WeeWorld has launched a new advertising network designed to help brand advertisers create branded virtual goods campaigns in virtual worlds and social games. WeeWorld calls its new network the Social Game Advertising Network (SGAN) and says it reaches over 60 million teens and women, exceeding the reach of the top five family and parenting Websites combined by over 20 million users. SGAN’s launch partners include Mall World and Habbo Hotel.
“One of the key differentiators about us is giving brands the chance to have custom integrations in-game with scale,” said WeeWorld Executive Vice President of Sales Pauline Malcom-John. “We partnered with Warner Bros to promote their new movie Red Riding Hood in Wee World and in Mall World. Essentially both of these properties are receiving branded content. When brands advertise with us, users can get the brand virtual goods for free. So Mall World and WeeWorld users can get exclusive clothing items and props from the Red Riding Hood movie.”
Malcolm-John says the goal of the Red Riding Hood and other branded promotions conducted through SGAN is seamless product placement that brings the brand to life within the partner’s platform. For the Red Riding Hood promotion, users of partner platforms will be able to dress their avatars in movie-themed costumes and raise awareness of the movie while letting friends in the social game or virtual world know about the free virtual goods being offered as part of the promotion.
Branded Goods And Social Media
“It’s an authentic way to build buzz for a brand, since it taps into what people do in the game anyway,” said Malcolm-John. ” So we’re enhancing that gameplay and making it fun. We’re giving brands a connection with over 8 million teens and young women. We’re provding really custom experiences with a lot of scale. For each of these games, users have the ability via Facebook to update their feed every time they adopt a new asset. Users can update their WeeWorld profile pages the same way. It’s a way for brands to get engagement through earned media, where users choose to act as brand evangelists.”
WeeWorld has chosen to focus on female and teen demographics with the SGAN because the company is already familiar with serving them. About 60% of WeeWorld’s audience is teen girls, which makes serving an older female demographic like women 18-34 easier. Roughly 55% of all social gamers on the Web are women according to Malcolm-John, which also makes this demographic particularly lucrative for their platform. WeeWorld wants to transition its knowledge of teen girls as a company into an ability to help marketers reach women during other life cycles.
“As the months progress, we’ll definitely be adding more games to the network,” said Malcolm-John. “We don’t want to work with thousands of long tail sites, though. We want to be a specialized network that provides very custom solutions. With that customization, you really have to understand what you’re selling, how to take a brand and make it work. We want to keep it relatively specialized and in particular with games that are more like role-playing games, with avatars. We prefer games where avatars are an essential part of the game.”
Since users of a platform like Mall World or WeeWorld typically pay for virtual goods, downloads for the free branded goods are typically high simply because they’re free. Malcolm-John says that over 250,000 downloads for an individual brand asset is typical. Users who dress their avatars in brand items then begin generating viral impressions, as other users who simply see an avatar wearing a brand item are still interacting with the brand. Malcolm-John says WeeWorld’s campaign typically generates hundreds of millions of viral impressions, a success she hopes to carry over to the SGAN’s campaigns on other platforms.
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