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Coca-Cola?s Fanta focuses on mobile gaming for branded engagement

Coca-Cola is going after mobile gamers with an application that lets users challenge their friends and family through levels of branded activities.

The Fanta Fruit Slam app is available for free download on Apple?s App Store. Coca-Cola has relied on mobile gaming in the past to build awareness of several of its brands.

?Mobile gaming will continue to grow significantly as consumers are spending more time playing games on mobile than any other app activity,? said Matt Shea, executive vice president of product development at WildTangent, Redmond, WA.

?Free-to-play games will also increase in popularity given that the majority of mobile users prefer not to pay for apps,? he said. ?We also expect to see more mature publisher models for mobile games.?

Mr. Shea is not associated with Coca-Cola. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Coca-Cola did not respond to press enquiries.

Drink on mobile
The premise of the game revolves around the characters from Fanta?s ?Play? campaign.

Users can choose a character and play a game in either single-player or multi-player mode.

Players then try to hit their component with as many pieces of fruit as possible before losing their power.

Between rounds, users power back up with a Fanta soda. The Fanta brand is also splashed across many of the game?s pages.

The Fanta Fruit Slam app is also available on a Facebook app. Users who want to play in multi-player mode on mobile can sync the app with their account to challenge their friends and family.

Scores and content is also shared in a consumer?s Facebook News Feed, which could help Fanta generate more app downloads.

Coca-Cola claims that the app is available in 12 different languages.

Branded Fanta content

Brand opportunity
Fanta is the latest brand to tap into mobile gaming to reach an engaged group of users.

Most recently, Coca-Cola also rolled out an app as part of its partnership with the nonprofit (RED) to drive donations and awareness.

Throughout the game, consumers could buy power-ups and in-app purchases with all proceeds going to (RED) as part of Coca-Cola?s mission to help end the mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015. (see story).

Last year, Fanta rolled out a similar app that combined mobile and social for its European market (see story).

Mobile gaming can be a great way to get a brand in front of a consumer while they are engaged in an activity.

The trick though is to not bombard users with advertising messages.

One way to do this is to think about the type of app and how it aligns to content that they expect to interact with.

?In order for advertisers to optimize mobile in their overall advertising mix, they need to understand the context in which an app is being used on a mobile device, and map their advertising objectives to that context,? Mr. Shea said.

?For example, travel apps align nicely with geo-targeted campaigns with a direct response component, while games apps align nicely for brand advertising,? he said.

?In other words, brand advertisers need to accelerate their campaigns to mobile so they can capture the growth in mobile gaming. They need to get their brand destinations ready for mobile and more brand dollars must be spent in mobile.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York