Online games are the latest philanthropic outlet according to a recent article by Adweek, which looks at how social gaming can not only boost charitable causes but also improve a brand’s reputations.
Companies can engage consumers and encourage them to do good through social media games, platforms that are becoming increasingly popular. Also, gamers then share what they’re doing with friends and family, spreading the word about charities’ efforts even further. And by supporting good causes, the companies burnish their own image and improve their reputation. The article points to Zynga’s campaign to raise money for relief efforts in Japan last year. They helped Save the Children and Direct Relief, releasing a $5 virtual fan in 10 of their games and donating 100% of the proceeds.
Paradigm shifts demand radical and creative new approaches. Companies, say industry strategists, need to think of themselves not only as producers of products, but as facilitators through which their customers can engage in the world in real and meaningful ways. Which is why an increasing number of companies, from Zynga to Pepsi to Master Lock to Dial, are looking beyond traditional cause-marketing campaigns and inviting consumers to do good via games.