Oscar Soriano

Oscar Soriano of Play the Game: How endemic brands connect with communities through the gaming world
Liz Unamo|08 de junio de 2022

Gaming, metaverse and now NFT (non-fungible tokens) are terms used more each day in and outside the digital world. Brands now have more of an urge to make use of those online activities, especially since the last quarter of 2021 when META was launched.

Oscar Soriano, founder & CEO of Play the Game, has one of the few agencies specializing in gaming and sports. “We began to see, back in 2016, brands wanting to get into that territory to communicate with potential customers, but it was very complicated because of their language, the kind of communications they used and above all for their dynamics. We wanted to create an interface between the traditional world of brands with the world of gaming and sports.”

From that time they have worked with such brands as HBO, Nike, Burger King, Huawei, Citroen and more. Since 2019 they have worked on proto-metaverses like Fortnite and Minecraft, and since the start of 2021 with NFT. “We’ve had a growing demand for consultations and activations to do with the metaverse. We recently launched the Formula 1 (F1) prize in Barcelona with NFT.”

Brands must enter those territories in an organic way. “Gamers are not anti-brands. On the contrary, they like the fact that there are both endemic and non-endemic brands. They ask that they come to add value - good content and good communication activities that boost their value. A gamer won’t appreciate a brand putting its traditional TV spot on Twitch. In the end it will cost the brand an opportunity for not playing it well.”

Though monetization is a fundamental part of the industry, being relevant for the target audience in the world of gaming, metaverse or NFT is an asset for the brand. “Brands must use the chance to stay connected with a much more advanced target at the technological, much more geekish level, for which NFT is an outstanding branding option.” There are successful cases that have monetized, thanks to their relevance. “The whole traditional chain of adding value has nothing to do with this. For example, Budweiser can sell an NFT without having to bottle beer, transport it or sell it. It’s a digital object.”

In the world of gaming, a non-endemic brand must build the elements needed to connect with communities, and those elements must be worthwhile. “It will be much more efficient if they have an alliance to deliver that value….whether it’s with an influencer, a team, a league or an event, it will be much easier to pass along that value. Companies often know how to construct an interesting attraction for communities, but have no idea how to distribute it to them with relevance and trustworthiness.”

In the case of NFT, Soriano warned that it takes real teaching skills to sell the project either externally or internally. “Clients really have to believe in it. If they don’t believe in the project or its ability to convince the team, the plan will fail, because it must bring together all the different parts of the company. The NFT crosses into all its areas.”

In three or four weeks, advertising campaigns in those areas can give products a high profile, drive and a call to action. A brand that no one knows is not the same as one that is top of mind.”