Gamified Promotions & Branded Mini Games

Gordon's gamified promotion allowing users to scan to spin a wheel of fortune.

RETURN2SENDER 23 February 2024

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the application of game psychology and other skill-based formats that encourage player participation, engagement, and retention over time in a promotion or marketing programme. We can help brands utilise this science to create gamified promotions that are fun, engaging, and connect with consumers.

Examples of Gamified Promotions

Some examples of Gamification include collector/loyalty mechanics, quizzes, leaderboards, points, badges, level-ups, treasure hunts, mini-games, match prediction games, bracket games, voting mechanics, spin the wheel and scratch cards. Players can access these via packaging, links or QR codes.

Here are some ways that brands have utilised gamification.

Guinness Pint Predictor – Predict the rugby game to win a pint.

KFC Bucket Challenge – Play the Augmented Reality treasure hunt to collect rewards.

McDonalds Monopoly – Collect and win instantly.

Ladbrokes – Spin the wheel to win instant prizes.

What are the benefits of Gamified Promotions?

Here are some of the main benefits of Gamification in promotions:

-Consumers are actively involved in or (in the case of augmented reality) immersed in the promotion or experience.

-These promotions are more memorable subsequently aiding: brand recall, opt-in rates, intent to buy and word of mouth.

-It is habit-forming. Gamified promotional mechanics, like apps, tend to be habit-forming and retain players over time with clever nudges like badges and level-ups. The more you play the better it gets and the greater your chance to win. Gamified promotions leverage neuroscience and behavioural economics to encourage repeat entries.

-Consumers value the experience more.  If they have to work for it, they might feel they have a greater chance to win by using their judgement or skill. For example, in a  ‘win every hour ‘ promotion a shopper might decide to enter the promotion in the middle of the night to better their chances of winning.

-The rewards are intangible ( e.g. you earned a level-up or free badge). If the rewards are intangible the costs associated with the promotion are lower ( although let’s be honest it’s hard to beat a good prize fund!). One area to watch here is NFTs and tokens, blockchain etc.

What are the elements that I need to include in my gamification campaign or promotion?

As with anything we do, everything starts with the brief and a proper set of objectives to ensure that the promotional mechanic answers the brief.

Here are some considerations specific to Gamified Promotions:

-What type of experience can we create to match the brand’s personality? If the brand is a premium brand then a scratch card mechanic might not be a great fit. We want to create a promotion that fits the brand’s reputation and aims.

-How can we retain players? We often employ mechanics such as leaderboards, bracket games etc in order to keep players playing. Retention rates are a great benefit of gamification when managed correctly.

-What email alerts or level-ups are required to keep players returning? How can we respond to real live events to amplify the promotion? Including world events in gamified promotions can encourage player activity.

-What is the budget? Gamification promotions require more budget than traditional budgets. However, the output is worth the additional costs.

-What can we learn from Neuroscience to stimulate engagement?  Theories such as the RAMP model (Relatedness, Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose) can help us understand the elements needed to encourage engagement with gamified promotions.

-Legal requirements. There are certain legal restrictions we must abide by. For example, we can’t have child appeal or gambling references in our advertising so we have to ensure our promotions adhere to the rules.

What we offer: 

Return2Sender has created numerous web, app and augmented reality promotions and experiences that leverage gamification including:

AVIVA HealthMate – We created a game for Aviva that allowed users to track their steps in order to win prizes.

Bank Of Ireland – This gamified promotion included a quiz allowing players to win prizes and earn badges.

Jameson Destination Dublin – We created a promotion for Jameson within which players visited four pubs. At each pub they earned badges and if they completed the tour they won a free drink!
Guinness – Consumers were encouraged to scan the pack to play an Augmented Reality rugby game and win instant prizes.

Just Eat Leaderboard – visit and sign up restaurants and win points on the leaderboard

Gordon’s Spin For Gin – This rhyming created a virtual wheel of fortune in order to encourage consumer engagement.

Guinness Match Predictor – Rugby fans were rewarded for their expertise as they predicted rugby match outcomes to win.

Schweppes – We created a fun Ginspiration logo quiz.

Smirnoff Make & Shake- Simply scanning the QR code unlocked the ability to create a virtual cocktail and win instantly.

Carlsberg – We have hosted Quizzes for Carslberg to ramp up competition and sales.

Contact Us if you would like us to come up with some Gamification ideas and pricing for your next promotion.


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