Zapak throws a challenge to the gaming world

By Chhavi Tyagi , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | November 06, 2008
Zapak launches Gameplex Premiere League in association with Cadbury Perk to rank and felicitate the country's top 100 gamers


Digital Entertainment is challenging online gamers to come to Zapak gameplexes and fight it out in the ultimate championship, the Gameplex Premiere League. The league based tournament, which is being conducted in association with Cadbury Perk, will pit gamers against each other for more than a month in three of its most popular games, Counter Strike, FIFA '08 and Crazy Kart.

Gaming competitions are not a new concept; Zapak itself has organised cafe-centric competitions in the past. The big differentiating factor in this tournament is that Zapak will not only hold the contest and announce the winners, but, as Arun Mehra, chief marketing officer, Zapak Digital Entertainment, claims, this will be the first time that the country's gamers will get to know where they stand in the gaming world.

Speaking to afaqs!, Mehra remarks, "We'll observe, hunt and rank the top 100 gamers of all the three games. According to a study done by us, gamers are very passionate about achievements and this is the first time that anyone is doing something to leverage this achievement. I have a 12 year old son who would just love to know where he stands in the country's gaming scene."

The league will be activated on November 8 in 35 Zapak gameplexes in 24 cities, and will go on till mid-December, when the winners will be chosen.

The cities that will witness the action are Chennai, Bengaluru, Jamshedpur, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Kochi, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Hyderabad, Indore, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Delhi, Ranchi, Mumbai, Secunderabad, Siliguri, Vadodara, Thiruvananthapuram, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune and Kolkata.

Roping in 35 of its gameplexes in these cities will, as Mehra suggests, provide wider penetration and depth, the likes of which even an international gaming tournament like the World Cyber Games cannot have.

In addition to ranking the gamers, Zapak will also hand out a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, which will be split among the top three-five winners in the three games. Registrations are on in all of the 35 gameplexes and will go on till the morning of November 8. More than 300 entries have been received till now and, with Zapak pushing up the promotions, the number is expected to rise.

Zapak is going all out with the pre-event promotions, using both above-the-line (ATL) and below-the-line (BTL) activities. While Spykar is the co-sponsor of the event, it is being promoted above the line by AXN, Big FM and Living Digital, along with online media and the website. The online portal is also promoting the gaming competition extensively in local youth spots.

Mehra says, "We are using viral marketing, with the gamers sending messages to other gamers to come and meet them in the gaming ring. We are also distributing leaflets in the local college-side cafés, inciting the spirit of gaming."

Cadbury Perk has a long association with Zapak and branded games such as Perky Island have been released on the portal to promote the brand. Another such game will hit the portal later this month.

A Cadbury spokesperson tells afaqs!, "These gaming events are very relevant to our core target audience as well, and to prove this, we have had past associations with Zapak. Throughout the tournament, we will ensure Cadbury Perk's visibility through surprise visits to these gameplexes and playing short games such as Win a Perk with the contestants."

Zapak has a total of 51 gameplexes in India currently, and plans to increase the number to 500 by the end of 2008.

© 2008 afaqs!