There’s a new game in town.
It’s called an adver-tainment app. An example of this is a free mobile app (apple and Android) called Fashion Eye. “Play and prove you have an eye for fashion: Discover trendy fashion, challenge your friends and rank high to win a $50 Gift Card for your next outfit. Challenge friends via Facebook, email, or play against random fashion lovers around the globe.” So far, Fashioholic (the game maker) has raised $1 million in seed funding.
You’ve seen product placement before, but not like this.
Playing the game involves looking closely at each product —the holy grail of marketing in this era of short attention spans— to guess its price. This results in the player (*cough* customer *cough*) becoming acquainted with new merchandise. Moreover, they are doing this happily and willingly, resulting in a pleasurable experience that boosts their self confidence in a social setting. And they are rewarded and applauded for doing so.
The real kicker?
The makers can promote the app as “Ad free!” Because technically, that’s true.
What Would Make It Better?
The built in hints make it a bit too easy to win. It would be great to see an Advanced level that contains no hints and requires that the player acquire ever more detailed knowledge of a featured (i.e. sponsored) fashion item in order to win. This would mean that players would have to literally study and absorb information about a collection, designer, piece, in order to advance in the game. Also, bonus points or a coupon for checking into a sponsor’s retail location via Foursquare. (Current sponsors include Forever21 and Saks Fifth Avenue.)
This has the potential to be a powerful marketing channel for fashion brands. What do you think?