February 10, 2012: Bristol game designers, SlingShot, have been commissioned by media agency, MEC, to raise awareness of French cosmetics brand, Bourjois, at London Fashion Week (17-22 nd February 2012).
Using their expertise in the world of immersive gaming, SlingShot have devised a game that will see eagle-eyed fashionistas hunting for a model, the ‘Bourjois Belle’, on the streets of Shoreditch and online in a bid to win a cache of freebies by the brand.
As one of the Big Four annual fashion events, the London week has long been seen as the home of cutting edge design where trends are set for the year ahead. No surprise, then, that it is here that brands are embracing the latest development in marketing: the move into gaming.
For the last couple of years, social media and marketing commentators have been predicting the rise in gamification as the next big thing in brand promotion. Heralded by agencies from MediaCom and MEC to Saatchi, games offer brands a cost-effective way of building and engaging with communities, as well as being fun and rewarding for all participants.
In developing the ‘Spot the Belle’ game, SlingShot is adapting the treasure hunt element central to many of their ‘immersive’ game designs. The Belle, GPS-tracked, made up in Bourjois cosmetics and sashaying through the streets of Shoreditch, is lost. Fans can pinpoint her location via the game’s Facebook page, and, between the hours of 12pm and 2pm, can track her down using a live map on their mobile phones and offer her help. If they find Belle, they are directed to the exclusive Bourjois boutique, where they can claim some free products.
SlingShot games are already well known to the gaming public. Their signature game, 2.8 Hours Later, is a thrilling zombie chase played on the city streets at twilight. In 2011 the game was played by over four thousand players in Bristol, Leeds and London. With more than 13,000 followers on Facebook clamouring for the game, its creators are planning to roll it out to up to nine further destinations this year.
The strength of the online following demonstrates another facet of a game’s allure: whilst they might realistically be played by only a relatively small number, the buzz around them can attract many times the amount of players to follow the activity online, a phenomenon that is paradoxically heightened by the limited nature of the chances to play. With players eagerly awaiting the latest gaming news, the medium provides an entertaining dialogue and the potential to engage with thousands.
Slingshot Director, Simon Johnson, says:
“The current generation of consumers has grown up with games as pretty sophisticated products. ‘Game’ thinking has found its way in to many corners of our lives and they are seen as a cool way of integrating ideas and products into the mainstream. It’s exciting to us that brands are catching on to the value of play, and it means we are now able to bring playful mechanics into campaigns for clients, resulting in fun games like ‘Spot the Belle’”.
“‘Spot the Belle’ is an exciting way for Bourjois to connect and engage with their audience. We’re tasking people with finding the Bourjois Belle in exchange for some fantastic prizes. This can be done either online via Facebook or in real-life using a mobile enabled GPS map. This multi-platform approach gives users scope to engage with the competition at different levels, depending on how actively they wish to participate. The offline gameplay in particular provides a unique treasure hunt experience with the ultimate aim of driving footfall to the Bourjois Boutique”
“We are very excited about this project as it perfectly meets our objectives to build a closer relationship with our customers. The game is fun, innovative and very much in line with Bourjois’ values.”
SlingShot co-founders, Simon Johnson and Simon Evans are available for interview.
Please contact Emma Chappel on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07776 102 614.
Notes for editors
Spot the Belle will be running throughout London Fashion Week (17-22 Feb 2012). Players should go to http://www.facebook.com/BourjoisUK and select The Bourjois Belle tab for more information.
SlingShot is an award-winning Bristol-based games developer and consultancy. They offer a range of games and services, including mobile phone apps and social media campaigns, as well as games for clients in the public and private sectors. For further information on the full range of games they offer go to their website: http://slingshoteffect.co.uk/. Follow them on twitter @s_shot
SlingShot’s zombie chase game 2.8 Hours Later will be played across nine different UK locations in 2012, starting with Glasgow from 28 th March 2012. For further information, check out the game’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/2.8HoursLater or the website 2.8hourslater.com