boohooMAN is a brand that we have observed with a level of intrigue and admiration for the way that they have engaged with their customers using the world of gaming.
The online retailer released their first video game in May 2020 that was playable by customers through their mobile app, who were rewarded by entering them into prize draws.
Over the past year, we have been watching how the company has launched multiple advertising campaigns in games such as Electronic Arts NHL 20/21, Codemasters DiRT Rally 2.0 and GRID, Sega / Sports Interactives Football Manager 2020/2021, InLogic Sports’ Football Cup 2021, and Flying Squirrels Dirt Trackin Sprint Cars.
These campaigns have reinforced the strength of their brand and enabled them to engage with new and existing customers alike. By applying a single campaign across multiple games, they have been able to reach different types of players, from AAA racing game drivers to football fans and casual mobile players.
This has been achieved whilst being conscientious and respectful to the gamer, with ads that are placed in naturally occurring spaces such as trackside hoardings and pitch-side display boards.
The typical stereotype of a gamer has been of a young male ‘slacker’, regarded to have no money and that sits in a darkened room all day. That stereotype is now being broken with the fact that in the UK alone, over 37 million consumers play computer games, half of which play on mobile. With the lockdown measures introduced since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, gaming has experienced a surge with more people being at home and turning to gaming as a form of entertainment.
It seems that the retailer is attracted to the new formats that are on offer to them and we have watched how they have successfully integrated multiple variants of messaging into games. This has ranged from displaying a clean image of their logo to providing actual discount codes that allowed players 40% off of their online store purchases.
In the past, brands would have needed to secure details of their campaigns with significant lead times and ultimately be hardcoded into the game. By this time, the direction of the brand may have changed or the messaging may no longer be relevant. New Programmatic ad-tech capability is enabling brands to adapt and even experiment with their campaigns to find out what works best for them. This means that brands and campaigns can be much more relevant and reactive to events that are happening in the real world such as the Coronavirus pandemic.
Following on from their first mobile app, boohooMAN delved a little deeper into gaming last September with the release of another game and collaboration with “Afro-Fusion artist”, Burna Boy. This was just weeks after Stormzy inserted himself into Watch Dogs Legion with a live performance from inside the game, demonstrating how musicians are also using gaming to be heard.
Not only did Burna Boy feature heavily on the boohooMAN website but their ‘LevelUp’ mobile app allowed players to control his character through several different levels of obstacles, allowing customers to be rewarded with a chance to win prizes and £2,500.
We caught up with Bidstack who have been working with boohooMAN to implement their native in-game advertising technology across a portfolio of game inventory. CEO, James Draper comments:
boohooMAN have been fantastic, forward-thinking customers for Bidstack to work with. Utilising Bidstack’s inventory and technologies, they have been able to run campaigns that sit naturally within high-fidelity gaming environments, to reach gamers in a non-intrusive, targeted manner during the lockdown period. As our technologies evolve, we are delighted to be able to offer pioneering clients like boohooMAN, highly-engaging formats, that are respectful toward the games’ immersion.
We will be watching closely to see how this brand continues to experiment in this growing format and how quickly others follow suit.