Virtual Branding: Enrique Iglesias (left) and CityVille's Busy Business Woman are joing forces to help promote the former's "Euphoria Tour."
Zynga's CityVille, the enormously popular Facebook game boasting some 72 million users, has long been missing one critical element-music.
No longer. In the company's first music-related project since GagaVille, Zynga is teaming up with Enrique Iglesias next week to help promote his Euphoria tour within the game. Under the deal, Iglesias fans will be able to add a Euphoria Arena as a building in their city, where visitors can visit and which earns virtual credits just like other CityVille buildings. Fans can also add Inglesias' avatar to their world-an automated character that exists in the virtual city like a resident and that interacts with both players and visitors with pre-programmed phrases.
Both are elements of a broader campaign that includes, collecting various Inglesias-branded items such his trademark brown boots, leather bracelet, military cap and a 2-seater plane. Players to complete all elements of the campaign will unlock an exclusive first look at the singer's music video for "I Like How It Feels."
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It all gets underway Oct. 4, and runs for seven days. After the campaign is over, new fans won't be able to collect the Inglesias-branded items, but those who already did so can keep them indefinitely.
Zynga has done similar campaigns with other brands, such as Best Buy and Capital, and earlier this month announced a deal to bring Indiana Jones content to one of its other games-Adventure World. But music industry integrations have been less common.
"This is the first time we've had such an engaging, core loop experience with an entertainer," says Scott Koenigsberg, Zynga's director of business strategy for CityVille. "Bringing an entertainer into the city is a much different experience than the brand integations we've done. The interactive is very different. The integration with an entertainer like this is really the aspirational element of building the city of your dream. It allows you to experience something you can't experience in the real world, like hosting a concert in your city."
In May, Zynga teamed with Lady Gaga to create "GagaVille" - a Lady Gaga-themed farm in the Zynga game FarmVille, where fans could unlock and stream exclusive music off from the "Born This Way" album and collect other branded items.
Last December, it featured Dr. Dre in another game-Mafia Wars, where fans could both unlock Dre-themed items and stream an exclusive music video.
But these have all been very selective deals. Zynga seems more focused on picking blockbuster-like deals than establishing a template for any artist to get involved. Scott particularly pointed to Inglesias' international fan base as a motivation for the partnership.
The company is in a quiet period before a planned $1 billion IPO, so is not talking about any future plans or initiatives.
"Our goal is to bring the most enriching experience to our players. As we look around, we want to continue to bring new experiences to our players that haven't been done before. Obviously bringing entertainment to your city is the next level of personalization and excitement."