Zynga, a publicly traded company, is trying to prove it spent hundreds of millions of dollars on more than just a blank piece of paper and a few digital crayons. Yesterday, the company’s advertising platform for Draw Something was unveiled for the first time—and, if not handled with some finesse, it’s a great potential example of forced brand interaction.
Advertisers now have the option to purchase drawing terms related to their brands. When a user opens Draw Something, the game gives three options to choose from—say, tennis, pancake, or snowball—which players then doodle for a friend, who in turn has to guess what that user has drawn. Soon, however, users will start to see brands among the fun options typically available—imagine trying to draw Hewlett-Packard or Toyota—which could quickly turn the game into a mobile version of Brand Tags. The NHL is one of the earliest advertisers on the platform, hoping to promote the Stanley Cup playoffs. But not all brands are as player-friendly as the hockey league.