This App Has Nine Lives
Samurai Kittens achieved IFC’s objective of capturing the users' attention through the following 3 strategies.
We challenged users to see who could waste the most time playing the game. The game had no "score" per se, but rather for every second you played the game, you wasted 1 second of your natural life.
3 million people have played the game. 65,339 or a full 2% of all people playing the game submitted their high score. The average length of game play was 19 minutes! The top high score logged over 19 hours of game play. The top 1000 registered high scores all logged over 1 hour of game play.
To attract the widest possible audience we drastically dumbed down game play. This was not a game for "gamers" requiring complex combinations of buttons and movements. By randomly pressing up/down left/right anyone could unlock and view the nine animated kitten death sequences called "FURTALITIES".
The brand messaging was subtly integrated into the very fabric of the game. For example, after your first death a "corporate fat cat" makes you watch a 15 second trailer of the TV show. The cheat codes are character names from the TV series and the Samurai Kittens video intro and logo is identical to the TV show's logo and intro. This manner of deftly weaving the message into the site is absolutely critical to be perceived as "legitimate" by this highly savvy audience.
Over 3 million people have played our crazy game. 65,339 people entered their high scores with an average 19 minutes spent playing the game.
All of this was achieved by a single ad banner. No TV, no print, nothing but really good content that went viral. A quick review of 3rd party site traffic analysis tools like Alexa or Media Metrix shows that our site received as much traffic as much larger national campaigns with massive budgets like FollowTheFinger.com
Samurai Kittens achieved cult status with nothing else than a banner ad on IFC, compelling content, and word of mouth. Samurai Kittens was a perfect example of true organic growth.