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May 9, 2012    Uncategorized

How Close Is Too Close? When Advertising Gets Up in your Smartphone.

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If you’re like most people I’ve been keeping up with these days, and you own a smartphone, you’ve probably heard of the game Draw Something. From friends still in college to neighbors in their forties, it seems just about everyone I know is into this little social Pictionary game.

And while everyone likes a good social phone game, today I came across an interesting article about Zynga’s recent precarious move with the game. In order to increase revenue with advertisers, Zynga, the makers of Draw Something, have introduced branded drawing assignments. So now, instead of drawing “clown,” you get “Ronald McDonald” or “Gerber” instead of “baby.”

It got me thinking. While every business is looking for new and interesting ways to connect with their audience, how far is too far before they start pushing people away?

For instance, at Rock Candy Media, we’re sharing inspirational pin-boards of things we think are awesome and stuff that has to do with who we are. And because it fits in with what Rock Candy is about, it’s something we’ve found our fans to
follow and appreciate, even when they’re just casually browsing about on Pinterest.

And yet, that doesn’t mean we’d want to go around launching our logo at unsuspecting passersby. So when does the branding message lose its relevance and turn into straight spam?

It seems the answer may just lie in believability. Does Draw Something really feel like the appropriate medium to talk about GE? Or is it too obvious that Zynga is just looking to score some cash?

I say if the medium doesn’t fit the message, and you’re talking to the wrong people, you’ll end up alienating more people than you attract. What do you think? Is Zynga making a smart business move, or setting a death trap for the smartphone game?

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