If you haven't come across Angry Birds yet, then you might be considered a minority group. It's a hugely successful game developed by Rovio, that started off as an App for the iPhone and it is now available in the Mac App store, the Ovi App store for Nokia, and the Intel AppUp store for all other laptops, PCs and netbooks.
The format of the game is simple. Some greedy pigs have stolen the birds eggs (according to the story, to fry in a pan) and the birds want them back. The pigs are hiding in a variety of structures, from castles to greenhouses and the birds have to knock the buildings down to rescue their eggs.
The idea is not complicated, in fact it's very simple, and that's part of what makes it so addictive. Bright colours, cartoon like characters, power ups and birds with special powers, the fact that it's a tried and trusted game format, a fun way to waste a bit of time and that it's fairly priced are all factors that make the game very successful and very playable, and are the reasons the game went viral. With an increase in the use of smart phones, and Apps becoming huge, the game has been a massive success and Angry Birds have 'branched' out, so to speak! Yes, Angry Birds merchandise is their next move. To show your love for those scorned birds, you can wear the t-shirt, you can get the iPhone cover and you can carry around the soft toys! In fact, you can even dress your baby in it! And what better way for them to go mainstream than to get their fans wearing their identity and showing off their brand?
If you're familiar with the marketing theory, Ansoff's Matrix, Angry Birds a classic example of product development, promoting new products to their existing market with the aim of garnering more business from that existing market. They have already penetrated their market by being fairly priced and from the benefit of the game going viral, and they have developed their market fully by being available on different formats and of course, worldwide, so the next logical step is to develop their range of products.
We thought we might join in and sport the t-shirts, but then, we don't want people thinking these Owls are angry birds!