The Angry Birds social media trebuchet

March 10th, 2011 by | 10 Comments

In social media marketing, we’ve often talked about the importance of establishing and enriching your relationships with your audience. A huge chunk of these strategies involve a focused approach to both brand development, and the distribution of products and services to be able to achieve positive results with your demographic.

On one side, you have to be able to create a great product to offer your targeted demographic—something with an array of attractive features that you know will benefit them. And on the flipside, you’re also faced with the challenges and the pressure to come out with tactics to break through the thick social media noise to be able to grab your demographic’s attention.

If done effectively and consistently, these should result in getting your followers to see how beneficial your product is, and eventually turn them into your customers and unofficial brand evangelists. Among today’s brands, Rovio has perhaps achieved all these with their highly addictive opus Angry Birds; and they haven’t slowed down since.

The Deal

For Finnish mobile game developer Rovio, success began when iPhone and iPod touch users got caught in their 2009 warfare between a handful of furry kamikaze-ing birds and their egg-stealing green nemesi.

The game itself is pretty idiot-proof, employing a simple open source physics engine which enabled players to slingsot a variety of birds to ravage constructs that house their green piggy enemies. These, coupled with the challenging obstacles and increasing difficulty levels, are perhaps some of the factors why the game is so addictively compelling.
With the game gaining much popularity among its existing user base, the word easily leaked to the rest of the planet about Angry Birds via fans constantly tweeting and posting about the game on blogs, video sites, and social networks. This is in addition to Rovio’s own online marketing campaign; effectively turning the loyal fans into willing, unofficial Angry Birds evangelists and ambassadors. Soon, Rovio’s opus was a massive hit, rising blitzkrieg-esque atop Apple’s App Store ranks.

Crossover Success

Like many mobile developers, we’re pretty sure multi-platform crossovers are part of the Angry Birds roadmap. In the middle of the game’s fame, Rovio began expanding their beleaguered avian ecosystem by porting the game over to other mobile platforms. Recent news has Android downloads pegged at 30 million, surpassing the rated 12 million on the iPhone.

This naturally made the game available to a vast variety of handheld devices including Android, Symbian and WebOS devices, as well as Sony’s PSP. Ports to desktop and notebook computers soon followed with the app reaching Windows and Mac OS users. And then Rovio unleashed a standalone expansion game called Angry Birds Seasons that gets new season-themed levels to keep their followers on their toes. Soon, the game will make its way to gaming consoles like the Sony Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Xbox 360.

The most recent news about Rovio’s crossover ramp up is their announced availability on Facebook. As of writing, we haven’t received any confirmed details about this iteration on the social networking giant except that it’ll likely roll out sometime in April and that it’ll carry an entirely different gameplay that makes use of Facebook’s collaborative nature.

A move to Facebook is indeed brilliant. If games like Zynga can gain a strong traction of their audience through their (unfortunately) derivative and repetitive games, we can probably expect far greater things to come from a hit app as huge as Angry Birds. But then again, all that depends on how Rovio will map out the game and synergize with Facebook’s real-time interactions. As if Facebook wasn’t already a huge time sinkhole to begin with, now the current 500 million active user base will get access to Angry Birds, nearly ensuring Rovio’s ongoing strong trajectory.

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