Sony Taps RockYou for Zookeeper Social Game Promotion

Social Game publisher, RockYou, has joined forces with Sony Home Entertainment to incorporate the hit movie, Zookeeper into the popular social game Zoo World 2. The promotion includes favorite characters from the film found in-game, Zookeeper-themed activities to complete, and special edition animals to buy. If that wasn't enough, fans who purchase the DVD will receive 12,500 free Zoo Bucks($10 value) to spend in Zoo World 2.

Social Game publisher, RockYou, has joined forces with Sony Home Entertainment to incorporatethe hit movie, Zookeeper, into the popular social game Zoo World 2. The promotion includes favorite characters from the film found in-game, Zookeeper-themed activities to complete, and special edition animals to buy. If that wasn’t enough, fans who purchase the DVD will receive 12,500 free Zoo Bucks($10 value) to spend in Zoo World 2. More after the jump.

The original Zoo World was one of RockYou’s biggest hits with more than 50 million downloads andnow, Zoo World 2, already has more than 8 million users. With this partnership, Sony is reaching therapidly growing demographic of highly receptive and motivated social gamers.

“We have become a category that is of great value to Hollywood,” Julie Shumaker, head of RockYouMedia, said in an interview. “Social gamers are huge consumers of DVDs and theatrical films. That iswhy you’re seeing more of these deals.”

According to RockYou’s recent ‘Social Gamer Thought Leadership Study’, social gamers are a valuable audience for Hollywood to reach. In fact, social gamers have watched an average of 4 movies intheaters and 11 movies outside theaters in the past 3 months. In addition, 56% of social gamers haverented a DVD in the past 3 months and 51% have watched a DVD they bought in the past 3 months.

The promotion may be RockYou’s first crack at brand integration, however, incorporating big name brands into social games has become an increasingly popular advertising technique over the past year, and advertisers are also getting involved in games through incentivized video views as Volume11Media’s CEO disclosed yesterday. The first time we saw a large brand integration was back in October of 2010, where we covered Zynga’spartnership with Farmers Insurance to launch a branded crop-protecting airship for Farmville players.

Soon thereafter, we covered CrowdStar’s collaboration with music agency, Sparkart, to sell a branded Bon Jovi bundle that included branded virtual goods, Facebook Credits giveaway and a coupon code for the Bon Jovi online store. And then a few weeks later, we covered PlayFirst’s integration of Charles Chocolates in their Facebook title Chocolatier: Sweet Society. These branded goods were unlockable through the gameplay and could actually be ordered for delivery from within the game.

Nevertheless, not every form of brand integration will be entirely successful and some campaigns arebetter than others. The best type of brand integrations are those where players don’t even notice that the brandis there, yet report an increase in brand metrics. For a more in-depth look on how to best incorporate bigbrand names into social games, check out my full analysis.