- Wendy's debuted three branded video games in a new digital arcade launched by Giphy, the platform of shareable GIF clips, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer. Giphy Arcade lets users customize micro-games with their own graphics and music and share them with a hyperlink to its website.
- Wendy's branded games appear in a section called "Wendy's World." The games are reminiscent of arcade favorites like "Breakout," "Space Invaders" and various side-scrolling titles. Like the other games in Giphy Arcade, the Wendy's interactive content can be "remixed" with a selection of graphics and music.
- All Giphy Arcade games can be played on any recently made device with a web connection and browser, including smartphones and desktop computers. Like Giphy's GIF clips, the video games are designed to be easily shareable in messages and social media posts, per the company.
As the first sponsor of Giphy's pioneering video game platform, Wendy's again shows a willingness to experiment with interactive content aimed at engaging mobile audiences with a branded experience.
Giphy Arcade also is a significant step for Giphy in its development as a platform for branded and viral content, including customized GIFs and digital stickers that its users add to their messages and social media posts. The gaming platform also gives Giphy a broader range of services than offered by rivals like Tenor, the GIF-sharing platform that Google acquired in March 2018. With mobile gaming becoming the biggest segment of the $152.1 billion global video game market, Giphy seeks to help brands reach a growing audience for gamified experiences.
Wendy's has made game content more central to its branding efforts aimed at its target market of younger consumers, who are most likely to consume media on mobile devices while shifting away from traditional advertising channels like TV and print. Wendy's this year created a branded avatar for the hit multiplayer game "Fortnite," which is popular among U.S. teens. To mock competitors that use frozen beef, the Wendy's avatar entered burger restaurants inside the game's unpopulated cityscape, located meat freezers and destroyed them during nine hours of gaming that was livestreamed on Amazon's Twitch platform. The chain in July brought back the avatar to livestream another "Fortnite" gaming session to promote the launch of Baconfest with limited-time free delivery from DoorDash.
Giphy Arcade follows Facebook's push into branded games with its Facebook Instant Games platform, which has evolved in the past few years to give brands more flexibility in creating their own interactive experiences. The platform is mostly focused on helping marketers reach gamers through ad insertions, not on creating branded game content. However, carmaker Acura this year debuted an interactive experience on the platform that made its brand endemic to the game. Its "ILX Total Control" game let Facebook users take a virtual test drive in a 360-degree video that responded to the motions of a smartphone, such as tilts and spins.