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The Sims 3: Simlish and Marketing

A glance at the crib sheet for the marketing plan, and a look at the impact of an unreal language

As we continue our mini-series of features marking the release of The Sims 3 this week, we follow up yesterday's interview with senior marketing director for the EA Play label, John Buchana with a peek at the crib sheet for the game's marketing plan.

Plus we've also gathered some statistics on one of the franchise's most endearing elements - Simlish - although quite how EA managed to convince a death metal band to re-record a track in their made-up language, we're not sure...

General Franchise Top Points

  • Number one best-selling PC franchise in the world
  • Number three best-selling franchise of all time
  • Biggest EA franchise

The Sims 3 Marketing Campaign

  • This title will receive the biggest Sims marketing campaign and biggest launch in the franchise's history
  • The game will also see the biggest online, outdoor and social network spends for a Sims game
  • This will be the first time that a music track will be used as a pre-sell item, featuring five exclusive artists
  • This will be the first Sims game to hit the iPhone
  • This will be the first simultaneous launch between PC and Mac
  • Trial experiences will be used for the first time (see the interview with John Buchanan for more details): SimSidekick, SimSocial, and SimFriend
  • A micro-transaction store will launch simultaneously with the game
  • Consumers will be offered the first tangible value added reason for joining the game's community, in the form of additional content and Sim points)
  • The Sims 3 was the first time fans were able to create content with pre-release code in order to be included in the game at launch

The Sims 3 on Social Media

  • This game will have the first dedicated social marketing campaign
  • The first official Facebook page had almost 240,000 fans as of June 3, 2009
  • The first official Twitter feed had over 12,500 followers at that time
  • The first official YouTube channel had over 30,000 subscribers, with over 8 million video views in total

The Sims 3 on Media Hubs

  • The Sims is partnering for the first time with media hub sites around the internet, with key partners including MySpace, MTV and YouTube
  • Hubs will be branded with The Sims 3 and host engaging content including videos, music, trial applications and banners
  • Hubs will foster conversation about The Sims 3 and leverage social networking and viral functionality to share content and spread word of mouth
  • Fun and innovative integration elements will include logo takeover on the hub site, Sims jumping out of banner ads and on to the site, plum bobs over photos on the site, and more

Additional Marketing: Twitter

  • In supporting Ashton Kutcher's efforts to reach the 1 millionth follower on Twitter, EA has offered the 1 millionth person a copy of every game EA makes in 2009 for the gaming system of their choice, as well as having a character based on them that can be played in The Sims 3
  • The Sims 3 will also donate 5,000 mosquito nets in the name of the 1 millionth person who follows Ashton on Twitter (regardless of a win).

The Magic of Simlish

  • The language Simlish has been created exclusively for The Sims franchise so that the player, no matter the language they speak, can understand the communications of their Sims. The unique language is based on the most common of all human communications: emotion.
  • Created from a mix of Ukrainian, Navajo, Tagalog, (the major language of the Philippines) and free-form improvisational exercises, Simlish is a softer, simpler syllabic language that has evolved in complexity along with the world of The Sims.
  • The language is shared around the world, in 60 countries, and is approximately 80 per cent intuition and improvisation, and 20 per cent unwritten dictionary.
  • Simlish was developed in the late 90s, by the first creative team of The Sims
  • Musical artists have recorded new performances of their songs with Simlish lyric, and artists include: Katy Perry, Depeche Mode, Lily Allen, Natasha Bedingfield, Anthrax, The Veronicas, Howard Jones, and many others.
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