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Campaigns Editor's pick Retail technology

5 brands using gamification to drive shopping

Nike Reactland

The global gaming market is experiencing rapid growth, with an estimated valuation of $180bn expected by 2021, according to Newzoo. 

It is currently dominated by titles such as Fortnite, a free multiplayer game with 250 million users and $2.5m in daily revenue. Streaming platform Twitch, which accounts for 54% of gaming video content revenue, has also been highly successful due to its interactive network of both players and spectators. 

Though relatively limited, fashion brands and retailers have been experimenting through collaborations or campaigns that nod to such popular references. Louis Vuitton had a campaign featuring Final Fantasy XIII’s character, Lightning, as the new face of its SS16 collection for instance. More recently, Moschino launched a new collection with Sims, featuring garments with Sims motifs. A virtual hoodie was also released so players could dress their avatars in designer clothing in the game itself. 

What’s becoming more interesting however, is the number of brands turning to “gamification” rather. This refers to “the integration of game mechanics into an internal business process, website, or marketing campaign”. It’s a market that was valued at $6.8bn in 2018 and is estimated to rise to $40bn by 2024, according to market research firm Reportlinker. 

Its growth has been driven by increased demand for new customer experiences, as well as broader access to smartphone devices. And its success has meant brands and retailers are increasingly jumping in on the action in a bid to use ‘play’ as a way to encourage shopping. 

From driving discovery and engagement, to building brand advocacy and loyalty, here are five examples of those using gamification as part of the shopping journey. 

Kenzo: Building exclusivity through gaming

Kenzo Shopping League game
Kenzo Shopping League game

French luxury brand Kenzo launched a gamified e-shopping experience last year to promote the release of its new Sonic sneaker. Restricted to just a limited number of players, the aim of the initiative was to highlight the exclusiveness of the product. Getting a turn at playing was not only difficult in the first instance, but once in the game, users had to virtually defeat other opponents in an effort to then get access to buy one of the 100 exclusive pairs of sneakers. The campaign challenged consumers and added excitement to the shopping journey for those lucky enough to even get the chance to hit the purchase stage. 

Nike: Enabling user-testing through role play

Nike Reactland game
Nike Reactland game

Nike released a virtual environment called Reactland in Shanghai last year for the launch of its ‘React’ shoe. The game allowed users to test the shoe’s new sole cushioning technology in a unique digital environment. Customers could wear the shoes and run on a treadmill that was connected to a digital character on screen. This enabled them to thoroughly test the product’s durability by virtually climbing buildings and running through simulated streets. The game fueled consumer confidence in the product, leading to 48% of the players purchasing it.

Coca-Cola: Driving sales via virtual incentives

Coca-Cola incentive game
Coca-Cola incentive game

Coca-Cola created a supermarket game in Beijing and Singapore to catch consumers’ attention at the point of purchase in-store. Shoppers could connect to their mobile to the drag-and-shoot game, which involved successfully throwing virtual ice cubes into a glass of coke. Successful completion of the game resulted in prizes such as Coca-Cola discounts or loyalty points. The brand successfully targeted consumers at the moment of intent, and influenced them to pick Coca-Cola over competitors. 

Repeller: Bringing play to e-commerce

Repeller 'Play' website
Repeller ‘Play’ website

Popular fashion blog, Man Repeller, recently launched a new e-commerce website called ‘Repeller’, which utilizes gamification in order to enable consumers to shop in a discoverable way. The website is divided into two sections: a normal shopping site and a play side. The play side is an amalgamation of aesthetic imagery and quirky videos, reminiscent of video gaming user interfaces, but this time embedded with directly shoppable products, including handbags, earrings and sunglasses. The somewhat wacky website is being pushed as an opportunity to drive discovery and encourage users to spend more dwell time on the site.

Lancôme: Pushing awareness through scavenger hunts

Lancôme pop-up store
Lancôme pop-up store

Beauty brand Lancôme teamed up with Alibaba to create an augmented reality game in Hong Kong, along with a pop-up store, to celebrate Chinese New Year this year. The app featured an AR scavenger hunt where consumers could win limited edition products and gifts by finding and scanning Lancome’s signature beauty product, Genifiques. If they captured three pictures on the hunt, they were then able to wish for any Lancôme product they desired through the app, and be in with a chance of winning it. The game successfully drove awareness of the brand through consumer generated content and brought excitement during a key time of year in the region.

