Zynga helped redefine what “April showers” meant by making it rain virtual dollar bills. In an innovative use of Snapchat’s lens feature, users could play a quick hand of Zynga Poker by utilizing their facial expressions. In the activation, Snapchat first dealt the flop, and then users could raise their eyebrows to fill out the board by dealing the turn, river, and player’s hole cards. Winning the hand made virtual money rain down on the screen.
Edward Le Breton, vice president of Zynga Poker, sat down with AListDaily to talk about how this interactive Snapchat lens brought out everyone’s best poker face.
“We’re huge fans of Snapchat and were inspired by the way other brands were using lenses to engage Snapchat users in unique ways,” said Le Breton, describing how the how the idea for the lens came about.
“Zynga has a long history of innovation in social—our mission is to connect the world through games—so we were excited by the potential of working with the Snapchat team to deliver users a cool, new social experience. Product wise, Zynga Poker seemed like a natural fit for Snapchat. So much about poker is about the player’s ‘tell,’ so we wanted to have some fun with an interactive lens that let users play a quick hand, change their face in reaction to the cards they’re dealt and, hopefully, make it rain with winnings. It’s a bite-sized Zynga Poker experience.”
— Zynga Poker (@zyngapoker) March 30, 2017
Le Breton also explained why Snapchat was the ideal social platform to promote the game. “Zynga Poker, which turns 10 years old this year, is the world’s largest free-to-play social poker game, and Snapchat is one of the fastest growing mobile platforms around,” he said. “We were excited to combine the two and introduce Zynga Poker to a new audience that may not be as familiar with the game. Poker can be an intimidating game for some, so a Snapchat lens was the perfect, lighthearted way for us to introduce people to Zynga Poker.”
Snapchat users really took to playing poker. “The reaction was fantastic,” said Le Breton. “The lens reached 23 million unique Snapchat users and, based on the number of times it was used, an estimated 6.3 years of Zynga Poker was played via the lens. We even saw a couple professional poker players use the lens.”
But as to whether or not the activation led to increased downloads of Zynga Poker, Le Breton said that, “Our focus was on user engagement with the lens, and continuing our effort to reach players on new, emerging platforms. Overall, we’re pleased with how the Zynga Poker lens performed. This was the first time Zynga—and I believe any other gaming company, for that matter—has created a completely interactive, gamified Snapchat lens.”
So, does this mean we can expect more interactive game lenses to come from Zynga in the future? “We’re not sharing plans for any other upcoming Snapchat lenses at this point,” Le Breton explained. “That said, we learned a lot from the Zynga Poker lens—most importantly, that the lens has to feel authentic to the brand and tied to the gameplay as much as possible. We achieved that with the Zynga Poker lens. It was a great, mini extension of the game, and would apply that same thinking to any future Zynga game lenses.”