Draw advertising

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

A new kind of advertising is infiltrating the struggling Draw Something app. Is this an attempt by Zynga to retrieve something from a sale that went sour?

The NHL's Pinterest page
(Screenshot by CBSi)

Usually, if you pay for an app, the advertising disappears; and, until recently, this was true for Draw Something, too.

Now, though, Zynga has initiated a new way to draw cash from its skinnier-than-expected cow: sponsored words.

The new advertising strategy is being pioneered by the National Hockey League (NHL) in Canada and the US, with such words as "Slapshot", "Puck", "Zamboni" and various players' names. It's proving quite popular, too, as the NHL's Pinterest collection demonstrates.

While one might think, though, that this was driven by Zynga, the strategy has been road tested from the beginning, with brands such as KFC, Doritos and Nike slipping into the game's lexicon. Ad Age quoted Dan Porter, OMGPOP's CEO, as saying, "People loved to draw the Colonel and bags of Doritos."

Nevertheless, the move smacks of desperation, and something about attempting to monetise fun in this way leaves a bad taste in our mouths.

What do you think about Zynga's new advertising strategy? Sound off in the comments below.

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Chandler posted a comment   

Whilst I found the word selection odd at times, I never cottoned onto the possibility that KFC was actually paying OMGPOP/Zynga to have it as a possible word for Draw Something. Haven't come across any NHL references myself yet (although I don't play too often anymore).

As long as the instance of "bought words" is infrequent enough I don't mind, although as Michelle said, if you've paid for the game to remove the ad's, its a bit unfair for them to sell words too. Possibly only have bought words in the free (ad-supported) version, or have two tiers of paid versions (with the one already released being the top tier: no ads, and no paid words).

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