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Columbus Day Concept 24640 21766

Alternate Reality Games for Advertising

Over the last 16 years, alternate realty games (ARGs for short) have given brands the opportunity to interact with their audiences while creating a truly memorable experience. They have frequently been used to promote TV programmes, games, films and other products, often attracting a dedicated following.

ARGs are designed to make people interact with the world around them. They’re a blend of viral marketing and role-playing games which combine real-world and online experiences to tell a story. Players interact through websites, emails, text messages, adverts, phone calls, real-world events, physical objects, and other media. In some games players follow narrative threads from one platform to another, while others focus more on puzzles or challenges that players have to work together to solve.

Multiple successful examples of using ARGs to augment the advertising activities in various business cases currently exist. Most companies can take a few lessons and apply them on a smaller scale, even if developing a full-scale ARG for the augmentation of their advertising activities may be perceived as too demanding. By using narrative, encouraging audience interaction and spanning multiple platforms, companies can create something compelling and memorable.


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