ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Mobile Marketer site for the latest mobile marketing news.

Barclaycard engages consumers via iPhone game

Credit giant Barclaycard has released the Waterslide Extreme iPhone game, a free application designed to build on the interest sparked by an accompanying television ad campaign and a YouTube competition.

Barclaycard tapped Dare and game developer and publisher Fishlabs for the app. The brand felt that an iPhone game was the perfect way to connect with a tech-savvy audience and take the campaign idea to the next level.

"The Waterslide TV campaign really connected with people, with over a million fans actively going online to watch the ad and setting up Facebook fan pages," said Paul Troy, head of advertising and sponsorship, Barclaycard, Twickenham, Britain.

"Developing Waterslide Extreme for iPhone was the next step to engage our audience and reward them for their interest, actually allowing them to experience the waterslide for themselves," he said. "We wanted people to participate with the brand and feel inspired to talk about it with others.

"With over 16 million engagement minutes to date and thousands of reviews, interest in the waterslide campaign has really peaked again."

Barclaycard is a global provider of credit cards and loans owned by Barclays plc in Britain. It has 11 million cards in circulation

The Barclaycard was the first credit card introduced in Britain, coming into service in 1966. Barclaycard later became part of the Visa network, but Barclays now offers both MasterCard and Visa versions.

The convenience of contactless functionality, featured on many of their credit cards, underpins the whole campaign and is creatively captured with the slide acting as a metaphor for how easy getting round town is with Barclaycard.

That message is summarized by the "Glide with Us" campaign slogan.

The TV ad inspired significant online conversation, according to Dare, with hundreds of thousands of fans setting up Facebook groups, starting debates on forums and watching the ad online.

British consumers were then challenged to engage more deeply by creating and campaigning for their own version of the waterslide ad and voting for the winner.

With more than 1.5 million views to the user-generated content on a bespoke YouTube channel, Barclaycard saw an opportunity to take the waterslide idea to an even greater experiential level and demonstrate Barclaycard's "One Step Ahead" positioning, according to Dare.

The TV commercial appeared only in Britain, but Barclaycard also hosted it on its YouTube channel, allowing fans to access the different cuts and behind-the-scenes footage.

The TV ad is currently on air in Britain again, but it does not feature a call-to-action to download the game.

Despite this, the game had more than 2 million downloads worldwide within five days of launch.

Fans love the idea of commuting by slide and now they get the chance to ride it for themselves, according to Dare.

Barclaycard had young, early adopters in mind for the Waterslide Extreme iPhone app -- an audience, more typical of their recently acquired customers, who use the Internet daily and are comfortable accessing content through a mix of devices.

They're not hardcore gamers, and they may have only dabbled with the newer consoles, but they recognize good game play and their iPhone has stirred up a renewed interest in gaming.

To engage theses consumers meant Barclaycard had to commit to an unfamiliar venture, behaving in a manner that is not typical of the financial category.

To reach this audience, Barclaycard chose online environments, where this demographic naturally congregates.

Barclaycard tapped Fishlabs to seed viral spread amongst the gaming community and bolster advocacy and word of mouth, while stretching reach through Apple sites and online communities.

This is being supported by reconnecting with the fans of the Waterslide TV and user-generated content campaigns and using Barclaycard's social presence to feature the iPhone game.

The iPhone game offers a racing experience set in a virtual waterslide that snakes around a city's high-rises full of bonuses and perils.

The game launched this month to coincide with the TV ad campaign running throughout July and August.

"Reaching a new, younger audience has been a focus for us, which meant we had to behave in a different way," Mr. Troy said.

"The iPhone is the perfect medium to showcase our innovation and willingness to challenge what people expect from a financial brand," he said. "Dare and Fishlabs helped us achieve that."