for a new one, reach a new level are great tools for user engagement.
  • Use all available marketing tools to promote the game: Push notifications, newsletters, promos on social networking sites, etc.

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About the Author

Head of Digital, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Agency Blog

Author Yulia Vasilyeva

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