Zynga Expands its Social Media Marketing

Anyone that enjoys the games and applications on Facebook knows the enormous popularity of Zynga’s games Farmville, YoVille and Mafia Wars. Nearly 64 million people play Farmville each month, which is how parent company Zynga brought in $490 million in revenue last year, according to CNET News.

Taking the Facebook games’ popularity and bankability one step further, Zynga has partnered with consumer goods company Green Giant and convenience store chain 7-Eleven in an innovative six-week marketing campaign that links product purchases to game redemptions. Beginning last month, consumers who purchase specially-marked products receive a redemption code that can be used for limited-edition virtual goods on one of Zynga’s popular games.

This means that consumers who purchase Green Giant frozen vegetables can use the code on the packaging to redeem Farmville Farmcash, the virtual currency in the game. 7-Eleven features a number of products that can be used for redemption of virtual goods on Farmville. For example, a pint of 7-Eleven vanilla ice-cream yields a Neapolitan Cow in Farmville. The purchase of a large 7-Eleven iced coffee is good for a virtual Coffee Cart, and cut fruit gives players a Chocolate Persimmon Tree.  Other clever product-redemption ties are available for Mafia Wars and Yoville.

“7-Eleven’s partnership with Zynga has launched one of the most unique campaigns in our company’s history,” says Rita Bargerhuff, 7-Eleven vice president and chief marketing officer.  “It gives millions of loyal fans, who regularly play Zynga games, access to incentives on more than 30 products in our stores. The Zynga universe of gamers is vast, and we knew we had to come up with a promotion fit for this demographic.” The unique campaign mixes social media marketing with traditional product marketing strategy. Also, ROI on the social media program can be directly linked to in-store sales. The promotion ends July 15, 2010 or while supplies last.

In other news for the gaming company, Zynga has released Farmville for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Apple users can access the game from their iOS device and Zynga even offers exclusive items only available to players on iOS devices. The application is iPhone 3, and yes, iPhone 4 compatible. The Farmville App can be downloaded for free from the App Store.