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Cannes Lions 2010: When the need is to target the young audience, gaming makes sense: Patrick Fourniol, Mktg Comms Director, Renault

22-June-2010
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Cannes Lions 2010: When the need is to target the young audience, gaming makes sense: Patrick Fourniol, Mktg Comms Director, Renault

In an age when precise targeting is the conversation that is expected to become the order of the day, marketers experiment with various mediums to gauge what works best for their brief. Renault had a similar situation at hand when it wanted to launch its electric cars. The product itself, the expected queries, and the elusive young target audience led Renault and its partner agencies like OMD to work together with Electronic Arts to develop games for the marketing of the electric cars. According to market observers, this is just one of the reasons why gaming is set to be a key medium of the future.

Presenting the case that gaming has changed, Elizabeth Harz, SVP, Global Media, Electronic Arts (EA), spoke on the evolution of the gaming industry and the way new users were interacting with various brands through the medium every day. She informed that 75 per cent of Apple’s application revenues were coming from gaming. Harz cited more statistics to inform that gaming was no longer about boys huddled in their rooms with a console, today there was more women TG on gaming, and family gaming was also seen.

Jon Rasenblatt, VP, EA Sports, explained more. He said, “One reason why we have been able to grow the FIFA games is that FIFA is a brand built over the years. We have seen boys play it through college and university and then after marriage with their children as well. So, these games have the potential to engage a family, and we are seeing that now.”

Rasenblatt also explained the aspects such as credibility and authenticity of sports games that allowed them to use sportsmen’s names and jerseys. He further said that collaboration and contracts with ESPN, Sky and others involved was important to make the gaming experience engaging.

The statistics and the gaming experience were the reasons that led a marketer like Renault to use the medium for the marketing of its electric car. Patrick Fournoil, Marketing Communications Director, Renault explained that in the company’s quest to respond to the challenges of global warming, electric cars was a key part of the agenda. According to Renault, by 2020, 10 per cent of cars sold would be electric cars.

Also important was to ensure that interested consumers had access to different kinds of information.

He explained, “There are many queries that would come forth for electric cars, and more so since the concept is still novel. People would want to know about battery life, connectivity, what they can expect and so on. And there was a need of speed in replying to these queries and giving the consumer the right kind of experience.”

The target was a younger audience and the brief was discussed with media agency OMD. Nick Hurman, COO, OMD – Renault Europe, explained, “We always have challenging conversations with Renault on how to progress and look forward. But this particular brief of electric cars needed to push the envelope even further. We realised that we needed to create a story, an experience that would translate into an interaction with the brand, and gaming was one of the key answers to that.”

The panel discussed the positive results that reiterated the importance of the medium.

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