Video Games Aren’t For Kids

Table of Contents

Let’s start with the basics.  

You don’t “play with” a video game. The same way you play with a toy. Instead, you experience emotions and moments within a video game’s system. 

Those playable experiences were never limited to children. For instance, adults were the target audience for early arcade games and pong consoles. 

In other words, video games aren’t toys for children

Case in point, according to a 2023 AARP Research study, gamers 50-plus invest an average of 12 hours of play per week. Where that continued interest could lead to $2.5 billion in biannual spending. 

Likewise, gaming is more than a youth marketing strategy

Instead, gaming marketing can also inspire actions across wider age groups. So, let’s explore three gaming campaigns targeted at adults over 30. 

Shake Shack’s “Super Mario Bros. Movie” Activation

The “Super Mario Bros. Movie” is the second-biggest animated film of all time. 

Based on Nintendo’s iconic Super Mario Bros. video game franchise, the film grossed over $1.3 billion at the global box office.  

It is also a perfect example that audiences experience video games beyond gameplay. In that, Universal Pictures and Illumination adapted Nintendo’s in-game intellectual property (IP). 

The result was an away from game cinema experience.  

Where American fast casual restaurant chain Shake Shack partnered with the film. The New York City company then activated the partnership following the spring 2023 release.

The activation played on Shake Shack’s mushroom-based ‘Shroom burgers and the recognizable mushroom power-ups from Mario game titles. 

The restaurant chain remade its DUMBO location with visual and physical elements inspired by the film. The popup takeover also featured exclusive menu items and giveaways of free Mario swag. 

The Mario game franchise’s nostalgic appeal was central to Shake Shack’s strategy. Since many older adults grew up playing Mario games.  

As a result, even though moviegoers hailed the film as enjoyable, family-friendly entertainment. The activation was relevant to parents and non-parents of all ages. 

Husqvarana x DOOM

Husqvarna is an outdoor power product manufacturer based in Sweden. It announced that the legendary 1993 video game DOOM® will be playable on its Automower® NERA robotic lawnmower models. Customers who own those models can download the game between April and August 2024. 

The promotion taps into the gaming community’s “It Runs Doom” expression. One which indicates that an electronic device can run the 1993-first person shooter. 

For instance, there is a 90,000+ member It Runs Doom subreddit dedicated to Doom porting.  

Video game porting, for those unaware, is the process of taking a game from its original platform and making it available on a different one. 

Porting brings a playable experience to a wider audience. As a result, it is an accepted practice in the gaming community. 

Likewise, Husqvarna ported Doom to its robotic lawnmowers to enhance loyalty among existing customers. In other words, it is a gaming marketing exercise. 

The port of a classic retro game like Doom also resonates with the market for robotic lawnmowers.  

Where the average age of first-time home buyers is up to 34 years in the UK, for example. So, the inclusion of a game first released in the early 1990s is relevant to older age groups more likely to own a home and a lawnmower

Boomers 2 Gamers

Malaysian milk and dairy company Goodday launched an initiative for senior gamers in February 2024. The contest, titled Boomers 2 Gamers, is exclusive to participants 50 years old and over.  

Goodday plans to assemble a senior “Counter-Strike 2” roster from the applicant pool. Where the goal is to educate the public on the benefits of competitive gaming among older generations. 

Goodday’s strategy underscores that digital game experiences can be impactful across all age groups

For example, scientists at UC San Francisco (UCSF) reported that a specially designed video game can improve cognitive control among senior age groups

Those findings add to a growing body of evidence that certain video games can improve “brain fitness.” The same way that certain physical games like tennis can improve physical fitness. 

Along those lines, Goodday is championing gaming as a positive outlet for older generations. Where their mission is to etch the Goodday brand into the Malaysian Book of Records.  

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