Ikemu is a web-based platform, founded in Auckland in 2012 by Tania McRae, Yuta Iguchi and Tony Walden, that creates playable ads (advergames). Its new partnership will see it co-develop a product called 'Engage', a creation tool that enables brands in Japan to develop interactive games to reach consumers.
It’s also a significant step for ikemu as it allows the company to reach over four hundred thousand freelancers in Japan. It already runs offices in Tokyo as well as Auckland.
The agreement to co-develop Engage follows the completion of its ad content creation tool ‘ikemu Game Creator’, which gives it access to 90 million internet users around the world and is currently being tested in a soft launch. Once the soft launch is completed ikemu will start marketing efforts and launch the tool to the public via its website.
McRae says big companies are now realising there is a huge chunk of online brand presence that can be tapped into through gaming and ikemu has developed both the technology and supporting research to coach them through the process.
“With over 1.2 billion people playing games globally, including more than 67 percent of the New Zealand population, mobile games have become a very important medium for brands to be able to tap into,” she says.
Already, ikemu has created Japanese campaigns for KFC, Kao Corporation and Lio Corporation, and closer to home, it's worked on campaigns for Pita Pitt and Wendy’s. The games allow users to earn points that translate to shop credit, discounts or upgrades.
In the two weeks the KFC game was running, it was played 854,454 times, averaging 53,405 plays per day, by 195,628 new and returning players.