- Trolli is launching its debut video game, “Deliciously Dark Escape,” according to details emailed by the Ferrara candy brand. The game, which the company created with Active Theory, challenges players to protect their gummy avatars as they overcome obstacles like firewalls, bots and lasers.
- To access the game — which is on a hidden website — consumers can scan a QR code located on Trolli gummy worms packages. The QR code unlocks a 14-day PlayStation Plus trial, a Trolli Dynamic Theme for PS4 and the Trolli game. The special packages will be available at retailers across the country.
- Trolli is the latest brand to tap into gaming, as about 75% of U.S. households have at least one gamer, per a Entertainment Software Association study cited by the brand. “Deliciously Dark Escape” comes as the brand found a “significant crossover” between gamers and fans of the candy, per Dave Foldes, senior brand manager for Trolli.
Trolli’s decision to launch a video game stemmed from the goal of wanting to attract gamers to its snack by providing levity during tumultuous times and poking fun at internet themes, per a statement by Dave Foldes, senior brand manager for Trolli. The candy brand cited an Entertainment Software Association report indicating that three-fourths of American households have at least one gamer, 21% of whom are younger than 18 years old, making a gaming activation a key way to reach younger consumers.
Trolli is the latest brand to experiment with branded video games. KFC last year released a video game dating simulator starring a “young and sexy” Colonel Sanders, while Schick debuted a mobile game and Chex Mix rebooted a classic branded game from the 90s. Research suggests gamers are open to more sponsored content. More than half (61%) of gamers who’ve played games with sponsored content said it made the experience more enjoyable, but nearly a quarter felt the opposite, per a report from Hub Entertainment Research.
By only sharing the link to the game through QR codes on special packages, Trolli can drive sales of its products. As QR code readers become a default on smartphones, the technology has become popular with marketers looking to reach mobile-first consumers. Pepsi this year linked gamified augmented reality experiences to its packaging as part of a global soccer push.
The campaign comes as candy brands like Trolli and parent company Ferrara have had to revamp their campaigns in advance of Halloween, as the coronavirus pandemic upends traditional plans around trick-or-treating and parties. Ferrara has had some success with its Trolli efforts, as a previous ad campaign drove a 190% spike in e-commerce shipments, and its sales overall have increased two-fold over the past eight years. As it does with “Deliciously Dark Escape,” the brand also used weird web humor in a previous campaign.
Trolli’s collaboration comes as PlayStation is expected to release the PS5 console in November. In addition to its collaboration with Trolli, PlayStation also partnered with Mazda earlier this year to create the “Gran Turismo Sport” game, which gave players a preview of the Mazda driving experience.