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BizReport : Social Marketing : October 11, 2010

FarmVille has a Mac Attack

Fast food and fast farming went hand in hand last week when McDonald's launched a one-day FarmVille promotion on Facebook.

by Helen Leggatt

Super-caffeinated virtual farmers whizzed around their properties last week when McDonald's rewarded Facebook users with a McCafe Consumable. Not a real-life reward, you understand, but instead a virtual in-game item which gave users more energy so they could move around their farm, tending crops and animals, at a greater speed.

Presented as a "neighbor" to FarmVille players, for just 24 hours, all users had to do to claim their reward was lend a hand tending tomatoes and mustard seeds at the MacFarm.

"McDonald's on FarmVille represents the re-thinking of the delivery and reception of advertising," said Chris Cunningham, co-founder and CEO of appssavvy. "Today it is about understanding the social activity taking place and only then figuring out a way to join relevantly through value-added marketing, which McDonald's has done to perfection."

But what about keeping the brand front of mind going forward? McDonalds had though of that. A branded hot air balloon decoration, available only on the day of the promotion, will remain on the farms as long as they wish, extending the visibility of the McDonalds brand beyond the initial 24 hours.

Previously, brands such as Green Giant and Cascadian Farm have promoted products on FarmVille, and it's not surprising given the huge audience for the game - around 61 million Facebook users are registered as virtual farmers.

Tags: social gaming, social marketing

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