April 26, 2011
Kiip positions in-game ‘rewards’ as alternative to in-game ads
Instead of interrupting players with in-game banner ads between levels or at loading screens, the newly launched company Kiip (pronounced keep) offers tailored, real-world rewards at the most enjoyable moment of the mobile game experience: when players win or earn in-game achievements. (Kiip’s “Real rewards for virtual achievements” fits in with the trend toward digital and real worlds colliding, one of our “10 Trends for 2011.”) Brian Wong, Kiip’s 20-year-old founder, considers the point when players rank up, complete a challenge or achieve a new high score as highly valuable moments for engagement.
By rewarding players at these points with real-world prizes (e.g., lipstick samples from Sephora or bags of popchips), brands can align themselves with a pleasurable activity that legions of consumers are already doing daily. While gamers hate banner ads, they live for those moments when they finally break a previous high score or pass an almost-impossible-to-beat level. So rather than fight for the right spot on a mobile screen, Kiip aims to help brands position themselves at the right moment and associate their product or service with elated feelings.