You can’t just market your free-to-play mobile game with popup ads in other free-to-play apps anymore. You need to stand out with supermodels and huge TV campaigns.
Big mobile-marketing efforts
To promote the U.S. launch of its monster-collecting role-playing game Summoners War, mobile publisher Com2us partnered with Vine “influencers” Cody Johns, Landon Moss, and Jake Paul as well as street artist Meggs. It’s available now on iOS and Android for free.
In a separate video, the publisher recorded a time-lapse video of Meggs creating an original Summoners War-themed mural in Los Angeles. Com2us’s marketing team was obviously hoping that these videos would go viral, and the three clips the company has released so far have already racked up nearly 250,000 views on YouTube.
“YouTube has been an extremely successful user acquisition strategy for some game publishers,” says VB Insight analyst John Koetsier. “For certain verticals — and gaming is one of them — YouTube can bring in not only a significant number of users, but also high-value users.”
This is all part of a push to bring Summoners War to Western audiences. It already has an audience of millions in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan, but the publisher wants to re-create that success in the U.S. to help it capture even more of the mobile gaming market, which hit $21 billion in 2014.
Today, Com2us released the official commercial for Summoners War, which features Johns playing the game before a neighbor challenges him to a battle in the street.
Check it out:
The above video goes along with teasers that feature Paul and Moss. These Vine stars have between 3 million and 5 million followers each on the social network, and Com2Us is using that following to sell its game.
The publisher didn’t just release videos on YouTube, as it also paid for the stars to create and share Vines like the following from Paul, which people have watched more than 1 million times:
For people who are more into graffiti than social media, Com2us hired the Melbourne street artist Meggs to promote the game. During a six-day marathon, the artist painted an original 2,000-square-foot mural in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles all by himself.
Check it out:
This campaign represents Com2us embracing a recent trend in mobile gaming in which publishers use celebrities and Internet personalities to promote their apps. Late last year, developer MachineZone made a big marketing push for its Game of War iOS and Android app with several commercials featuring swimsuit model Kate Upton.
Game of War has since moved up both the downloads and top-grossing chart on both iPhone and Google Play app stores. Com2us’s marketing team is expecting the same from its investment in marketing.