Zynga has come up with an interesting way to squeeze some extra revenue out of mobile game Draw Something. Companies will be able to pay to insert guesswords of their choosing into the app.
In Draw Something, players are given a list of three random words. They must choose one of these words and draw it. If a Facebook friend guesses your drawing correctly, you win points.
Zynga's new advertising initiative, detailed by Ad Age, lets companies add their own words to the game's library. For example, the NHL bought hockey-related terms like puck, Zamboni and hat trick in order to promote the Stanley Cup playoffs. These paid words will then be shuffled in with the unpaid words.
This type of advertising was first tested with popular brands like Nike, Doritos and KFC. Zynga said that players' reactions to these tests were positive.
"People loved to draw the Colonel and bags of Doritos," Zynga's Dan Porter told Ad Age.
While any type of in-game advertising invites hatred, this type of ad doesn't seem like a big stretch for Draw. As the report notes, the game already uses a lot of pop culture terms. I'm fine with being asked to draw name brands as long as it's reasonable. I wouldn't be too happy if they started asking me to draw Evony or "hot local singles in my area," though.
Zynga may add some additional type of promotion to the game. For example, they might partner with whatever company is sponsoring them to offer a real-world reward to players. Maybe you'll be able to win a coupon or something?
Draw Something creators OMGPop were purchased by Zynga in March. Though the game had a hugely popular debut, buzz seems to be dying down a bit. Active users are said to have dropped 4 million in April.