Crushing your Competitors . . . Candy Crush style!

Yesterday was a big news day. There were major bush fires in the Victorian region. Schapelle Corby was released from her Balinese prison. And Flappy Bird’s creator announced how the game had ruined his life and was going to be pulled from app stores. But one of these news items has quite a bit in common with the latest musical marketing. Any guesses?

King Kong leaves Melbourne, possibly for New York

If you think that drugs are the most addictive substance known to man, then clearly you have never played Candy Crush, Flappy Bird or Angry Birds.

There is something about these smartphone games that is incredibly addictive. Once they are downloaded, it is near impossible to stop playing them whenever you have a spare moment. And if the game is incredibly lucky it will spread like wildfire through smartphone users – like its predecessor Candy Crush.

Now when it comes to marketing, there is nothing more powerful than interaction. And the dream of any interactive marketing campaign is to achieve the same level of interaction as that of these smartphone games because they have the potent combination of wide reach and intense concentration from users. Especially when, as shown by Flappy Bird, the games don’t need to be especially high-tech!

Following the lead of these crazes, Broadway’s Wicked and Melbourne’s King Kong have created their own offerings to attempt to crack into this marketplace.

King Kong has released its own game, similar to PC game craze Icy Tower, which involves the player assisting Kong climb a number of platforms as he makes his way up the Eureka Tower. Not only is this an appealing game, but it also strengthens the connection between King Kong and the Eureka Tower where visitors can enter a King Kong inspired competition and reminisce about the phenomenal publicity stunt where Kong’s hand was suspended from one of the top floors.

Wicked has decided to go in another direction and release a game with rather similar principles to Candy Crush. Matching different Wicked-inspired tokens, players clear a path for Elphaba’s magic to flow through to the finishing symbol where consecutive parts of the story are revealed. The brilliance from this game lies in its close tie-in with the musical. Throughout playing this game, the player is immersed in the storyline and provided with opportunities to reminisce about their previous experience with the Wicked musical.

I am not generally a big smartphone game player but I have been sucked in by many a craze in my time. And these two new offerings from musicals are no different. In fact, the Wicked game had me hooked within the first three levels!

But can I just make one comment about these addictive games. Part of the appeal of the Wicked and King Kong games is their difficulty level. While they provide some challenge to players, they also reward those who are playing with some success. This means that my relationship with the brand remains largely positive.

Flappy Bird on the other hand. I gave up after wasting half an hour frustrated at the game as I could only reach a grand score of 4 – and that definitely did not make me enamoured with the Flappy Bird brand!

But thank goodness that isn’t the case with Wicked and King Kong. They’re games are fun!