Addressing a session on gaming in advertising, at ad:tech, Alok Kejriwal,CEO of Games2Win focused on how taking an inclusive rather than a forced approach can help companies in leveraging games to reach out to customers. He said it is a myth among media planners that online games can offer instant brand recall and recognition. Also, brands will have to understand that gaming is not similar to other forms of digital marketing, and unlike a banner ad, there has to be something that involves the user, giving an example of a Parle game ad where a small game was included within a side banner. He also gave the example of companies that were not doing it right by trying to impose their brands in form of in-game logos trying hard to catch attention rather than engaging target audience, many of them automobile brands.

“Brands will only be able to leverage the platform if they start understanding them.” He added that there was a huge opportunity in location based gaming and that no one had truly implemented a game based on Foursquare or other similar services. He clarified though, that the brand should be part of the meta game, and not directly. Kejriwal talked about how no big game developer including Zynga, was willing to incorporate brands directly in their games. According to him brands should flirt with the media around games, and with games within games.

Kejriwal also gave the example of clever game based merchandising that is being done in other markets and said that he wondered why there was no Maggi Masala Angry Birds special flavor being sold by Nestle, which could have been a big branding opportunity.

He also talked about the need for dedicated agencies for gaming and for more entrepreneurs to foray into the sector, which was still limited to a few players, and stressed that it should expand as a medium. Responding to an audience query, he also informed that his company and others were also setting up DIY platforms for companies to implement gaming.

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