Strategy Magazine did a small piece this week on Best Buy and their bid for your desktop with two free games - golf and a shoot 'em up called Invasion. These downloadable games have the electronic retailer's logo in a fairly non-invasive space are being promoted as another angle in attacking the online consumers' mindshare.
It's being called Branded Entertainment and, much like product placement, consumers will be seeing more and more of this type of marketing. It's not all just fun and games, but branded downloadable applications are also being pimped by corporations with a more serious message as well.
Businesses are looking for new stories and conversations to have with consumers. If executives enjoy playing some computer golf and Best Buy's logo happens to always be present, don't both sides win?
Here's my take: Branded Entertainment is good for promotion. It's no different than using a pen with some Insurance dude's logo on it or Post-It Notes with your company logo on it. As long as it's functional and serves a purpose for the consumer, it's all good. If you happen to use that Insurance Broker or run down to Best Buy for that new sixty-inch plasma based on the branded application, that's a whole other ball of yarn.