Play Pink for the Cure: Zynga (Words with Friends 2) and Susan G. Komen
Online gaming company Zynga pioneered social games with the belief that if they could make games simple, accessible and social, the world would start playing. Words With Friends (WWF) is Zynga’s free, mobile word game that lets users connect with friends and family through meaningful play.
The majority of Words With Friends’ audience consists of women between the ages of 18-45, skewing more heavily towards ages 35-45. Zynga recognized breast cancer as an issue that had likely touched the lives of many members of the Words community and felt they would strongly resonate with the campaign.
As the first and only charitable organization Words With Friends had partnered with, Susan G. Komen took its first step into the gaming industry.
The partnership provided unique opportunities for both Words With Friends and Susan G. Komen:
• It allowed Zynga to leverage the opportunity to drive in-game engagement by allowing players to directly contribute to a cause through a game they already play and enjoy.
• It gave Susan G. Komen the opportunity to reach new audiences via a younger target demographic and create awareness in the gaming industry.
Words With Friends 2 hosted a special “Play Pink for the Cure” in-game event from Oct. 1-21 challenging players to collectively play 6 million Komen Pink Ribbon tile styles. If the goal was met by the end of the event, Words with Friends committed to donate $100,000 to Susan G. Komen. The new Pink Ribbon tiles were designed exclusively in honor of the partnership and celebrated the introduction of the new tile style feature allowing players to express their creativity with different colors and styles while correspondingly supporting a cause close to their heart.
To further boost in-game engagement, Words With Friends selected 10 event words and corresponding facts that related to breast cancer. Players were encouraged to utilize these words in their daily play for additional points. Once a word was successfully played, the game automatically prompted a Susan G. Komen breast cancer fact to educate players about breast cancer statistics and what Susan G. Komen is doing to fight it.
The Play Pink for the Cure campaign was extremely successful for both partners, driving the highest feature adoption rate ever seen in Words With Friends, player engagement rates above benchmarks and with ROI surpassing expectations by nearly 200%.
The 6 million Pink Ribbon tile goal was far surpassed with a grand total of 10,325,901 tiles played, unlocking a full $100,000 corporate donation to Susan G. Komen. Players were also inspired to self-donate, raising an incremental $5,796 for Susan G. Komen.
During the Play Pink for the Cure campaign, Susan G. Komen saw an enormous surge in website traffic with the majority of visitors attributed to Zynga’s donation page and importantly reached a new, younger audience through the effort.