There was a nice piece from The New York Times last week about how gaming can be applied to the fashion industry. It suggests e-commerce sites take inspiration from the likes of Angry Birds and Farmville, which welcome a total of three billion hours a week in play time.
It highlights initiatives from brands including Dunhill, Marc Jacobs and Jimmy Choo, and suggests point-scoring, scavenger-hunting, clock-countdowning ideas to engage with consumers and ultimately encourage loyalty.
This notion of brand gaming is something I’ve been reporting on for quite a while, not least because it’s been one of the most mentioned subjects alongside “mobile” and “location” at conferences around the world over the past year.
So here are some additional thoughts:
- 200m of Facebook’s 500m+ users now log on to play games
- Despite what might initially spring to mind, it’s not just for teenage boys – 71% of females aged 20-49 now play games, according to IGN Entertainment
- The nature of gaming has changed. Where it was once a solitary bedroom activity for children, it’s now a shared experience – either with others online, or with the family in the living room space
- Technology is allowing gaming to be more immersive – traditional controls are on the out, while social media and television are integrating too, said Jack Wallington, head of industry programmes at the IAB
- Consumers are attracted by generating stats, gaining points and flattering their own egos, according to Joel Lunenfeld, CEO of ad agency Moxie Interactive – accordingly, by nature, gaming encourages greater loyalty
- Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley said the theory behind his location-based social service is framed around incentivising via a game overlay. By “checking in” to different venues, users can gain various badges, which Crowley referred to as “digital candy”
- Goldrun is another app worth looking at in this space. H&M ran a campaign designed to drive traffic and increase sales last November, where users in NY could hunt for virtual items, take a picture of them and in so doing, receive a 10% discount off their next purchase
- Nike Grid is another example of brand gaming – athletes won points for running between phoneboxes and calling in to prove their achievements. Over 15 days last October, 12,500 miles were run across London, 62,000 phonecalls were made to the freephone hotline and 4,705 people liked the Grid on Facebook
- Even Burberry’s Art of the Trench site could be considered to have somewhat of a gaming underlay. You go out, take a picture of yourself in your trench coat and wait to see if it’s deemed good enough to be posted online. If it’s not, what’s the betting numerous consumers go and try again – competition at its finest.