October 14, 2013
Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer is expanding its social media outreach with a new application available on its Facebook page that is likely to attract the attention of younger consumers while promoting the limited-edition Tag Heuer Aquaracer Glacier Express timepiece.
The watchmaker’s “Mystery on Board” social gaming app, created by French social media agency KRDS, is available via Facebook for desktop, smartphone and tablet users. A playful app that engages consumers while still promoting products covers a lot of ground for marketers.
"We believe that with canvas apps, the branding impact is much more important, mostly because the company has more freedom to express its brand message," said Cécile Lorber, brand strategist at KRDS, Paris.
"This means that we can develop a more developed app concept with great artistic direction, which, obviously, is very important for a luxury brand," she said. "This application is a good example of how a luxury brand can manage to promote a very specific product and transform a communication campaign into a unique immersive journey.
"With an immersive app the experience is longer, so the Facebook user will tend to engage more with the brand. He or she will spend more time on the app, they will invite more friends and will be willing to come back if the concept is addictive."
Tag Heuer was unable to comment directly.
Brand enthusiasts who follow the Swiss timepiece brand on Facebook are able to play the Mystery on Board game on either a desktop, smartphone or tablet. The accessibility of the app allows for a great opportunity for more consumers to experience it.
Mystery on Board can be accessed at https://apps.facebook.com/mysteryonboard/.
Players are briefed on the game's premise as it loads. The first-person game revolves around a traveler’s journey from the Swiss city St. Moritz to Zermatt on the Glacier Express train.
Tag Heuer's Mystery on Board Facebook app
The player discovers that his bag was mistakenly taken by another passenger. The object of the game is to retrieve the bag and the Aquaracer Glacier Express limited edition timepiece that is inside before 4 p.m., when the player has arranged to meet with his wife and present her with the gift.
To retrieve your bag the player must use a series of clues scattered throughout the train car. Upon completing the game, the player is automatically entered to win Tag Heuer prizes such as an Aquaracer timepiece and an all-inclusive trip for two aboard the Glacier Express.
Using prompts provided by the app, players look for clues that may help to identify the passenger who mistakenly took the wrong bag.
A clue from Mystery on Board
The first clue is a mobile phone that displays text messages from the player’s actual Facebook friends' list. Other clues involve memorization, puzzles and problem solving.
When all clues are pieced together and the correct bag is retrieved, the player goes on to present the timepiece to his wife.
Last part of Mystery on Board
At the end of the game, players are prompted to invite friends to play.
Fun and games
Social games allow consumers to engage with their favorite brands on a casual level. Fun and entertaining interactions enable a brand to connect with consumers without purchases being the main objective.
For example, French leather goods and scarves maker Hermès is pushing its race track-inspired porcelain tableware line Rallye 24 by integrating it in an online game.
The game is named after the new tableware collection that incorporates classic racing colors such as yellow, green, red, blue and black, as well as a curved graphic that represents the oval shape of a track. In the new game on Hermès’ Web site, consumers can navigate around Rallye 24 items on a virtual track with their vegetable game piece (see story).
Similarly, French leather goods maker Longchamp is pushing its fall 2013 collection through a social media countdown that led up to the release of a branded video and online game.
In the “Bigger than Life” campaign, model Coco Rocha is a giant walking through the streets of New York with her Longchamp bag before busting out in dance similar to the brand’s other campaign videos. Through the teaser event, the video and the game, Longchamp will likely engage with its dedicated fans (see story).
A branded app found on Facebook may be more beneficial than a standalone app on a mobile device.
"There are two key advantages of a Facebook app: re-engagement potential and new user acquisition," said Rachel Lewis, senior strategist at iProspect, Fort Worth, TX.
"Facebook users, especially younger generations, access social media feeds repeatedly throughout the day, giving Tag Heuer the opportunity to re-message and re-engage these users with the app," she said. "Giving fans multiple opportunities to engage also gives them multiple opportunities to push their activities to their friends, thereby allowing Tag Heuer to leverage the power of social sharing.
"Ideally, sharing ultimately leads to increased awareness and growth in the brand’s fan following."
Jen King, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York