Zynga, Lady Gaga Launch Massive Cross-Promotion That Spans FarmVille, Words With Friends

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By AJ Glasser Comment

Zynga announced a “GagaVille” promotional campaign with pop music icon Lady Gaga today that spans FarmVille, RewardVille, and iOS/Android title Words With Friends. The campaign is timed to coincide with the May 23 release of the singer’s latest album, Born This Way.

Starting May 17, FarmVille players can access a Lady Gaga-branded farm decorated with themes from Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” music video. Players can also unlock and stream one new song off the album per day between May 17 and 19. Between May 20 and 23, players can unlock and stream “a significant portion” of songs from the album. Non-FarmVille Zynga players can also access Gaga-branded items through RewardVille to display across CityVille, FrontierVille, Mafia Wars, Zynga Poker, Café World, Treasure Isle, YoVille, PetVille, and Vampire Wars.

The promotion continues with Zynga’s $25 game cards at Best Buy. Customers who purchase the card automatically receive an exclusive Gaga unicorn animal, a free download of the Born This Way album when the street date hits, and the chance to win a pass to watch Lady Gaga’ tape her next music video.

The promotion also extends to Zynga’s iOS/Android title, Words With Friends, where the developer will reveal a word-of-the-day that users can try to play within matches for the chance to win free tickets to Lady Gaga’s next tour, plus a signed copy of the Born This Way album. Winners are selected at random at a rate of one per day between May 17 and May 26.

Lady Gaga’s Born This Way has been the subject of much criticism in the music community for the title single’s resemblance to several older songs from pop singer Madonna. Critics also question the high volume of tracks released ahead of the album street date. By May 23, four singles from the album will have been released and Zynga players may well have heard more than that by the time the GagaVille campaign ends.

In any case, we view GagaVille as another step Zynga is taking toward making its games a “weekly release” platform for upcoming media, though this goes beyond the company’s previous campaigns with motion pictures. You can read more about Zynga’s promotional campaign plans in our article series on brand integration within social games.