While on a visit to Mumbai for the MTV Youth Marketing Forum 20212, Henri Holm, senior vice president, Rovio Entertainment, spoke to Campaign India about the brand aspect to the wildly popular app 'Angry Birds'.
CI: Tell us about the engagement aspect of 'Angry Birds'.
Henri Holm (HH): The story of 'Angry Birds' itself is a traditional one, of losing something, in this case, the unborn children of the birds.
The engagement starts because the game can be enjoyed in different ways - is it casual play for you or do you have that competitive nature that you want to cross the level in three stars?
Then there's also the engagement aspect when you talk about the game with your friends. So now, we have the Facebook version, launched on 14 February in the 'Facebook capital of the world' which is Jakarta.
There is also engagement through fan art. Our brand is about fans, not features, and the way to get fans is through engagement.
CI: How do you keep interest in the Angry Birds brand alive?
HH: We refresh the content every 3-5 weeks. Once you solve the puzzle, you may not want to solve it again unless you're of a competitive nature. But Angry Birds, the game, is only a media to communicate to the fans. The game takes different shapes and forms in the brand world - like merchandise, branded experiences, music events, airlines.
CI: Do you think the Angry Birds brand will have longevity?
HH: It already is at the heart of pop culture. It's a brand which people own, have emotional stakes in, and want to talk about. As a company, we don't have to tell people what to say, so in that sense, it's living on its own in the free world. That ties it back into youth pop culture. The digital nature of the game also marries itself into that.
CI: Has Angry Birds tied up with other brands?
HH: We have done some tie-ups, but the brand tie-up is only one way of looking at it. We usually look at concept tie-ups - how do we bring something new into the world and delight the fans? Why do we brand a space needle with Angry Birds and T-Mobile? Or why do we launch Angry Birds Space from a space station with the help of NASA? Those are very high level brand tie-ups, and they're important because they delight the fans.