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BizReport : Advertising archives : April 13, 2011

How brands can capitalize on gaming trends

Think there is nothing you can do with game-type marketing because you aren't a gaming brand? Think again. One expert is seeing how non-gaming brands are capitalizing on the gaming trend by utilizing some simple gaming concepts. Here is how it works.

by Kristina Knight

bunchball.gifRajat Paharia is the founder and Chief Product Officer of Bunchball, a hub which helps brands use gaming concepts in their marketing campaigns to influence consumers and increase engagement. Why does gamifying an ad campaign work? It builds a reward into the ad.

"Gamification satisfies our fundamental human needs for reward, status, achievement, competition, self-expression and even altruism, by using techniques that game designers have known for years - things like points, levels, badges, virtual goods and more," said Paharia. "Ultimately, the goal for brands is to maximize the lifetime value of customers by increasing the average selling price and/or frequency of purchases. Gamification helps elevate brand awareness and purchase intent by increasing the frequency of visits, the time spent and the lean-forward participation on websites and related social media properties. Repeat site visitors turn into valuable and loyal customers that have less incentive to click away and look for another source."

For example, cable network USA placed all of their content for the show "Psych" into content - they created quizzes, blogs, games and video clips. Using Bunchball's Nitro platform, that content became the basis for Club Psych which rewards viewers for consuming, sharing and interacting with the content.

" After the launch, users' time on the Psych website increased from an average of 14 minutes to 22 minutes; page views were up to 16 million from 9 million in the previous season; and average site visits increased from 2 times per month to around 4.5 times month," said Paharia. "USA Networks also saw viewership of the show, in the 18-34 demographic, rise 40 percent, and they were awarded an AdAge Media Vanguard award for Best Social-Media Loyalty program."

What should be included in gamification? The customer experience is the most important thing. The website has to be fun, interactive and have content that the user wants. Next, it needs to allow for self-expression and competition. Finally, there must be rewards - more playing time, advanced content levels, etc. to keep the consumer coming back for more.

Tags: Bunchball, game advertising, game type ads, gamification, gaming trends, online advertising

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