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Game On: 4 Ways to Level Up Your Video Game Brand Integration



Game On: 4 Ways to Level Up Your Video Game Brand Integration

Video games have long been a popular escape from reality. All ages and demographics find value in connecting with friends, challenging themselves to beat new levels, and developing new skills.

But people engage with video games in an entirely different way than they did 30 years ago. People aren’t just playing — they’re escaping from their physical lives into alternate universes where they can make virtual friends, build virtual businesses, and live virtual experiences.

The “escaping from a physical life” type behavior and thirst for that escape only increased during the pandemic.

Nielsen found that 82% of global consumers played video games and watched gaming-related content during the height of COVID-19 lockdowns, with global gaming revenue topping $174.9 billion in 2020. If you can properly leverage the space for your brand, you might be able to strike gold.

The Rise of Interactive Gaming Experiences

Gaming has traditionally been viewed as a niche category, but that’s no longer the case. According to The NPD Group’s 2020 Gamer Segmentation Report, 244 million Americans play video games. That’s about 3 in 4 people, an increase of 32 million since 2018. And gamers are playing more than ever: Nearly one-third of them play more than 15 hours a week.

Gaming spans many demographics

With gaming spanning so many demographics, the space is ripe for your 0wn brand to move in. Creating integrated brand awareness content that’s organic and nonintrusive is every marketer’s dream. And if you having been experiencing the gaming yourself — try it out! You’ll be happier, healthier, and faster. Your brand will profit from it.

Brand integration

Remember the brand integration opportunities offered by “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” in 2020? Within the game, players could create custom outfits from brands like Supreme and Gucci and decorate their homes with custom artwork (sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

In 2021, Burger King Spain used the editing tools in “NBA 2K21” to create a custom basketball court called The Menu Court. The downloadable court featured photos of popular menu items, with Burger King challenging players to complete trick shots from those marks. If players posted a video on Twitter, tagged Burger King and NBA 2K, and used the hashtag #BKMenuCourt, they received free menu items.

Modern gaming engines: charge your business battery

As developers create more brand integration opportunities, it will be critical to move into the gaming space and capitalize on its success. Musicians, politicians, bands, and other groups have already jumped on the video game marketing bandwagon, so you’d be remiss to ignore this phenomenon.

Run Sprints: your brand in the gaming industry

1. Kick-off an esports campaign.

According to Newzoo’s Global Esports and Live Streaming Market Report, more than 75% of the esports industry’s revenue will come from media rights and sponsorships in 2021. You don’t have to dominate the space to get involved — you just have to play to your strengths.

Consider fashion powerhouse Louis Vuitton, which collaborated with Riot Games on the League of Legends World Championship. Not only did the brand create a custom travel trophy case for the champions, but it also released branded skins and other digital assets for players.

2. Partner with gaming influencers.

Many gaming influencers on Twitch and YouTube have cultivated large, highly engaged followings over time. You can strategically partner with these creators to get in front of the right audience.

For instance, Andrew Telfer (aka Nasher) accumulated his following by playing the NHL video game series on his channels. He became so popular in the hockey niche that he earned sponsorships from Bauer, Gatorade, Adidas, SeatGeek, and the NHL itself.

3. Get in the advertising game.

While traditional advertising might be seen as disruptive in the middle of a gaming session, some brands have found success by offering unique experiences within games. KFC Philippines, for example, created a branded gaming experience and tied it to the physical world.

The brand saw an opportunity when “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” soared in popularity during 2020. KFC Philippines quickly launched its own virtual location within the game with a dining area, menus, and Colonel Sanders himself. Those who found the colonel within the game were treated to a code for a free bucket of chicken at any KFC location in the Philippines.

4. Think outside the box by making this space your own.

The best thing about the gaming industry is that it gives your brand the freedom to create your own experiences. But you don’t have to tap into the gaming industry to connect with gamers — you just need to find a way to tie gaming into your brand.

For instance, to appeal to Generation Z, F’real (a blend-it-yourself frozen beverage brand) created a branded mobile game that could be activated via QR codes on in-store purchases. The brand also partnered with popular TikTok creators to draw attention to the campaign and drive consumers to stores.

Keep Your Head in the Game

What’s next for your brand? Once you’ve educated yourself on what opportunities are available, work with your marketing team to determine your budget, strategy, and creative execution.

Who knows: You could make headlines like Burger King or Gucci — better yet, win the gaming vid decision of a lifetime!

You want to get into the game — and get into the zone.

Image Credit: alexey savchenko; unsplash; thank you!

Jeff Snyder

Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at Inspira Marketing Group

Jeff Snyder is the founder and chief inspiration officer at Inspira Marketing Group, a brand experience agency headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, and New York City.


Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending



Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play

London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs



Deanna Ritchie

As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations



Deanna Ritchie

As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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