How are you thinking about retail innovation? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick mobile social media

Under Armour launches trivia-style live game for Stephen Curry superfans

Under Armour - Steph IQ
Under Armour – Steph IQ

Under Armour is jumping in on the popularity of mobile trivia games with Steph IQ, a new gaming app centred around UA ambassador and basketball player Stephen Curry.

To tie in with the fact Curry’s team, the Golden State Warriors, play against the New Orleans Pelicans today (May 3), Under Armour will be challenging Curry fans with an elimination style game to test their knowledge on the Bay Area and Curry’s career achievements.

“Steph IQ is one of the first ever mobile games triggered by an athlete’s live performance that marries the physical and digital experience of watching a sporting event,” says Jim Mollica, Under Armour’s head of global consumer engagement and digital marketing. “We’re using technology and trends in consumer behavior to elevate the dual screen viewing habits and the way fans tune in and engage with Curry’s performance.”

The gaming experience, which was developed with digital agency Red Interactive, and is reminiscent of those created by HQ Trivia, will be available whenever Curry scores his first three-pointer during any game of the NBA playoffs this season.

Steph IQ will notify the user of a new game within three minutes of the player making his first 3-pointer, which will then present users with eight different multiple choice questions, giving them 10 seconds to answer each. Questions are meant to get harder as the game progresses, challenging users to test not only their Curry knowledge, but NBA history.

In another similarity to HQ Trivia, the game will feature a host, which to further engage with their desired 13-to-18 year old audience is influencer Bdot. Winners who have answered all questions correctly will be entered into a sweepstakes for the chance of winning prizes such as the latest colorways for the Under Armour Curry 5 sneakers, as well as $10,000 in UA store credit and playoff tickets.

The app will be available until June 30 and the number of trivia games will depend on how many games the Warriors play in the playoffs. To promote the launch, Under Armour is tapping into Curry’s social channels as well as through NBA, the Warriors and its retail partner Foot Locker.

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Campaigns Editor's pick social media

HQ Trivia announces sponsored games with Nike and Warner Bros partnerships

HQ Trivia
HQ Trivia

Gameshow app, HQ Trivia, which was founded by former Vine co-founder Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll and has gained millions of users since launching in August 2017, has announced its first brand partners, Nike and Warner Bros Studios.

The app, which hosts trivia-like shows twice-daily where users can compete to earn money, offers its Gen Z users the chance to participate in gamified experiences that brands are now beginning to leverage.

On Nike’s Air Max Day celebration on March 26, the sportswear brand teamed up with the gaming app to sponsor a surprise bonus round with a $100,000 grand prize. The game also gave away 100 limited edition Nike x HQ Trivia Air Max shoes to lucky participants.

HQ Trivia x Nike Air Max
HQ Trivia x Nike Air Max

Meanwhile, according to AdAge, the Warner Bros deal is worth $3m and is set to promote three films, starting with Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. Launching on Wednesday (March 28), the app will host a $250,000 game featuring questions related to the film.

By creating a 21st century version of traditional TV gameshows such as “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”, HQ Trivia is playing on many aspects of how younger consumers engage digitally, such as constantly seeking new, one-off experiences that challenge them and give them a sense of having to ‘work for it’.

The app itself, however, only comes to life twice a day and for 13 minutes at a time, which is the length of a game show. It’s the perfect example of digestible yet scheduled programming – the opposite to the on-demand economy we’ll all become accustomed. It’s guaranteed at a specific moment in time, offering the same level of predictability that traditional TV used to. Shows are hosted live – often with guest hosts which have included Jimmy Kimmel – at 3pm and 9pm ET.

Prior to the sponsorship deals, its largest jackpot to date had been $50,000, and its record high for players in one game neared 2.2 million during this year’s 90th Academy Awards on March 4.