"Objectif Gros bébé": the gamification of Naza’s album
The story behind the launch of Naza's album "Gros bébé" is quite unique: alongside the album, a video game was created specifically for the release.
They made it happen
Adrien heads digital marketing for Believe’s three labels: naïve, AllPoints and Animal63.
Along with Valentin, Digital Marketing Manager in his team, they figured that fans needed to connect with Naza in a fun and playful way. The release was scheduled for November in France, and at that exact time the country was on lockdown. Creating a game was already in the plan among other initiatives, but they had to refocus most of their marketing efforts online because of the pandemic.
They decided to bet on what makes the French rapper unique, as marketing campaigns resonate more when they’re genuine and authentic. Naza is famous for playing FIFA almost professionally, and he is identified as a gamer himself by his community. His colorful and playful personality was a good fit to try out innovative strategies around gaming.
When we started working on Naza’s release, we wondered how we could provide it the best visibility given the current context. We figured that content with humour, cooler, lighter, was a good fit to lighten the mood. Once we established that, our main challenge was to know how to convey these good vibes digitally. Fortunately, Naza’s universe itself was already very colourful and playful.
When the idea of a mini-game was pitched to Naza and his management, they loved it. They looked for an agency to develop the project, which led them to work with Lost Mechanics, a digital design studio creating innovative experiences and tailor-made video games. Believe designed the idea and strategy in-house, and the agency managed tech developments. To attract Naza’s audience and bring more players on board to discover him, they ran several contests, among which one to win a PlayStation 5 in December. The prize was the best gift they could think of for gamers. Sales of the console had been so successful that shortages prevented most of them from buying it. At the time of writing, Sony still faces re-stock issues.
Valentin and Adrien belong to a new generation of music marketing pioneers, experimenting more and more with gamification for three main reasons: 1/ technologies are getting more accessible, and marketing teams get to experiment with more interactive and immersive content; 2/ online communities are highly engaged, which offers an opportunity to diversify digital revenues; 3/ casual gamers are increasingly numerous, thanks to game centers integrated into mobile app stores. People can now play anytime, anywhere.
It would be an understatement to say that gaming boomed during lockdowns. According to YouGov data, an estimated 2.2 million French people have used their gaming console to listen to music in the last six months.
Wiz Khalifa’s Weed Farm, a mobile weed empire simulation game, or BTS World, which simulates the experience of managing and developing BTS in the group’s early stages, successfully tried gaming strategies to promote their music. Naza now joined that club: he is the first French rapper to release his own game.
The mini-game is vertical and endless, offering players the opportunity to embody Naza and enter a quirky universe the time of a game. The game starts in Creil’s railway station, literally just downstairs from Naza’s house. Players get to pilot a hot air balloon bearing the rapper’s effigy, earning points by grabbing bonuses (like candies, or roasted chicken), and avoiding obstacles all to the rhythm of Naza’s latest tracks. Naza has also lent his voice and comments on the prowess or failures of the players. The game integrates the aesthetic codes of his work while sticking to his jovial and colorful universe. It doesn’t matter if the players are already fans or not, the music plays in the background and Naza’s voice guides the performance. The game was rewarded for its creativity with a CSS Design Award and an honorable mention on Awwwards.
Creating an immersive game was an excellent way to create more intimacy between Naza and his fans, an experience that they crave ever more, now that concerts and festivals are on hold.
The gaming discussion is too often restricted to hardcore gaming, only mentioning blockbusters like Fortnite, League of Legends or Call of Duty. Valentin and Adrien wanted to keep a casual gaming experience, for everyone, at any time. Casual games don’t require any investment - players get to have fun right away, and demonstrate much higher engagement levels than regular communication channels. Such applications can generate organic engagement rates of almost 40%. The goal is indeed to get a lead, whether that’s collecting fan emails or generating listening sessions.