Angry Birds Take Off

Discussion
Sep 13, 2011

People love those Angry Birds. Andrew Stalbow, general manager for North America for Rovio, the game’s maker, says that there have been 350 million downloads since it launched in 2009. Players, according to a Fortune report, spend 300 million minutes every day playing the game.

The game, which is available in several mobile platforms, has two versions among the top 10 iPhone apps, according to the International Business Times.

Wibe Wagemans, the SVP of brand advertising and analytics at Rovio, claims the company is the fastest-growing (not biggest) consumer brand in the world, having branched out beyond the game to off Angry Birds in books, movies and plush toys.

Angry Birds has even showed up at a theme park in China, although the attraction appears likely to be under legal dispute.

Daisy Yang, a spokeswoman for Rovio China, told Forbes, “We would welcome a partnership, but Rovio would need to give them permission to use the Angry Birds game.”

The growth of Angry Birds, according to AllThingsD, is due in large part to it being available across a number of platforms beyond mobile including the Chrome app store and Google+ social games.

Mr. Wagemans pointed out that there are still opportunities for growth, considering, for example, that Angry Birds is not available through Facebook yet.

Discussion Questions: What do you think is behind the popularity of Angry Birds and will it continue to grow? Are there branding lessons that retailers and consumer product marketers can learn from Rovio?

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7 Comments on "Angry Birds Take Off"


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Warren Thayer
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

Working across platforms and not making everything proprietary is always good for growth. Nothing new there. The success of Angry Birds also shows that one should never over-estimate the intelligence of the masses.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

I have four grandsons ages 15 to 3. The 15 does not play anymore. The 3 is just getting started. Besides that, who cares?

Matthew Keylock
Guest
Matthew Keylock
9 years 8 months ago

They have done so many things right and are filling a niche and need that many people didn’t know they had! The numbers in the article are quite impressive. It is….

Simple – easy to play for 3 yr old kids or their grandparents
Accessible – easy to download and inexpensive
Addictive – people want more. People love games, even brickbreaker and solitaire, and this has far more intrigue.
Social – possible to share and drive the competitive streak in players.
Great marketing to prolong the lifecycle – they keep adding more content, using free versions to drive new interest, adding challenge and surprise, merchandizing of soft toys, etc.

It has already sustained a shelf life beyond what many thought possible. I am certainly amazed by the incredible diversity of people I see playing it at airports or on flights (e.g. from kids to high-powered business people). It will be interesting to see how much longer it can sustain this. Good luck to them!

Carlos Arámbula
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

The concept itself is very simple, but quite entertaining. It’s not as mindless as “space invaders” and it does require a bit of skill and knowledge of the game. Further, by using platforms in the social network realm it has become a social game — just like Zynga did with its properties, where folks compare levels and share strategies.

The marketing learning is the sampling of the product. Millions of sample games where given away to introduce consumers to the brand, and millions paid for the full applications and merchandise.

Janet Dorenkott
Guest
Janet Dorenkott
9 years 8 months ago

Their success is related to being among the first to support the touchscreen devices as they came out, with an entertaining game. It appeals to the masses. I’ve never been a game player and I don’t play this very often, but Angry Birds is a cute game. It also starts out easy, gets progressively hard and it does a good job of getting people hooked. I don’t know what can actually be “learned” here. We would all like to invent a fun, appealing game that gets people hooked quickly. The trick is creating it. Rovio did a great job!

Rick Boretsky
Guest
Rick Boretsky
9 years 8 months ago

It will have a shorter life than Pac-Man.

Larry Negrich
Guest
9 years 7 months ago

It’s easy to play. Easy to understand. And a little bit odd. All key to draw a non-gamer audience. Nice distraction from reality and nobody gets hurt…except for some angry birds and animated pigs.

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