Sunday, August 06, 2006

WoW & MySpace share a cup of sugar & more

There is a land far from here where the roads are paved with gold, the trees bear chocolate-covered fruit and money, hmm is that something people worry about? There are no flights to this land, no tall ships accenting the portraitesque harbors and each well-heeled citizen will tell you a different way to get there. Let me introduce you to the land of Popular Culture (Popucu to those in the know). The fabled place where all the rich and famous, be it people or brands or trends, go to mingle and interbreed.

Now that we're all caught up, BN is proud to announce an exciting new segment: the latest news from Popucu!

Just the other day, in an elaborate oceanside ceremony, the two wealthiest families in Popucu got a little bit closer. In what will surely be the first of many unions, the WoW clan delivered a gilt-edged dowry and moved a fair-haired daughter into the friendly house of the MySpace family. There was much rejoicing in Popucu.

In short (hehe, too late right?), WoW has an official MySpace page.

This is a pretty good looking corporate MySpace page. Surprisingly, it satisfies both the brand manager and gamer in me. The former is happy with the abundance of imagery, branding, product info and viral fodder. Throughout the page, there are no wasted areas. Each section is either selling the game to newbs or giving fans the tools to push the game to others. Even the layout of the page is purposeful with the top dedicated to selling and the bottom catering to those more than likely already playing.

The gamer in me enjoys the goodies and content interpretations of a game I'm very familiar with. It's a one stop shop for branding myself a WoW fan on MySpace and beyond. It's probably nothing a true fan hasn't seen before but for a casual fan, it's a goldmine. The forum capabilities is a great feature. I got a good laugh that none of the top images in the screenshot competition is an actual screenshot and that the survey stinks of ripe kitschy cheese.

What's probably the most interesting is the bottom of the page where the expected MySpace friends list and comments section make this the unique marriage that it is. There's no doubt that these two titans of Gen Y pop culture have similar demographics. Suddenly, the veil is lifted and you have a real life list of those fuzzy dots in the Venn diagram. This, my friends, is a marketer's wet dream.

As much as I like this convergence, I don't think they went far enough. I wish the MySpace WoW skin tool was a little more robust. Right now, you can generate a generic page based on several templates. What would have been more interesting is if they allowed you to input your own character info or screenshots within that skin. Better yet, tap into the WoW database and update my stats in real time on MySpace. This is a convergence of two Internet-based properties and yet it still somewhat feels like a consumer packaged goods company could have done the same thing.

As far as a first try goes, this is excellent. I'm guessing that WoW didn't pay anything to MySpace for this page. Not that they didn't get the MySpace blessing and did it under the table but that this is most likely a "value add" to a media buy WoW purchased on MySpace. There have been WoW banner ads on MySpace for a while now and MySpace more than likely threw in this page with their blessings as part of the package.

So I wonder, will we be seeing anything happening on the other side? Will this relationship find its way into WoW? I'm trying to imagine something that would be cool and acceptable to the players and can't quite think of anything. In fact, it doesn't appear that MySpace is trying to benefit from this at all. WoW is no doubt driving some traffic from their own site to this page and I'm sure there's at least 5 or 6 people that don't have a MySpace page yet, so how come there isn't a more prominent form of a "Join MySpace" message on this page directed towards WoW players? Oh well, there's always one side giving more into a relationship.

via Joystiq

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