Since the universal adoption of casual gaming into popular culture over the last 15-20 years, gamification has become an increasingly popular buzzword. In its essence, gamification leverages traditional video gaming principles of completing tasks of increasing difficulty to receive a reward. The millennial generation is the first to have grown up with this phenomenon entrenched in society, however thanks to mobile technology there are now 1.8 billion gamers worldwide showing the infectious popularity of the medium when it is accessible by all.
A Content-Driven Technology
As a method of delivering content, gamification is fun, engaging and allows brands to feed the user information throughout the course of the experience, without them feeling like they are being marketed to. Famous examples include McDonald’s Monopoly and running apps like Nike+ and Endomondo, which reward users with points and achievements to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
We’ve compiled our favourite examples of how gamification can be incorporated into events to show how simple “child’s play” can inspire commendable levels of engagement.
Gamification: How It’s Done
Treasure hunts are perfect for large events and conferences. By developing an app with a built in event map you can guide attendees to various locations around your event with incentives like exclusive content or deals.
Low-energy bluetooth beacons push content enabled devices (this can be built into the app), meaning attendees are able to complete hunts autonomously and simply. The app can be programmed to update with new objectives which keep attendees moving.
Choose your adventure
Apps can be programmed to allow attendees to choose where they begin their adventure. Consecutive objectives can then be pushed, based on their choice and areas in which they have spent the most time. This allows organisers to tailor their attendees journeys delivering the content they are interested in, rather than forcing them through an arbitrary, boring route.
A Continuous Data Cycle
The nature of this game is that data is constantly being fed back to event organisers. Dwell times, stand preferences including; industry, content and delivery method, demographic and even choice of food are all area which treasure hunts can provide insight on. This allows event organisers to create attendee experiences which are heavily personalised and therefore highly engaging, as they cut out the content users don’t want to see.
HBO – WestWorld Comic Con 2016
HBO created this VR installation for New York Comic Con 2016. The experience gives you the perspective of a new arrival in the WestWorld park, beginning in the Delos company building, users outfitted themselves and continued to the park only to be shot by the malfunctioning sheriff in an experience which similar to that in the series.
This installation makes use of VR in an engaging and interesting way, keeping users invested to the end. HBO complimented this experience by decking the building out to look like the Delos headquarters featured in the TV series, even employing actors to replicate the synthetic “hosts” behaviours.
Game of Thrones – Ascend the Wall
HBO yet again, this time they built an immerse VR experience for the Oculus Rift, to accompany 2015’s Game of Thrones: The Exhibition Tour. The experience starts with users standing in a real world cage wearing the Oculus Rift headgear. Inside the VR, they are in the elevator from the series, climbing 700 feet to the top of the wall.
We like this experience because it allows fans to immerse themselves in one of the show’s most iconic locations. Whilst there is technically no goal for this experience, users can turn their heads and walk around within the VR, observing the vast expanse of the frozen north. HBO even hired wind machines to add to the immersion!
Lucozade – “Wait Training”
The Installation, devised in conjunction with Grey London, MediaCom and outdoor advertising specialists JCDecaux, was part of the brand’s ‘Made to Move’ campaign, encouraging the average British citizen to be more active, in the hope of getting one million people moving by 2020. The Manchester bus stop, housing the installation, was outfitted to live-stream fitness classes, from Zumba to Boxercise. Travellers who participated in the classes were rewarded with a free bottle of Lucozade Sport and a pat on the back.
This campaign demonstrates the perfect use of disruption to motivating people to engage through a simple, fun task. Those involved were not incentivised prior to participating, demonstrating just how engaging the experience was. In turn the campaign was a great source of social content, receiving almost 20,000 views on YouTube.
Deutsch Telekom – Angry Birds Live
This campaign came courtesy of Deutsch Telekom, Saatchi & Saatchi and Rovio, creating a life-sized version of the classic mobile game Angry Birds. The experience had users control giant bird cannons using a regular mobile phone to fire the 40lb fake birds up to 50 metres at the dreaded “oinkers”. The campaign even had some features from the game including the blue bird which splits into three separate projectiles.
We love this campaign because it shows a great deal of ingenuity to undertake the seemingly impossible task of translating a game where the player fires birds at structures filled with pigs into a reality. This campaign was not only engaging, it also produced truly unique content to distribute through social channels.
Sony – “Escape Games”
In October this year, Sony launched two escape games, to promote “The Blacklist” and “Timeless” TV series. The premise of these experiences is that players have 10 minutes to complete a “mission” through critical problem solving tasks based on the series. Sony incorporated their own technology including: MESH tags, short throw projectors, speaker bulbs, headphones and tablets to create an immersive, branded experience.
This gamification campaign was effective because it reflects the nature of the shows, putting users in a fun, yet high-pressure, problem solving environment, whilst heavily incorporating emerging Sony technologies. Sony also supported the campaign effectively, giving away $3000 worth of prizes to those who entered the accompanying social media competition.
Coke Zero – Unlock the 007 in you
Supporting the launch of “Skyfall”, Coke Zero created an immersive experience at the Central Station Antwerp, designed to bring out the “007” in you. Participants who visited the modified Coke vending machine were told they would receive free cinema tickets if they could get to platform 6 in 70 seconds, unlocking the 007 in themselves.
A variety of obstacles, including: a dog walker, joggers, spilt orange, a tipped luggage trolley and the classic two men carrying a pane of glass all stood between commuters and their destination. On arrival, they were asked to sing the classic bond theme to receive their prize.
This campaign is yet another perfect example of gamification, taking the core principles of the 007 brand and building a fun, competitive and most of all engaging experience around them. A special mention also goes to the subtle use of buskers, beatboxers and even an organ grinder, ensuring the classic 007 theme music was playing throughout the challenge. The campaign received 7.1 million YouTube views and over 800,000 shares on social media, not bad.