I am always a bit skeptical when brands advertise in alternative ways that aren’t an obvious match. So, as a member of the Toyota Women’s Influencer’s Network, I was both surprised and concerned to see a promotion for the Prius V on the Facebook game The Sims Social. On a regular basis, The Sims Social releases special quests that players can complete to receive special in game items. In this case, the prize was a 2-week loan of a virtual Prius V for your Sim.
Toyota played their cards right on this one. The tasks to complete included checking appliances to make sure they weren’t draining power while they weren’t being used, recycling, and researching the Toyota Prius V and the environment. The virtual Prius V wasn’t all that great for getting around (there isn’t really anywhere to go in the game that requires a car), but it did provide extra energy every 24-hours, a perfect perk for a car that is energy-efficient. The only sad part is that now that the two week period is up, the car has shrunk down to the size of a toy. Still, it was fun while it lasted.
Toyota isn’t the first brand to do a campaign of this type. We’ve seen items from Dunkin’ Donuts, Progressive Insurance, and Dove Hair Care. But of the bunch, I think the Prius V quest was the most closely tied to brand messaging. And, while some people may complain about sponsored items in their social gaming, the truth is that these types of campaigns help keep the games free while adding to the variety of content.
What do you think of sponsored content in social games?
Disclosure: While this is not a compensated post, I am part of the Toyota Women’s Influencer’s Network and may receive other benefits from that affiliation. The opinions contained in this post are my own.