Gamified experiences: Marketing beyond entertainment
Lawrence Chia
Chairman, Pico Group

With virtual events becoming a hot trend, online marketing activity has grown from a trickle to a flood, making it more difficult for any brand or campaign to actually make an impression. But gamification could make all the difference. According to research, during the period between 2021 to 2025, the global gamification market could grow by almost US$20 billion. Play is a serious business. How can event planners actually make the best use of gamification techniques?

First of all, brands can foster audience interaction by gamifying their social media. For example, Swatch, the watch brand, promoted its ‘Space Collection’ collaboration with NASA by launching an Instagram filter that used outer space as its background. By incorporating gamified elements into social media, Swatch encouraged users to learn more about the products in a compelling and enjoyable way that left a deep impression. Social media also enabled the brand to expand its reach into wider communities.

Brands can also personalise video experiences – and improve their products and services – by using data generated by gamification. Pico activated a ‘Play to Progress’ themed virtual launch event by HP Indonesia by designing an interactive gamified video which enabled audience members to choose their own route through a journey. With every decision made, they experienced products and features in a unique and personal way. The event’s turn-up rate reached about 90% – and as the audience actively participated, they generated a wealth of data on their habits and preferences as well as the performance of the event’s content. This kind of data can be an invaluable reference for a brand’s future marketing plans.

Brands can also use virtual avatars to enhance communication and create online communities. Users of the ‘Vans World’ 3D virtual platform can collect and customise virtual Vans fashion items and even dress up their own avatars. Their avatars can also join friends to participate in events like skateboarding competitions. Through gamification, Vans is able to convey product information seamlessly and avoid hard selling, as well as fostering interaction and building a tight-knit community.

Above all, gamification should be regarded as a means but not a purpose in itself. Before adding gamified elements, planners should thoroughly consider their effectiveness in the context of the specific event or campaign, instead of using them randomly and inducing ‘game fatigue’.

The full version of this article was first published in Headline Finance on 4 May 2022 (in Chinese only).

Source: Headline Finance (web version), 4 May 2022