Farmville, the number one social game in the Universe, is teaming up with ProFlowers to offer 100 Farm Cash to players that order flowers for Mother’s Day through the game. While it’s not a new phenomenon, we’re seeing these special events as the time when virtual goods and real goods interact in the most significant ways possible. We reported last year that Playfish sold 60 million virtual goods on Valentine’s Day, so now we’ll get a chance to see if boys all over the world care more for their mothers or their girlfriends!
To get the Cash, you have to click a link on the Farmville loading screen, and then it sends you to the ProFlowers.com site. You complete the order at the site, and then the cash is deliverd to your Farmville account. These types of real good offers are gaining traction on social games, and it seems inevitable that more and more of the offers on the offer wall will start to include offers for discounts on real world purchases. Especially as demographics tools increase on FB, advertisers and offer advertisers will be able to better predict what sorts of real good item discounts will incentivize players to buy. But it also helps predict which of these goods actually help players because they offer deals on goods the player would buy normally.
The concept that playing a game to find the best deals, like flipping through a good coupon book, is something that’s actually within sight and would change the dynamic of these games completely. It would make playing the game more akin to playing the lottery in a sense. You play, have some fun, but you also are looking for the special 30% offer on that TV you love, and when you find it, you take the offer, earn Farmville/Zynga a bit of money, get a TV at discount and the TV manufacturer gets the business. This model is intriguing to me.
In any case, time will tell if that’s the way the market heads, but for now, do your mom a favor and start playing Farmville.