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Branded Games Transforming Food Marketing

Updated: Dec 5, 2023



About branded games in a few words


If you’re eager to find out how to promote a food business in an effective and non-standard way, then you’ve come just to the right place! In this article, we will reveal some secrets of creating a successful marketing campaign and explain why gamification can be very helpful.


Before we start, here’s a brief overview of branded games.

Video games have been used for marketing products and promoting well-known brands for decades. It must be clear from the name that branded games are mini-games for brand promotion. They are developed and used in marketing campaigns to engage more customers and make their interaction with a brand fun and memorable so they get interested in your offer, go for more, make a purchase, share with friends, etc.


The food and beverage industry has been leveraging the traditional methods of marketing till now. However, it is now open to changes and integrating gamification elements in the form of apps and brand games.


Branded games offer a creative way to market e.g. a restaurant that is currently launching a new food item, wants to boost awareness, or whatever. As customers enjoy entertaining experiences, businesses obtain considerable gains. Branded games not only bring joy and a sense of novelty but also maximize brand loyalty and collect valuable customer data for successful future marketing campaigns.


Integrating game-like elements and techniques in marketing campaigns is a popular trend in the food industry that seems to be gaining momentum due to the expansion of mobile devices and the rapid evolution of the gaming sector. We do believe gamification is the next big thing in marketing as it provides a multitude of unique and groundbreaking opportunities.


Why should food brands target gamers?


Gamers make up an influential demographic in the food industry.

Numerous pieces of research show that globally, a vast majority of online shoppers are gamers.

According to the source,


How gamification adds up to a marketing campaign’s success


The more brands include branded games in their marketing campaigns, the more benefits of gamification we see. Though it brings fun, it also drives motivation by giving a sense of accomplishment, creativity, ownership, possession, social influence, responsibility, etc. Branded games are now get powered by emerging technologies such as AR and VR to create immersive and interactive food experiences designed to be enjoyable and educational.


Branded games are not only about expanding a customer base and keeping the existing ones engaged and updated. Games for brand promotion have turned out to be much more powerful. We’ve outlined some of the key benefits that branded games provide to explain why using them is a good idea for your business.


Building brand awareness


Make sure that as many people know about your brand as possible. In branded games, ads are customized so that only the branded marketing of a particular business is shown.


Educating customers


Some branded games are developed to motivate users to learn something new and experiment. Games trigger customers’ creativity and imagination. Gamification can help home cooks or young chefs discover new recipes or special ingredients.


Engaging users


Unlike traditional marketing methods which are often overwhelming and boring, branded games are reasonably considered more effective. Gamification engages a larger audience without spending a fortune on marketing. People are more likely to pay attention and interact with fun and unobtrusive ads.


Making marketing viral


We all love playing games, accomplishing missions, and getting rewards, don’t we? If well-designed, a branded game has the potential to go viral. By the way, the concept of too simple and low-quality branded games is no longer relevant. Games for brand promotion are getting really good these days. Businesses are ready to invest and get the most out of gaming. We should say, branded games have been taken to a whole new level in terms of quality and complexity.


After all, it’s important to get a user interested first and then approach them with an ad. So if a game is high-quality, addictive, and challenging, users tend to share it with others. this, in turn, positively affects the brand value, user engagement rate, user loyalty, and sales. A viral branded game puts your business ahead of the competition.


Creating social connections


Create a sense of community through gaming. Branded games make a social connection around food thus uniting people with similar interests or tastes.


Giving a sense of accomplishment


Gamification often involves setting goals and providing rewards for achieving them. By creating a sense of accomplishment for users, they are more likely to come back for more and therefore become loyal customers.


Valuable user data


Gamification can also provide valuable data about user behavior and preferences. By tracking user activity and engagement, you can gain insights into the demographics of your audience, their interest, and so on, and customize your marketing strategy accordingly.


Top branded games for the food & beverage industry


Games for marketing have been evolving crazily fast over recent years. There’s no wonder the number of businesses from the food and beverage industry partnering with game development studios is growing increasingly. Oh, and if you think that branded games are for giant corporations only - you’re mistaken.


Even medium and small businesses start leveraging the power of games for brand promotion. We’re sure you must have heard about some popular cases. Anyway, we’ve brought together several successful examples of using gamification in the food sector. It’s high time you took a closer look at them!


Burger King Sneak King


Burger King is so much into gaming! The well-known fast food chain often pleases its fans with cool and engaging mini-branded games that impact the company’s success a lot.


