The retro Nokia mobile phone game Snake may have had its heyday in the 1990s, but American skincare brand Clinique has found a distinctive way to revive the game for Chinese fans on WeChat. The company recently launched an interactive mobile campaign in which followers are invited to play the simple, yet addictive game. The twist is that players have to get rid of the “dark spots” on the screen to grow the snake.
Clinique uses the Snake-style game to entice consumers to learn more about its “Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector & Optimizer.” Players are prompted to navigate the 8-bit snake around the screen, eating up the dark squares. The snake, which is made up of skintone squares, becomes longer and moves faster with each spot “removed,” and players can play to try to beat the score of fellow WeChat followers, or simply score more than 300 points and receive limited-edition samples of the product. At the end of the game, players can see how they ranked. Alternatively, users can skip past the game entirely and opt to watch a video to learn more about Clinique’s corrector.
The number of mobile gamers in China is on a massive upswing, with the number of smartphone gamers reaching 365 million last year and still rising. Thus, gamification has been one of the top marketing strategies utilized by brands on WeChat, with some brands even creating original games for WeChat users. In Clinique’s case, the Snake game encourages followers to keep coming back to the app to try to beat other players’ scores and share the game with friends, promoting the brand’s image in the process.