Monday, January 4, 2010
Moorhuhn - on of the first PC advergames, now over 35 products!
One of the first advergames I can remember was programmed ten years ago and was called 'Moorhuhn', a game to promote a Whiskey label.
Was it one of the winners who received a CD with the game or even a member of the promotions team – up to today it is unclear how the Moorhuhn escaped. Fact is that it wasn't planned.
Whether by Email or as download from private websites the Moorhuhn started its conquest of a growing fan community. Even on floppy discs the chicken got multiplied – for the benefit of those people that weren't part of this phenomenon called internet yet.
Like a virus...
Like a virus the little game spread on German PC's and also beyond the country's borders (in The Netherlands it was a huge success). The advertising industry cites the Moorhuhn as the most successful example of viral marketing; some even claim it was the first viral marketing campaign ever.
The media quickly adopted the game and spun competitions and events around it which resulted in groaning or even collapsing download servers.
The downloads hosted by well known providers numbered in the millions, the unknown number of privately passed on games most likely ranges far higher and the number of killed virtual fowl is certainly beyond count.
The success of the game was in fact so profound that in 2002 research showed that 84% of all Germans knew the Moorhuhn. A representative market research in 2008 with focus on gamers determined that 98% of all German gamers know the chicken.
Right now the Moorhuhn franchise has grown to over 35 titles in ten years. If people still doubt whether advergaming is interesting... have them call me!
More information about the history of the game can be found here