Tuesday, July 26, 2011

WPP Backs Gamification: Greenblatt sees Greenbacks

I met Mindshare CMO David Adelman when he was at J&J. He told me our talk about the future of game-based learning was an eyeopener. Maybe I should have stayed in touch -- the Mindshare juggernaut has added north of $1.5Bn in net new business billings in 18 months. That's a lot of golf and a lot of success!

Some is from gaming. With revenues and usage climbing steadily in the sector, they appointed Geoffrey Greenblatt to the new position of director of gaming. According to Nielsen, over half of all American adults now engage with video games, which are enough for Greenblatt who declares that the space has arrived as a mainstream channel for marketers; it is not just a vehicle for reaching kids and teens anymore.

"You have to consider gaming to be the 21st-century entertainment form, and it's certainly arrived," he said. "It is demographically agnostic," he added, "any age, any sex, any demographic out there is now playing games."

Last month, PriceWaterhouseCoopers issued a new report predicting 8% annual ad growth in the North American video game market over the next five years (through 2015), reaching the $1.5 billion mark. During the same period, consumer spending on games in the region will climb more than 4% annually, reaching $17.5 billion.

Greenblatt sees social gaming as a trend that's just hitting its stride. "It's not just a fad," he said.

His favorite game? "I'm a serious fan of 'Fruit Ninja."

Earlier in his career, Greenblatt was a planner and buyer at Publicis Groupe's MediaVest.

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