In order to compete in this overly saturated and ultra-competitive mobile gaming landscape, having a compelling brand along with good creative ideas is key. This emotional connection is needed for both user acquisition and user retention. Justin Booth-Clibborn, Head of Business Development at Psyop explained during his session at Casual Connect Europe that simply showing fun gameplay only goes so far. He stressed that “connecting people through storytelling emotionally with your own tone of voice and personality” is extremely important in building and sustaining your brand.
Justin Booth-Clibborn, Head of Business Development at Psyop, is someone who loves working with inspiring, creative visionaries and being part of the creative process. Justin began working at Psyop in 2001, only a year after the company was founded. He has been there since then, with the exception of three years at creative agency BBH, and in that time the work Justin has overseen at both companies received dozens of awards, including two Emmys and multiple Cannes Lions.
Justin has always been inspired by pictures and made an early decision to be involved with making films and photography. His career began with working at ad agencies and then moved to production of commercials and music videos. In these productions, he was a director, producer, first assistant director and post production supervisor. As Justin describes, “I experienced the creative process from many different perspectives and with many different directors and teams, including what it was like to direct myself.” All of this experience has been a tremendous advantage in his current career.
Blurring the Line Between Marketing and Entertainment
Psyop provided Justin’s entry into the game industry when the company began working on Clash of Clans with Supercell and their ad agency Barton Graf. This was three years ago; the plan was to bring the world of Clash and its characters to life in 3D. What excites him most about working in game marketing is that he get to do what he does best, blurring the line between marketing and entertainment while creating fun and engaging character driven stories. “We’re essentially using entertainment to ‘sell’ entertainment.”
Competition is intense in this field, but unfortunately not everyone understands or appreciates the value of his craft. However, Justin emphasizes that he proves himslef repeatedly with the results that he help his clients achieve.
Psyop is a company where they continue to evolve and to emphasize finding the right partners and clients. These are the ones who mesh with them philosophically, creatively and with respect for each other so that together they can do great work to benefit them all.
The Power of Building a Brand
More and more game publishers and developers are already realizing the importance and power of building a brand in addition to focusing on UA and short term performance marketing and this is a trend Justin expects to continue in the next few years. And building brands is what Psyops does best!
As well, VR is a huge trend for the future, so Psyop is investing in original animated interactive experiences and also building a robust work-for-hire business.
When Psyop is considering whether a game can succeed, they look at the core of the game and any USP that sets it apart. The same is true of any product or brand they work with. They also believe that building an authentic brand will set the game apart and help it succeed. The games market is so crowded that other points of difference are difficult to establish and maintain but good branding provides a sustainable point of difference.
Marketing with Content that Connects with People
The most effective method for mobile marketing and retention, in Justin’s opinion, is making good, engaging and entertaining content that connects emotionally with people. He emphasizes that making the audience feel something is the way to create connection. “Emotion is key, and often, but not always, that comes through character-driven storytelling.”
There are now many more competitors in the same field, especially with the quality of CG animation, and with what companies outside the country can offer in terms of lower costs. But what Justin maintains sets Psyop apart is the quality of their design, creative direction and storytelling.
Constantly Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone
Psyop is constantly pushing to take on new challenges and step outside their comfort zone as they try new technologies and techniques. Justin says, “ Our stellar team of animators, technical directors and other CG specialists, and the pipeline and systems people supporting them are constantly on top of technical advances and industry trends.”
Justin is justifiably proud of being a part of building one of the best creative companies in the world. Psyop has helped redefine the commercial production industry through the 2000s.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.