Rovio’s strategy for today’s launch of Angry Birds Space goes beyond global domination to literally out of this world. Elements of the rollout for the smash hit’s sequel include a groundbreaking content deal with Walmart, bonus branded levels promoting Samsung, an tie-in with National Geographic Books, and video from an actual astronaut from onboard the International Space Station.
Flight Engineer Don Pettit of NASA created a video using Angry Birds Space to demonstrating how the trajectory of the catapulted birds is different from when they’re in Earth’s gravity. (See video below.) Rovio said this is the first-ever game announcement and gameplay footage from space, a claim that certainly seems to be true.
The Walmart deal is more earthbound but pioneering in its own way. Walmart and Rovio have devised a marketing campaign that the retail giant said is the first time it has ever has joined forces with a mobile entertainment company for an integrated online and in-store gaming experience.
Starting Sunday, customers of more than 3,000 Walmart U.S. stores will be able to unlock four bonus Angry Birds Space levels by collecting “Golden Eggsteroid” clues. Some of these clues are on Walmart’s Facebook page. Others, however, can only be gathered by visiting a Walmart and checking out its range of Angry Birds branded apparel, plush toys, mobile phones, snacks and more, where the eggsteroids may be hidden on pricetags, snack boxes and even on an actual t-shirt design.
Additionally, the purchase of any T-Mobile Android smartphone and service plan comes with access to an Angry Birds Space portal in the T-Mobile Mall where downloadable Angry Birds wallpaper, animated shorts and a hint to unlock a hidden golden eggsteroid level.
“We wanted to give our fans a unique retail extension to Angry Birds Space that rewards them for their eagle eyes,” said Peter Vesterbacka, chief marketing officer and Mighty Eagle of Rovio Entertainment. “Only Walmart can deliver the reach across America for this type of program and we wish our fans luck as they seek out our hidden clues.”
Besides that, Angry Birds Space has a special relationship the Samsung Galaxy Note. Regardless of where it’s purchased, owners of the new smartphone will be able to participate in a dedicated microsite that currently has a casual game, branded adventures, competitions digital downloads, and an opportunity to interact and share tactics with friends. Samsung and Rovio said more will be added in the future. There’s also an exclusive Samsung Galaxy Note level in Angry Birds Space, and a special deal on the “Danger Zone” package of 30 game levels normally available as an in-app purchase.
National Geographic Books joins the party with National Geographic Angry Birds Space, the official companion to Rovio’s latest release. The book includes tales about the game’s new characters along with space-related facts and dramatic photos. The deal also covers a second book due in the fall.
Even playgrounds and amusements parks are included in Rovio’s plans. The Särkänniemi Adventure Park in Tampere, Finland, will be opening an “Angry Birds Land” section on April 28 with rides, amusement park games and an area with interactive games. It also will include playground equipment from Finnish manufacturer Lappset, which has a complete range of licensed Angry Birds products for both home and public use.
Rovio and Lappset have a further agreement to collaborate on Angry Birds activity parks around the world. The first two will be in Finland, Espoo and Rovaniemi, although Lappset Group Oy’s managing director Juha Laakkonen said it intends to use Angry Birds to propel its international growth. “Working with Angry Birds will extend Lappset’s opportunities in the growing Asian market and strengthen its product range to improve the health and fitness of people of all ages, while also highlighting Lappset’s ability to be the leading and most innovative company in its field,” he said. “Getting people of all ages active is extremely important for society.”
Rovio also is developing ideas for further integration, for example sensors that deliver bonus Angry Birds features to the mobile phones of park visitors.
Walmart – press release
Walmart’s Angry Birds Facebook page – http://walmarturl.com/angrybirdsspace
Lappset – press release