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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 03, 2009

Offerpal launches gaming rewards platform

A new platform and program for virtual goods and currency is just the latest blip on the virtual advertising screen. But, it is also a sign that virtual goods/currency is still growing and still a place where marketers can increase their brand awareness and campaign ROI. Called Offerpal Shopping, the platform is the latest addition to the Offerpal Media stable and gives rewards to gamers by allowing them to earn virtual currency as they shop online.

by Kristina Knight

Here is how it works: a consumer signs up and begins playing online games or apps in social networks. As they play or shop specific etailers they accrue virtual currency which can be used while shopping with branded retailers. For every dollar spent by the consumer, virtual cash is returned to them; the virtual cash can be used on clothing/apparel, gifts, software, travel and electronics among other items. The typical reimbursement is between 5% and 10% of the amount spent.

"Our goal has always been to give consumers an alternative to paying for virtual currency by letting them earn it instead--whether by filling out ad offers, completing surveys, or now simply by shopping for the types of goods and services they already use every day," said George Garrick, CEO of Offerpal Media. "We are also proud to deliver a new way for game developers to monetize their traffic and reward their most loyal users."

Why should marketers care?

The virtual goods and virtual currency arenas are growing at a 36% (year over year) clip, which has many marketers looking at virtual promotions for their brands and products.

Although the platform is touted as a way for consumers to earn money as the play and spend, there are benefits for game/app developers as well as websites. By giving consumers the option to pay with virtual cash or to earn cash back on purchases developers, publishers and content partners stand to turn free-only players into pay-players, a win-win situation.

Tags: app advertising, game advertising, gamers, Offerpal Media, online games, online gaming, social marketing, virtual currency, virtual goods

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