Duane Reade Expands Digital And Social Footprint Through Integration With Ingress, A Massively Multiplayer Location-Based Mobile Game From Niantic Labs At Google

NEW YORK, Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to increase 'share of voice' (SOV) and customer engagement, Duane Reade, New York City's largest drugstore chain, has significantly expanded its social media and digital efforts to include innovative social amplification programs with a core fueled by a select team of specialized VIP Bloggers; now the company's 250+ locations are integrating into Niantic Labs' new mobile game, Ingress. Duane Reade is one of the first retail partners in the New York Metropolitan area for "Ingress", which blends the physical and virtual world to create a one-of-a-kind gaming experience. All Duane Reade stores will offer players of Ingress a new way to connect with the world around them.
                                                                               
The game's premise involves a team of scientists in Europe that have unearthed a mysterious energy called Exotic Matter (XM) which is believed to be influencing the way humans think. Players in the game will choose a side, either "The Enlightened" seeking to embrace the power that this energy may bestow or "The Resistance" working to defend and protect against that same power. Once they have picked a side, players will have to move through the real world around them to discover and tap into sources of this mysterious energy. They will be able to acquire objects to aid in their quest, deploy technology to capture territory, and ally with other players to advance the cause of their faction.

"Customer engagement strategy via location-based gaming has elevated to new levels and Duane Reade understands that", said Calvin Peters, PR/Online Manager for Duane Reade. "Strategically engaging gamification experiences that utilize LBS platforms are becoming increasingly relevant as mobile concentration within the retail space continues to expand. It's important for us to be where our consumers are; including the virtual world. We're excited to have this opportunity to work with Niantic Labs at Google and participate in this exciting new endeavor while continuing to provide the best possible customer experience."

A global collaborative effort, "Ingress" players can interact with other players around the world, plan their next steps and communicate via an Intelligence map. An Investigation Board filled with cryptic clues and secret codes await each player as the story evolves daily with powerful secrets and game elements ready to be unlocked. Frequently used for information deployment by the National Intelligence Agency, Duane Reade's knowledge of or involvement in Ingress remains unclear.
                                                                               
An Ingress logo is located on the front window of Duane Reade stores around the city signaling players of the company's participation and the existence of a value-added game asset located inside the store. Each asset will display its own unique code, which gives players a range of resources for playing the game including energy (XM), offensive and defensive game objects (resonators, weapons, shields) and possibly media objects. Each code may be used only once, but can be shared with each player's online community. As the game evolved, cooperation across neighborhoods, cities, and countries will be needed to achieve the ultimate victory for either faction.
                                                                               
About Duane Reade
Founded in 1960, Duane Reade is the largest drug store chain in New York City. In keeping with the company's brand vision of New York Living Made Easy, Duane Reade provides New Yorkers with prescriptions, health products and services, beauty products and services, food and convenience items for daily life in the City...everything for "How I Feel", "How I Look", and "What I Need Now". The company operates 250+ stores throughout the metropolitan New York region. Duane Reade is part of the Walgreens family of companies, the nation's largest drugstore chain with more than 8,000 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 

http://www.duanereade.com                                     

SOURCE Duane Reade



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