Blog 4: A.R.G.s and the future of social media campaigns

The field of social media is always changing.
Both the ways we interact and the Media we use to interact are constantly evolving. We used to use just text and now we can share our thoughts and feelings through pictures, gifs, videos, stickers, and emojis.
So many ways to interact with each other. I have even watched people take turns editing the same image to play tic-tac-toe with each other.

Even companies and brands are working hard to catch and hold peoples attention online.
But what if social media campaigns could be online and offline at the same time?
Enter A.R.G.s (Alternate Reality games)

A.R.G.s are a way to create an interactive transmedia experience to tell a story. Sometimes player interactions simply reveal a set story in parts and other times players choices and actions can effect how a storyline plays out. While it may be hard to think of a way to use an A.R.G. in a social media campaign, It can be done.

Back in 2018, The online, multiplayer game called Fortnite used an A.R.G. to promote the next season of their game as well as to begin the underlining storyline of that game season.

This Game Theory video explains the actual campaign to some degree.

Epic Games A.R.G. for Fortnite is a large scale example but it created a fun and interactive way for players to get excited for the next game season while also attempting to foster and more social environment within the player base and bringing more attention to the game to raise people’s curiosity and expand the player base.
Overall, there were a lot of benefits to the use of an A.R.G. as promotional form that also added new layers to how social media can be used.

A.R.G.s by no means need to be as large and as puzzling as the Fortnite A.R.G. though. They can be adjusted to the abilities and desires of your target audience. Even just simply hiding notes with hints to a new product launch in little plastic eggs at local landmarks for people to find and share could be a fun and effective A.R.G. .

The main point to keep in mind is that the A.R.G. is interactive, easily works on multiple social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit, and has an air of mystery that both confuses people enough to share it online and excited enough to work together to find all the parts of the A.R.G. that you have put out into the world.

Good times in the year for promotional A.R.G.s would be during Easter when people look forward to things like egg hunts and Halloween when people are in the mood for mysteries and Christmas and valentines when people are looking for things to do with friends and family. Timing an A.R.G. with holidays could lead to higher interaction if planned carefully and themed accordingly to take advantage of people’s festive moods.

But sadly, A.R.G.s will have to wait to be used again until have the Pandemic has ended.
.
So what are your thoughts on A.R.G.s?
Have you ever heard about or participated in an A.R.G. before?
Would you consider planning our an A.R.G. promotional campaign for your business?
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Sources:
Patrick, Mathew. [Game theory]. (2018, August 28). Game Theory: The RACE to Solve Fortnite’s Season 5 Unsolved MYSTERY! (Fortnite Battle Royale) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8JwxWL5aZU&ab_channel=TheGameTheorists

Kapp, K. (2012, January 18). ARG and ARG –What are they? What does it mean? Should you care?. Retrieved from https://www.td.org/insights/arg-and-arg-what-are-they-what-does-it-mean-should-you-care

Alternate reality game. (2020, December 23). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_reality_game

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