Best Buy’s Dive Into CityVille: What We Can Learn

By CJ Arlotta 

Zynga, the leading game developer in the social gaming market, has continuously proven itself with successful gaming titles: FarmVille, Texas Hold’em and CityVille. If we took the time to break each game down, we could analyze why Zynga did so well with its titles, but social gaming isn’t the only thing Zynga does well: effective social media marketing strategy is another one of Zynga’s success stories.

Recently, Best Buy has teamed up with Zynga to maximize Best Buy’s social media marketing campaigns. Since Zynga has worked before with Lady Gaga and McDonald‘s social media campaigns, Zynga’s new client shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. In fact, experts were predicting this type of behavior from Zynga long before Zynga realized it.

How exactly does Zynga actually promote brands through their games? Take a look at Zynga’s recent campaign with Best Buy. CityVille, Zynga’s leading game, allows its users to place a Best Buy store in their own city. In return, CityVille’s users can collect virtual tech products, which of course will excite its users, due to the idea that consumers want new things that other people could possibly have.

Ryan Linton, senior director of business development at Zynga, reasoned his “opinion” on Best Buy’s integration, “We’re always looking for ways to make our games more realistic and personal for our players.” A quote that can easily be translated into: “We’re always looking for new ways to generate profits from our presence in the gaming market.” Exploring opportunities for more profit isn’t a bad thing, but it’s always a good thing to let your consumers in on the truth once and a while.

Not only does Best Buy intrude on the cities of CityVille, but CityVille also returns the favor on Best Buy’s Facebook fan page’s landing page. As part of the deal between the two forces, Best Buy allowed Zynga to place a rather large link to CityVille on its fan page’s landing page. Genius, isn’t it?

Best Buy’s social media campaign shows what type of thinking can go into social media. It’s not just as simple as placing a Facebook status here and there. Social media campaigns are marketing campaigns, and money always plays a role.


CJ Arlotta covers the world of social gaming for development firms as well as the average consumer. Currently, he is accumulating more knowledge of the international gaming market to follow and understand what global developers may need to compete with already striving markets.