News & Views

Under Armour / Snap and Run

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world

Sports brand’s mobile game sees engagement on Snapchat

Under Armour turned a recent Snapchat ad into an interactive video game, It Comes from Below.

The game, created with RED Interactive Agency, was created as an accompaniment to the brand’s TV spot, which featured American football player Cam Newton dodging and smashing through trees in a dark forest.

Any Snapchat user who was shown the 10-second Under Armour ad, while browsing through the Discover section of app, could swipe up to play the game.

Players controlled Newton in an ‘endless runner’ game, set in a similar location to the TV spot, navigating him around obstacles – like trees and wolves – collecting lives and bonuses. And, if they got a special boost (in the shape of the Under Armour logo), they were able to crash through trees, again mimicking the spot.

Results / According to the agency, 20% of users who saw Under Armour’s Snap Ad for the game swiped up to play it, 19% of players shared it with a friend and the average play time was 78 seconds.


Contagious Insight / 

Sidestepping obstacles / Branded games are a difficult thing to get right. There’s no question that people are playing games on their phones (did someone say Pokémon Go?). However, it’s tough to create a flawless game that can be found in an overcrowded app store and is good enough for people to want to download and keep in a time of limited phone memory – especially when there’s so much competition (Candy Crush, Clash of Clans and, again, Pokémon Go).

Under Armour has sidestepped these obstacles by building its game into a different platform. Not only do users not have to go out of their way to find and download It Comes from Below, it is one of the only – if not, the only – games available on Snapchat.

Right place, right people / When we spoke to Under Armour in 2013, Matt Mirchin, then the brand’s executive vice president of global marketing (now its strategic advisor of global revenue), explained how Under Armour was using digital to bring its brand to the attention of a younger demographic. ‘We’re spending a higher percentage of our brand media on digital media because our consumer is younger. We’re making sure we’re talking to them in a medium that they’re familiar with, that resonates with them,’ he said.

This campaign follows a similar track. By integrating the game into Snapchat, Under Armour are engaging millennials on a platform they are guaranteed to be using. As we reported in our Snapchat case study: ‘On any given day, the app generates over five times the reach of the average US TV station among its key 18- to 34-year-old demographic.’

When it comes to Snapchat advertising, however, it’s not enough to just pay for an advert and hope because users can very easily skip right past them. Only by offering a unique and well-executed experience could a brand hope to achieve the 20% swipe-up rate that Under Armour did, not to mention 78 second average play time, so this is a great early example of a type of game we haven’t seen before.

It’s also worth noting the way that the Under Armour brand and logo were integrated into the game. Whether or not it had any impact on the user’s sentiment towards the brand, it was a very nice touch to turn the Under Armour logo into a boost in the game that made the player invincible, reinforcing the idea that Under Armour can supercharge the wearer.

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world. I/O helps anyone in the world of marketing understand why brands are innovating, how they're doing it and with what success.

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