- Baskin-Robbins, Mister Donut and Thai department store Robinson are the first retail partners for Evergleam Hill, a mobile game developed by HotNow that lets players mine cryptocurrency, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer. The game rewards players with branded prizes, discounts and promotions from participating merchants.
- Gameplay involves trying to earn money by mining for virtual gold in a village called Evergleam Hill. Players can exchange their gold in the game's marketplace for coupons and discounts at real-world retailers. Advertisers can buy virtual banners, buildings and other "real estate" around the game's world to reach mobile players.
- Evergleam Hill uses HotNow's in-game advertising technology, HotPlay, a blockchain-based asset inventory system that lets retailers measure how ads drive in-store purchases. HotNow's system uses its Hot cryptocurrency as a digital token that helps to customize ad campaigns.
Baskin Robbins, Mister Donut and Robinson are the first advertisers to try out HotNow's gaming app that rewards players for in-app activities like engaging with brand messages. By integrating gameplay with cryptocurrency mining, HotNow has worked to create a gamified online-to-offline economy that creates value for merchants through advertising and consumers' ability to collect points to redeem on products in the real world. The blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies promises to make advertising more efficient by enhancing data safety and security, while lowering costs, per the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Cryptocurrencies like HotNow's gleaned significant attention in the past few years as their values rose and fell dramatically. Popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin can be bought, sold and stored in digital wallets but haven't yet been widely adopted for day-to-day transactions by mobile users. By letting game players trade their virtual tokens for real-life rewards, perhaps HotNow can boost the acceptance of its cryptocurrency.
Baskin Robbins, Mister Donut and Robinson are among the brands that have tested out blockchain-based apps that reward customers for performing certain activities. Havas last year launched a blockchain-based loyalty program for sports organizations and sponsors that rewards fans for their engagement. McDonald's, GM, Danone and Staples signed up to participate in Killi, a blockchain-based app that pays consumers cash for sharing their data and location, or for providing insight about what ads they like to see. Starbucks partnered with Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), owner of the New York Stock Exchange, on a bitcoin startup that will provide a platform that lets customers buy, sell, store and spend digital currencies.