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Why drink and snack brands should embrace low-tech fun games

16th November 2023

Going out to a bar or pub with friends has been a favourite pastime of most Brits for as long as pubs have existed. The old-fashioned real ale pub is a classic standby in towns and villages across the country. Since Covid 19 struck there has been a sort of polarity with more people staying at home and before that the rise of online dating to meet partners. Against this digital trend, there is a sort of nostalgic human escapist sort of nostalgia sweeping the country.

More niche bars are springing up too, with axe-throwing bars being one of the more fascinating trends in recent years. Gaming bars are another rising trend in the entertainment scene.

Games it appears are here to stay because they offer much-needed interaction and are old-fashioned fun

The rise of the gaming bar

A gaming bar is a bar where patrons can play games while they drink, eat and hang out. They are also referred to more generally as activity bars. The games that they offer range from the traditional — pétanque and shuffleboard — to high-tech VR simulators and everything in between. The emphasis at gaming bars is placed on the fun and the community.

Types of gaming bars

Gaming bars cover a bunch of types of activities. Classic pub games that have been made the focus or given a digital upgrade are those that most people are familiar with. These include pool and billiards, darts and bowling.

Other sports-oriented gaming bars include options like crazy golf, shuffleboard, table tennis and batting cages for cricket and baseball. Beer pong is an American pop culture import that has also become a gaming bar theme.

Video gaming bars include VR experience bars as well as pinball, classic arcade games and console games. There are also gaming bars for board games, though board game cafes are more common (possibly because you need a lot of caffeine to get through some of those games!).

What might brands do?

Gaming bars that focus on games like shuffleboard are cashing in on a certain escapist nostalgia and the Millennial generation’s love of the ironic. The brand owner can give the game to the outlet or run an event around a sort of league. The bar allows the brand owner to push their brand in the bar, cocktail bar or simple boozer. We know advertising works and what pub owner is going to turn down a simple freebie that gets more customer engagement?

More generally, gaming bars are most likely going to thrive in the coming years for one simple reason — they’re fun! Going to a gaming night or just playing a game might not be something you want to do every night but they’re a great way to mix things up a bit and avoid falling into a boring routine. They’re also a cool alternative for a date night, especially for a first date where conversation might be a little easier if you’re also doing something. Games for two or four which are easy to learn and not overly complex are a great opportunity to bring something old-school into the digital world.

Contact us today and let’s discuss how we can help you with your next marketing campaign.

Pub games from Imaginarium Future