How far will Rovio go to market Angry Birds? As far as they can, apparently. Besides the numerous licensing, marketing and merchandising deals, the high profile brand is being used as a cross-marketing tools for companies like Wonderful Pistachios. This morning the company announced an Angry Birds game called "The Hunt for the Golden Pistachio," which it describes as the "first-ever fully branded, custom Angry Birds game released in the U.S." The browser-based game (which they say has been optimized for Google Chrome) is tied to a promotion and a contest involving 20,000 prizes with a total retail value of more than $300,000.
This should come as no shock to anyone who has visited a local 7-Eleven only to be met by the odd gaze of an Angry Birds plushy toy. More from this morning’s press release on the contest:
"The 'hunt' begins December 1 when consumers log on to www.getcrackin.com to play the game and win big prizes. The first two levels are open to players globally. Throughout the month of December, U.S. residents older than the age of 18 can earn prizes in levels three and higher by sharing aspects of the game on Facebook and Twitter or entering a “Get Crackin’” code found on specially marked bags of Wonderful Pistachios. Once they enter the code, players will be able to find and crack open hidden in-game Golden Pistachios that may lead to real-life rewards. Prizes range from free pistachios and Angry Birds plush toys to $25,000 cash. Players will have to act fast for their chance to win because on December 31, 2011, the opportunity to win big ends. After that, all levels of the game will be open to all players."
Rovio adds that this deal is part of a larger partnership between the two companies, and represents "the latest phase in the tremendously successful 'Get Crackin’' campaign, where Angry Birds took center stage along with a nutty cast of other characters who show off how they crack open pistachios in the iconic ad spots."
Of course one has to wonder how far Rovio can go with one brand. After all, even Zynga's Farmville couldn't retain its base forever – and that was quite an impressive amount of players and fans.