Heard of Flappy Bird? Thought so. Today, I’ll show you why you know about Flappy Bird. And what PR lessons we can learn?
Let’s get this straight. I have no interest in any app related games really. Let alone one about a Flappy Bird. This time last week I couldn’t have told you what it was. This morning I punched the air in delight as I celebrated a high score of 3 over the breakfast table. Minutes ebbed away until we realised we were leaving late for the school run.
So how has this behaviour transformation come about in our household and millions of households across the planet?
1. It’s a good game (product).
It delivers what people want. A simple addictive challenge. It’s been downloaded 50 million times. So there is already a community of people who care about the product. It’s hysterical and infuriating to fail.
Now, how do we take this massive interest and turn it into a stellar PR story? Here’s how:
2. Ban it.
And a self-imposed ban at that. Seriously? One of the most successful apps in history bringing in a cool $30,000 dollars in advertising revenue a day – and you stop letting people download it for free. Creator Dong Nguyen has done exactly the opposite of what any clear-minded entrepreneur would surely be expected to do. In a world of attention-seeking sheep we are in deepest purple cow territory here.
3. Reveal a personal emotional issue.
This isn’t just a entrepreneurial story. Oh, no. There is a human story to all of this too. Dong is reportedly personally unprepared for the level of success of his game. So much so he can’t cope! It’s all too much attention for a introverted amateur game designer. Are you starting to like this guy just a little bit more yet?
4. Lose control and let the story take on it’s own life.
There are already tales of ebay bids for an iPhone with pre-loaded Flappy Bird topping £50,000. And today it is revealed that Dong is getting death threats on twitter.
5. The Bounce back.
You’ll never guess what. Dong is creating another game! Can you imagine the launch? Gamers frothing at the mouth in anticipation. 50 millon Flappy Bird devotees eternally grateful to Dong that they were the chosen ones to download and own it before it was pulled. And the rest of humanity shrouding simmering jealousy because they were excluded. Either way an immense swathe of the planet actually caring what Flappy Bird Dong does next.
Whether this PR strategy was accidental or advised it is simply this: PR at its very very best delivering massive commercial benefits.
Richard Glynn will help you stand out, build influence and become easier to buy from.
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