Minorities in Advergames: Fanta Integrates Brand and Audience's Style & Values


Fanta UK’s does a phenomenal job with creating a brand identity which connects to the young Hipster culture taking over pop culture, using Advergames. Fanta.com has two games, Fantasize the World and Merv’s Crunk Off. This company has assimilated this young group's style, values and diversities into the games design. However, they only characterize two Hipsters segments: the Hip Hop and the Hip Hipsters. Hip Hop’s dress like 1990’s B-boy’s and listen to a mixture of music from the ‘90s and some contemporary too. And the Hip Hipsters dress more kitschy, incorporating styles from various other genres: skaters, European punks, etc.

Style & Diversity
Event though the characters are racially ambiguous, several are different races with unique styles as well. Merv appears Asian. His style is unique, rocking a T-shirt under his blazer, a yellow stripe in his hair and a Hipster mustache (The mustache is making a comeback. I’m working on one myself). Also, Marco, having Hispanic origin, is rocking a soul-patch, wearing a band jacket (e.g. high school marching band) and has his own unique hair style. As demonstrated with these two, Hipsters use their hair to define themselves. Next time you see a Hipster notice their hair, it’s wild. Fanta did go over the top, giving Marco a pit-bull with a spiked collar is not a realistic attribute of Hispanic Hipsters. The other characters can be identify as Hipster by their matted hair, flamboyant clothes and a one has a keffiyeh.

Values & Interests
As much as diversity, Hipsters value their radical behaviors. Many of them tag graffiti on tunnel and building walls with little, if any, concern for potential prosecution. They view the legal system as a means of limiting their creativity and fight this authority at times. Fantasizing the World is centered around this malicious concept. Each stage challenges the player to overcome obstacles, which in someway emulates overcoming authority: dodging a robot, defeating authority, breaking signs. The sign and the faux cop in this picture is a great shot, representing authority in the game.


Branding & Design
Fanta’s logo and drink consist of a specific shade of orange, which saturates both games. Other colors used are grays, blacks and whites. This dominating orange is used on clothing, in hair, when the player wins a level or round. Grays and blacks are all but venerated among Hipsters. A great deal of this subculture’s members dig designs that have some mixture of Grays, blacks with an accent of green, pink or orange, and others too.

The game also employs more direct branding. Fanta bottles are placed throughout Merv’s Crunk Off. The Characters are seen drinking it at times and Logo’s pop up in the loading windows, when loading pages.

Creating games which employ racially and ethnically diverse characters has potential to target minorities and increase their interaction with the product. Celestine Arnold spoke about representing minorities in games and it’s marketing potential. She believes minorities are underrepresented in video games and including them can open up new avenues for revenue. Arnold didn’t speak of Advergames, but the concept still applies. Despite the stereotypes in the game, I think Arnold would agree that Fanta’s Advergames should be a model for others. Read More!

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