Zynga, owner of the popular sketch game Draw Something, has found a way to include in-game advertisements without interrupting the game's flow: Zynga recently began featuring popular brands and brand-related words as choices in Draw Something. In essence, users have been drawing ad words in Draw something.
Although the ad words that were originally tested in Draw Something purely experimental, Zynga discovered that people actually enjoyed drawing the brands. Dan Porter, head of OMGPOP, which developed Draw Something, reportedly said that the company tested recognizable brands such as Nike, KFC and Doritos and found that people enjoyed drawing KFC's famous mascot Colonel Sanders in addition to a bag of Doritos.
The National Hockey League is the first official partner to try Zynga's new advertising platform. The sports organization paid Zynga to include terms such as puck, Zamboni, hat trick and slap shot in the field of word choices over the last few weeks. The NHL has been posting fan drawings of the terms on its Pinterest page.
Draw something competitor Doodle.ly hosted a similar promotion with the NHL hockey team the New Jersey Devils during the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs according to a recent AdAge report. Doodle.ly did the same when earlier when it asked people to draw one of the the National Basketball Association's most prominent players, Kevin Love, who plays for the league's Minnesota Timberwolves.
While the new form of advertising has proven to be relatively successful, Zynga is still battling to keep Draw Something relevant. Daily active use of Draw Something completely cratered since Zynga bought the game according to a recent Business Insider report. Despite the decline of daily use, monthly activity remained relatively the same.