Screenshot of GirlsGoGames.com ©2012 Spil Games
Tie your ad to a Selena Gomez virtual makeover game and position your brand nearer a tween girl’s heart. That’s a gender-specific version of a theory being tested by Lego, Kibbles ‘n Bits, Hollywood film Mirror Mirror and other advertisers. Working with Dutch company Spil Games, such brands are increasingly targeting tweens with “advergames” and video ads that roll before an online game starts.Hmmm...1999 called and it wants its breaking news back? In all fairness, the article DOES mention that this strategy has been around for awhile (though it's definitely more than a decade old), though it could have done a bit more to contextualize. Anyway, what's noteworthy here is the finding that advergames are once again on the rise...not only in terms of popularity and prevalence, but also in terms of time kids are spending playing them. As Heine describes:
Spil Games, which is Europe’s answer to Zynga or Rovio, claims 43 million monthly active girl users aged 8 to 12 worldwide, with 7.6 million living in the U.S. The firm offers 4,000 games in 19 languages, targeting tweens and teens with free-to-use online properties like GirlsGoGames.com and games like Selena Gomez Makeover and Pet Party.
There’s games for boys, too, such as the Lego-sponsored Heroica: The Adventures. Since adding sharing features to its games during the last year, the company says that average time spent has lifted from 38 minutes to 78 minutes.I'm also interested in the inclusion of Lego among Spil Games' client list, and the ways in which the company is gender segregating in this online context (in conjunction and/or contrast with its widely reported offline strategies).