After witnessing the results of Lucid Marketing’s campaign for its title Boogie, Redwood City, California-based Electronic Arts developed an in-house mommy blogger strategy specifically for generating buzz around games published under its Play label.
Sarah Handley, senior director of marketing for EA Play, spearheaded the project. ‘We really focused in on mommy bloggers who play games with their kids,’ she says, explaining EA spent many months compiling lists of the most popular mommy bloggers who regularly discuss video games. The company then moved to host two annual events at its L.A. office and one in San Francisco, where these über-influencers and their children are invited to play various games before they hit the market and give the company feedback. The input ranges from comments surrounding playablity and music, to overall impressions of the new game, and it’s used to inform EA’s marketing strategy.
The last such event focused on a set of four Charm Girl Club titles that are aimed at tween girls and will launch at major US retailers on October 20. EA encouraged the girls and their mothers to dish about the games and also allowed them to post on Twitter or update their Facebook status and divulge they were getting a sneak-peek at the game.
‘Some of them were tweeting live from the events,’ says Handler. ‘We love to see that because it’s another way to get the word out.’
Other EA Play titles were also available for the preview, including Littlest Pet Shop, Boom Blox and Boom Blox Bash Party. ‘It’s a great opportunity for us,’ says Handler, adding that the events have grown over the years to include up to 75 participants each. ‘It’s a central part of our outreach program now.’