Kirstie Alley makes a cameo in Zoo World on Facebook
In the kiosk section of the in-game store, we bought the 'Healthy Snack Stand' -- after all, we wanted to offer our virtual zoo-goers something alternative food options. After purchasing the kiosk, we noticed, in small print, that this kiosk was "sponsored by Kirstie Alley's Big Life," the Emmy-winning actress' new reality show about weight loss, which debuts on March 21. UPDATE: There's also a Kirstie Alley Greeting Station that serves as a sort of lawn decoration. Huh, OK.
The sad truth is that we expect to see more of these kinds of sponsorships in social/Facebook games over the rest of 2010, as companies such as Wild Tangent have been gearing up to integrate big name advertisers right into your game. Ideally, these sponsorships will also benefit the player, by, say, offering them a free item in exchange for watching an ad, though that's not the case with this Zoo World promotion. The Healthy Snack Stand and Greeting Station both cost 5,000 coins and the money definitely comes out of your zoo funds to own these two items.
This particular sponsorship, however, illustrates how women are still a big target audience for social games (we'd be lying if we told you this show wasn't already programmed into our TiVo) though we'll see if that continues as more 'male' oriented games such as EA Sports' Madden football, enter the fray later this year.