Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Raising brand awareness of Facebook via games

There were some fantastic sessions at yesterday's Social Media in a Corporate Context conference. However, I want to discuss one case study mentioned during the event, simply because it impressed me the most.

Claudia Bach, marketing and PR manager for Reckitt Benckister, was giving a presentation on engaging with Generation Y (social competent youths) and the ways her company (more famous for their separate products than their own brand) had embraced social media in order to encourage graduate recruitment.

She made reference to a Facebook game that the team at RB had created. A company making a Facebook game? For recruitment? Colour me curious.

The title, inspired by the rise of Zynga offerings such as Farmville and Mafia Wars (simple adventures which give users a sense of achievement) simulates life as an employee at the company.

Stick with me here.

The title sees players complete tasks in order to progress up the career ladder. Users answer emails, take calls, make decisions; all the while earning experience points. It sounds dull. It's not.

The aforementioned game sees you enter the company at a low level. From there, you eventually rise up into the managerial stratosphere. It's all very nicely presented and users can customize their office with a variety of swanky chairs, computers and desks (all purchased via experience points you get for completing a task).

So what makes the game so clever?

Here, RB are distilling their corporate culture into a fun and friendly format. It's easy to write blogs and tweet in order to get your brand message into the public domain. With this game, RB actively encourage users to behave and think like an employee. Players get rewarded for following company ethos and philosophy as they progress through the title.

It's a very clever way to sell your brand and firm to an audience. You can learn more about the company without having to scroll through reams of 'about us' text on their website and, given the audience and their attention span, this is critical.

They've also created the perfect tool for the audience; Facebook is the ideal channel for their target market. The progression/reward format also encourages repeat play as well as adding a competition element between friends.

What's more, the game is fun. While answering work emails and phone calls may not be interesting behind your real desk, here you're given the opportunity to make snap decisions with the future of your company at stake. It's engaging and makes you feel that, if you worked for RB, your opinion will be just as valued.

Finally, the title effectively makes users aware of the company and what it does. There are numerous references to brands and products throughout the game. It's a subtle awareness tool designed to tell people what the firm does and the big-name products you could be working on.

If this doesn't get your social media juices flowing, nowt will I'm afraid.


  1. Thats all great and an innovative idea - what evaluation methods have they used to see whether applicant numbers have increased? Or is it simply about raising brand awareness?

  2. Thanks for your feedback and comments on the game Tom. Much appreciated.
    RB has been working on a series of initiatives to reach out to talented students and people early on in their careers. The aim is to show them how RB operates, demonstrate the global nature of the operation, and underline the RB culture and how it differs from most other fmcg companies.
    RB wants to push the boundaries and find innovative, effective ways to communicate – and the game was the logical ‘next step’ in building a strong online presence and totally in keeping with a commitment to continue innovation.