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Mem: Lvl 1 Crook, Lvl 35 Boss

Very bad, but because of this, viral advertising of mobile strategy has turned into an illustration of the effect of money on a person.

In early January, a meme called “Lvl 1 Crook, Lvl 35 Boss” (level 1 rogue, level 35 boss) became popular in English-speaking social networks. It originated from the commercials of the mobile game Mafia City, in which a weak first-level player raises his status with the money he earned.

Mafia City is a popular MMO strategy genre among mobile titles (the most popular example is Clash of Clans) and as a whole does not bring anything new to it. The graphics and gameplay in such games are primitive, but for attracting users, commercials are not made on the basis of gameplay, but with fictional characters in unrelated game situations.

Mafia City commercials often played on Instagram and Facebook: in 2018, an aggressive marketing strategy brought them over 10 million installations on Google Play. In early 2019, video blogger Slazo made a selection of “incredibly bad advertisements on Instagram” using the example of Mafia City.

The whole concept of the rollers is based on the transformation of the main character from a loser to the boss – in Mafia City, the characters always turn to the player, calling him “the boss”. Naturally, the level of the character grows with the upgrade, but the comicity of the commercials lies in the situations in which social growth is illustrated.

Despite the massive advertising campaign, by the end of 2018, the position of the game on Google Play had sunk, but the rapid Mafia City memorization brought a new wave of popularity, including in the App Store.

The position of Mafia City in the categories of strategies (top line), games (average) and overall rating of applications (bottom) App Annie data for the US from October 6, 2018 to January 6, 2019

Mafia City’s advertisements began to appear on YouTube. For example, such a 35-minute compilation.

And after the videos, the meme itself was launched, in which different people and characters turn into bosses. On YouTube this time, the Knob track “Pop Like That” plays on YouTube.

Memes about the game appeared even in reviews to Mafia City on Google Play.

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