May 4, 2012
Just weeks after Zynga purchased OMGPOP for $180 million, we’re beginning to see how that acquisition is changing the popular game, Draw Something. Instead of running spammy ads, the freebie version of the game now includes terms for players to draw paid for by advertisers, according to AdAge Digital. Since Zynga acquired OMGPOP, the Words With Friends creator have put their boatload of cash to good use. Draw Something now includes advertisers’ paid terms for players to literally draw brands. According to the report:
Here's how the game works: Pick a word from a list of three, then create a drawing so a Facebook friend can guess that word and you can win points. For the ad product, imagine inserting words like "Doritos" or "Coca-Cola" in among "golfer," "bikini" or "fireworks."Among the first to advertise to buy terms is the National Hockey League, which is currently promoting the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. Within Draw Something, users are encouraged to draw words related to hockey like puck, Zamboni, hat trick, and slap shot. From here, gamers can post their artwork to Pinterest. The NHL deal and subsequent product placement came from testing recognizable brand terms like Nike, KFC, and Doritos in the game, according to OMGPOP’s former CEO Dan Porter, who is now Zynga’s Vice President-mobile and general manager.
"People loved to draw the Colonel and bags of Doritos," he said.This move comes at a time when Draw Something is losing customers. However, that doesn’t mean Zynga's recent moves won’t be successful. Zynga makes most of their revenue from small payments from gamers’ buying extra perks. Plus, in the past, Draw Something has been known for integrating pop-cult terms, such as Lady Gaga, and characters from “The Hunger Games.” As the report states:
Since games are driving explosive app usage on phones and pricing in mobile-display ads races to the bottom, an ecosystem of not-just-banner-ad sellers has sprouted.Draw Something Free and Draw Something by OMGPOP are available now in the App Store. Are you still using Draw Something or have you moved on? Notice the NHL ads?