Building its brand messages directly into the game play of the popular social game Car Town - the only game on Facebook built around licensed automotive brands - State Farm today launched a six-month advertising campaign within the game that includes branded missions, virtual item giveaways and new insurer-branded promotions that let players earn bonuses of virtual currency.
Car Town has 7.2 million active users and is one of the largest games on Facebook. Created by Cie Games, Car Town lets players collect and customize virtual cars, build their dream garages and help their friends do the same. Committed to high-quality brand integrations, Car Town delivers more than impressions - it delivers focused engagement. Brands are exposed to an audience of millions who are eager for the new content the advertiser brings to the game.
State Farm and Car Town created promotions that bring the insurance company's brand messages - like "multi-car," "safe-driver" and "good neighbor" discounts - into the game itself through three distinct "State Farm Challenges" to Car Town players.
The first is called the Safe Driver Challenge, and is live now. Once players complete 10 full-passenger road trips within the game, they'll get an awar of two blue points - in-game virtual currency that players normally have to buy with real money. For the first time, players also will be able to give their friends a chance to earn blue points - when they publish a post to their Facebook pages that says "I completed the State Farm Challenge," the first person to click on that post gets one blue point.
Two other challenges will be introduced over the next two months. All three challenges will rotate every 30 days for six months. This is Car Town's first sponsored giveaway for blue points.
In addition, Car Town and State Farm will be giving away virtual items, beginning later this month. They will promote the giveaway with banners and billboards within the game, and with a State Farm agent in the game that will direct players to get the exclusive items - posters, car wraps and avatar t-shirts - from the youth-oriented "State Farm Nation" Facebook Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/StateFarmNation).
"This is such a natural way for the State Farm brand to interact with millions of highly engaged consumers," Ed Gold, State Farm Advertising Director.
"We're able to convey the messages that are important to us - about safe driving and multi-car discounts - without making it a hard sell. Consumers will encounter our brand in a place they associate with fun and friends, and a place they visit every day."
"With such a creative approach to engaging consumers in online social settings like Facebook, State Farm is showing what's possible for big advertisers," said Justin Choi, President and CEO of Cie Games. "This is the type of integration that audiences welcome. We're not just ; INSERTing a brand logo in front of game players. State Farm is adding value to the game player and more 'fun' to the game. Our goal is always to integrate brands in a way that blends the brand benefit into the game play in a way that makes our audience appreciate the advertiser