Burger King Sneak King is a branded game that was released in 2006.

Here players take on the role of The King as he sneaks around various locations, delivering burgers to hungry people without being detected.


The game was initially released as part of a bundle with select Burger King meals, and it proved to be quite popular. The game's quirky premise and the novelty of playing as The King helped it to stand out from other promotional games.

While the game was not particularly innovative in terms of gameplay or mechanics, it was successful in generating buzz for Burger King and drawing attention to the brand.


Taco Bell's Tasty Temple Challenge


This promotional game was released in 2019 to promote Taco Bell's new menu items.


The game allows players to take on the role of a character named "Izzy" as they navigate through a temple filled with obstacles and challenges. Along the way, players collect Taco Bell menu items and power-ups while avoiding obstacles and enemies.


The is fun and engaging, with colorful graphics and a lighthearted tone. Moreover, it was designed to be highly shareable, with social media integration and the ability to challenge friends to beat high scores.


The game was part of a broader marketing campaign by Taco Bell to promote such new menu items as the Toasted Cheddar Chalupa and the Reaper Ranch Quesarito and generate excitement and interest in the brand.


Doritos Crash Course


Doritos Crash Course is a platforming video game that was released by Doritos in 2010.


In the game, players navigate through obstacle courses filled with challenges such as swinging ropes, collapsing platforms, and moving obstacles. The game features a cartoonish, colorful art style and fast-paced gameplay.


The game was designed to be highly addictive and challenging, with a high level of replayability. It also included social media integration, allowing players to share their scores and compete with friends.


Doritos Crash Course proved to be very popular, with millions of downloads and positive reviews from gamers. The game’s success led to the development of a sequel, Doritos Crash Course 2, which was released in 2013. The sequel expanded on the original game's concept, with new levels, power-ups, and challenges.


Cap'n Crunch's Crunchling Adventure


This brand game was released by Quaker Oats - a cereal brand - in 1999.

Gamers choose a Crunchling to raise and train. The Crunchling starts off weak and untrained, but as players progress through the game, they can feed it Cap'n Crunch cereal and use other training methods to make it stronger and more skilled.


The game was well-received by players, with many fans of the game still remembering it fondly today.


Cap'n Crunch's Crunchling Adventure is still a highly effective example of a branded game, using engaging gameplay and fun mechanics to promote a cereal brand and create a memorable gaming experience for players.


Pepsiman


Pepsiman was released in 1999 by KID Corp. The game was designed as a promotional tool for PepsiCo, featuring a superhero mascot named Pepsiman who would save the day by delivering Pepsi to thirsty people in need.


The game challenges players to take on the role of Pepsiman, running through various levels and collecting Pepsi cans along the way.


Pepsiman was primarily released in Japan but gained a cult following in other regions, particularly among gamers who were drawn to the game's quirky humor and fast-paced gameplay. The game's unique branding and promotional tie-in with Pepsi also helped to generate interest and buzz among consumers.


Final thoughts


We live in a period of fast and global technological expansion. All the usual things change in a blink of an eye. Businesses have no other way out but to adjust to the new realities and start playing by the new rules. Millennials and Gen-Z customers, which present the most targeted audience today, spend most of their time online and are very likely to buy online.


The younger, urban population loves games and prefers brands that give them an unusual yet interactive experience. Gamification is the best way to grasp their attention and keep them engaged. It’s been integrated into the food & beverage industry long ago and since then has been showing great results.


Scale up your marketing campaign with branded games. These customized games for brand promotion have a positive impact on sales and transform the way in which food companies engage and motivate customers. If developed and applied properly, branded games have the potential to create impressive and captivating food experiences that will keep consumers coming back for more.


HitBerry Games, as a mobile games development studio with vast expertise and long-term experience in mini brand games creation, can be your reliable partner in bringing gamification to your marketing campaign. Over 12+ years, we’ve built a team of seasoned and dedicated talents in branded games development. Our studio provides mobile games outsourcing development to enhance your in-house team as well as full-cycle branded games development services for enterprises and start-ups.


We work closely with every client to grasp all the requirements fully, offer smart solutions, and implement them in an exciting and effective brand game. Click here to get an approximate project price estimation and reach out to us for details.


We know how to design a successful gamified promotional campaign that will make you a market leader.


Contact us now and let’s get started with a branded game creation!




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