The Takeover of Fortnite

This video game taking over a generation.

When we think about popular video games that attract a youth market, we think of such games like FIFA, Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. Games that are prominent with a male under 30 demographic and games that cause a wave of media outcry and popularity when they are released.

Well now, there’s a new kid on the block and this new phenomenon is not just a game, but a game-changer.

Fortnite is a game developed by ‘Epic Games’ and whether they knew it or not when creating this masterpiece, Fortnite has taken the internet by storm.

Firstly, Fortnite is free to download… Yes, free.

In an age where it is not un-common to spend £40-£50 on video games, Fortnite was released to the world for a grand total of £0. If you’re like me, you’d expect a free game to be subpar… Not the case for Fortnite. It’s a solid third person shooter that has a lot going for it. Sure, it’s not Halo or Call of Duty but it does offer a great piece of gameplay that is difficult to get anywhere else.

Fortnite is aimed at a younger, male audience that either still get pocket money from mum or simply don’t earn enough money to justify buying a £50 game that doesn’t come with years of accolades. So, when a free games pops up on the market, downloads go wild.

Along with the launch, came a wave of user-generated social media content that drove the publicity of this game to a new level.

People started using Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch to talk about Fortnite. Bigger accounts that don £10m+ followers started to upload content because it is where the conversation lies. People didn’t and don’t want to miss out on what everybody else is making noise about. People aren’t addicted to Fortnite, it just has the same calling that any other new craze has. Young people simply do not want to get left behind. Heck, it’s the reason why I started playing it. It’s not an amazing game but it’s a solid game, it’s a free game that everyone is playing… So why don’t I start playing it?

But what do the developers get out of this? Sure, there’s a wave of free user-generated publicity, sure they have millions of users across the globe. But if the game is free, then how are they making money? There’s no advertising in the game so there’s no third-party income coming in through that traditional route.

The way Epic Games makes money through Fortnite is through in-game purchases. This has been a model that has been around since mobile gaming first jumped on the scene. You download a ‘free’ game from the app store and then once in the game you can pay for certain add-ons to make your gaming experience even better. The console gaming industry adopted this same model a while ago and it is still being used to extreme effect today. The best example of this probably comes in the form of FIFA Ultimate Team. Where you can physically use your own hard-earned money to pay for FUT points to buy or bid on players.

Fortnite allows users to pay for in-game add-ons that can make you a more formidable opponent when you’re up against your friends in the game. As more people play and the competition levels rise, people will want to outdo their counterparts and this is what Fortnite counts on to make money.

Fortnite is an online gaming example that has taken social media by storm and…

Sorry, Ryan’s online and asking me to play… Gotta go!

Trends and social stigmas

We’re living in a life full of trends and what I like to call “the new age of peer pressure.” We’re now more so than ever trying to fit in with our social crowd and doing things that we would have never thought about doing five, ten or even fifteen years ago.

Let’s look at tattoos, gluten free or even veganism and try and understand how and why these have become social trends. Yes, people are educating themselves and become more “open” about such things but people are also seeking a way to become a part of a social setting that where they can “fit in.” With the rise of social and digital media, information is much easier to grasp that in the 90s and we’re being taught or some may say “brainwashed” into following trends unconsciously.

But maybe there’s a point to that…

Do you give yourself a social media ranking?

Many young people tend to portray their lifestyle on social media differently to how their life really is.

There is a trend where we are seeing ourselves living life in which we aim to raise our social media ‘ranking’ and searching approval from our digital companions through our activity on social media.

We are now glittering our lives with filters and rose tinted lenses while at the same time making our peers feel bad about their own lives. And we are aware of what we are doing!

“Social Media is like cocaine – It can give us an immense high but it can also make us and others around us crash!” – Dominic McGregor, CEO Social Chain.

Why so social? – Documentary coming soon.

Social media word of mouth is the greatest marketing and advertising tool

Social media word of mouth is the greatest marketing and advertising tool. Period.

No matter what, if you have good content then you have the power to create something special; without even lifting a finger. The great thing about social media is that its users know a piece of good content and will create multiple strands of media from that content to sit on multiple platforms.

In this vlog, I speak about the recent events that has happened with United Airlines’ mishandling of a passenger and Borussia Dortmund’s team bus incident.

In the case of United Airlines, an unfortunate turn of events involving a passenger and airline staff resulting in the passenger being dragged off the plane by police officers. Fortunately, the event was recorded on mobile devices by passengers who uploaded their videos to social media. Of course, this created an uproar of emotion but what it also created was an opportunity for everyday social media content creators to act and use this event to create entertaining content which in turn made this event that much more visible to the public.

The amount of extra eye balls that this type of social media word of mouth added would have indeed been a number above comprehension. United Airlines certainly felt the impact of what social media can do and how it can ‘make’ or ‘break’ you.

With Borussia Dortmund, the use of the hashtag #BedForAwayFans was created by the club as well as its fans to help find Monaco fans a bed to sleep in for the extra night that the French fans stayed in Dortmund to support their team due to the match being postponed. This is by no means nothing new but the use of the hashtag created positive social media word of mouth to allow football fans to come together as one.

Whether for entertainment or for help or for anything else. If there is a good cause, good content or a good idea, people will use social media to share it, talk about it and promote it.

It is the very best form of marketing and advertising. Just don’t ask people to do it. Let them do it themselves!

The Immense Power of Internet Memes

Everybody loves to be entertained. There is no one person on this planet that does not enjoy a ‘good old chuckle.’

As generations go by and people start to urge for their ‘fix’ of entertainment and laughter – we start to see a curtain being lifted on extremism and what people will do to get their enjoyment.

People like change, people like to want to “see what happens.”

I’ve heard people say: “I voted for Trump to shake things up a bit”, “I voted Brexit just because.”

This is the culture that many young people live in today. Sometimes it can be for the worse, sometimes it can be for the better.

We live in a meme culture, whereby what we see online, on our Instagram feeds, on our Facebook timeline, etc, dictates the way we feel about certain topics.

Think to yourself for a minute.

How many Trump memes did we see during his US presidential campaign?

Now think to yourself again.

How many Clinton memes did you see during her US presidential campaign?

Entertainment through memes and other types of internet influences creates a new wave of pop culture that in-turn is directly, but mostly indirectly used as a marketing ploy.

From my personal experience, Donald Trump was the one that was continuously ridiculed and ‘laughed at’ through memes on my social media timelines… I rarely saw a Hilary Clinton meme.

People were able to make fun of Trump and laugh at Trump. Over time, this would have had people think:

“Wouldn’t it be funny if he actually became the 45th President of the United States of America?”

“Maybe I should vote for him to see what he does?” “Maybe I should vote for him to see what happens?”

The current US President was so heavily marketed in a way through memes and pop culture that he was always talked about and always in our line of sight without us knowing that he was being sold to us.

Of course, what we saw of Mr Trump in the media spotlight was not always a shining, glamorous example of what a leader of any nation should resemble.

BUT.

Publicity, no matter if it’s bad publicity – is always publicity.

That being said, meme culture has created a pathway for brands and companies to start to market their products and create content that can entice their younger, more ‘connected’ audience.

The power of a good meme should not be underestimated. It has the ability to enhance the ordinary into the extraordinary. Just ask the US President.

So… How can brands use memes to turn products viral?

That is the skills we all need to master.