‘Angry Birds’ Launches Pistachio-Themed Game With New Rovio Entertainment Partnership

The marketing deal with the nut lobby includes an original "Angry Birds" online game that offers players over $300,000 in prizes.

Finnish game maker Rovio Entertainment continues to forge new paths in gaming. The company’s Angry Birds game, which has been downloaded over 500 million times, has now expanded into the custom-branded game arena. Developed exclusively for Wonderful Pistachios, Rovio has launched The Hunt for the Golden Pistachio (www.getcrackin.com), the first-ever fully branded, custom Angry Birds game released in the U.S. The online game will allow players to win over 20,000 prizes totaling more than $300,000.

“Videogames offer consumer engagement with the brand,” said Marc Seguin, senior director of marketing, North America for Wonderful Pistachios. “Rather than just viewing a 15 or 30 second commercial, consumers have an opportunity to interact with the brand for minutes or longer at a time in a game environment that they’re familiar with and have an existing affinity for.”

The first two levels are open to players globally. Throughout the month of December, U.S. residents older than the age of 18 can earn prizes in levels three through six by sharing aspects of the game on Facebook and Twitter or entering a “Get Crackin’” code found on specially marked bags of Wonderful Pistachios. Once they enter the code, players will be able to find and crack open hidden in-game Golden Pistachios that may lead to real-life rewards. There are 120,000 prizes, which range from free pistachios and Angry Birds plush toys to $25,000 in cash. The contest runs through December 31, after which the entire game will be open to all players.

“Our brand stands for great entertainment, and we look to connect with our fans through every new platform they may be on,” said Andrew Stalbow, Rovio Entertainment’s General Manager of North America. “In addition to entertainment, the family and education are also at the heart of our brand. To that end, we're excited about wholesome snacks like pistachio nuts, and having engaging gameplay as part of a promotional partnership like this is a natural extension for us.”

The custom game is part of a larger partnership between Wonderful Pistachios and Rovio Entertainment, and represents the latest phase in the “Get Crackin’” campaign, where Angry Birds took center stage along with a nutty cast of other characters who show off how they crack open pistachios in the iconic ad spots.

The game also features custom backgrounds that promote the brand, including the California orchards where the nuts are grown and harvested, the factories where they are processed and a Pigskin Classic football game where the pistachios are enjoyed. The game, which took three months to develop, was made in conjunction with Wonderful Pistachios’ in-house advertising agency Fire Station.

Since launching Angry Birds in December 2009, the game maker has partnered with several big brands to cross-promote its game. Angry Birds is currently featured in Google Chrome commercials, and the game is played by over 8 million Google Chrome users. Rovio also partnered with 20th Century Fox this March to launch the 3D film, Rio. That movie received a custom Angry Birds Rio game that featured characters from the big screen family film. The partnership became a huge hit with over 20 million downloads of the 60-level game in its first 20 days.