Which was built by game developer Freshplanet, is a time management game that recreates the challenges of running an actual spa. Players must manage an ever-increasing flow of visitors in search of pedicures, facials and the like, lest potential customers get impatient and leave the salon, damaging its reputation in the process.
The game is only lightly branded. In fact, players won’t have any interaction with Clarins product until roughly an hour into the game, when they can opt to treat their customers to Clarins rather than generic products to make them happier. Players are even incentivized to purchase upgrades using Facebook Credits (i.e. real cash) as they would be in a non-branded game.
Jonathan Zrihen, CEO and president of Clarins's North American division, says it was the demographics of casual gamers on Facebook that first attracted him to the idea of developing a Clarins game. (According to an ISG survey last year, the average social gamer is a 43-year-old woman.)
“I knew about the craziness of Zynga games, but I didn’t realize the demographic was so much in line with the demographics of our products,” Zrihen says. “I was also impressed by the level of engagement these games create. So it was great to pair Freshplanet's expertise in gaming with our 50-plus years of experience managing spas.”
Players can eventually redeem points acquired in the game for real products and samples from Clarins. The company is also considering attaching game points to Clarins products to encourage sales among those who become truly hooked on the game.
The goal is less about pushing online sales through the game, however, than about increasing Clarins's fan base and engagement rate on Facebook.
“We don’t want to be pushy on this,” he says. “If we have more people following Clarins on Facebook, it will have an effect on our ecommerce sales, but the main goal is to increase awareness of the brand. We want our current followers to play and invite their friends to play and become engaged.”
Although the game is already available to Clarins’s entire global fanbase, the company is working to localize the game for different markets. A version for France, for instance, will be translated into French and staged on a Parisian rather than an American street. More than 100,000 people have already installed the app on Facebook.
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