SAY MY NAME! Electronic Arts was looking for a way to whip up excitement about the release of Sim City in 2013. The game had acquired legions of die-hard fans over its twenty-year existence, and EA wanted to reach out to them and provide them with a stream of info about the new game. The challenge was that they didn’t have budget set aside for premiums or a giveaway.
Given my long experience with games, I proposed that the thing long-time fans would want much more than branded T-shirts or high-end gaming rigs would be to make themselves part of the game in some way.
Here’s what we settled on: In the new Sim City, most of the commercial buildings will have signs identifying them. So EA chose one of the building types, the diner, and had a sweepstakes. Fans could propose the name of their choice, and then the fans as a group voted. Entrants could encourage their friends to vote for their names, and it became quite a rollicking good time. Perhaps best of all, since the final name was chosen by the fans as a group, allthe fans felt empowered, not just the person whose name had won.
And the winning name is…..”Lazy Llama Lunch-In.” Check it out next time you visit Sim City!
My role: Strategy Consultant