image001W Hotels

W Hotels is the latest brand to tap into gaming for its marketing
efforts. 

The hotel chain has launched a retro, arcade-style video game
called “Belle the Bear” to tout the opening of its latest hotel
in Bellevue, Seattle.

“We wanted to celebrate the opening of W Bellevue in a way that
would reflect the tech-centric city it’s located in, and the
atmosphere of the new hotel itself,” Anthony Ingham, global brand
leader at W Hotels Worldwide, told Business Insider. “We wanted
to build excitement, engagement and do something truly
innovative.”

Users can play the Frogger-style adventure game on a micro site
through desktop, tablet or mobile, helping the character Belle
move from the bottom to the top while overcoming the obstacles on
her way. Players must avoid everything from fish to bees while
collecting cocktails and W-embellished objects to rack up the
points, with the five highest scorers in the running to win
prizes including a complimentary three-day stay at the hotel.

The Marriott-owned brand worked with experiential marketing
agency Pen&Public to bring the game to life and will be
promoting it using videos, photos and GIFs from the game across
its social channels. W Hotels is also partnering with influencers
in the gaming space, as well as encouraging users to share their
scores online using the game’s built-in social sharing options.

W Hotels is hardly the first brand to have experimented with
gaming. Last summer, Gatorade launched a Serena Williams-inspired video game
ad
tied to the US Open on ESPN’s Snapchat Discover
channel. The ad resulted in a 14.5% swipe-up rate, with the
average user spending more than three minutes playing the game.
More recently,
Pepsi launched “Pepsi Summer Quest,”
a Temple Run-style game
within Snapchat. 

W Hotels believes that the game will help the brand engage not
only with the burgeoning gaming community, but a broader
audience. That is also why it gave the game a decidedly retro
feel.

“A game like this is nostalgic for some Gen-Xers and millennials
who know games like Frogger and the popular Crossy Road, but
simple enough for everyone to enjoy,” said Ingham. “Video games
aren’t just for basement-dwelling teens anymore – they’re for
everyone. And we’re trying to reach everyone.”