Thursday, March 8, 2012

Let's workout today? I'll meet you on Facebook. Meet Self's new online workout game.

Yesterday, Self Magazine announced their new online game named after their annual event, "Self Workout in the Park." Launch date: March 19th.

Players can create avatars and conduct online "workouts" in a virtual league. You keep your avatar in shape with virtual workouts and they actually appear more toned over time. Avatars can also have cool workout gear and challenge their friends (player's friends). Additional perks are available for those who log their real life workouts.

Game sponsors include: BlackBerry, 7 for All Mankind jeans and Skype. According to the NYT, Self is spending around mid six figures to develop and market the game. A mobile version of the game will go live in April before the real-world events in May and June.

Ms. Steinberg, EVP and Director for publishing investment at MediaVest USA, tells NYT, the Self game is "a hybrid of branded entertainment and traditional event marketing,” and as such, “the way it positions brands is positive and seamless.” Branded entertainment is the integration of products into the plots of movies and television shows; as the Self game shows, brands are also being embedded into video games and online games."

Self VP and Publisher, Laura McEwen, adds "“Looking at an avatar can impact your real-world behavior,” and in the game “if you don’t come back for a period of time, your avatar loses tone.”

I'm not sure I agree with Laura, but I'm very curious to see how the game will perform and just how many users will log on to their Facebook to workout with their friends. In the meantime, I'm happy texting the girls at 6am to meet me for a nice, real-life spinning class at the gym.

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