Consumer Culture + Commerce: - The Integer Group® London

Consumer Culture + Commerce:

From Gimmicks to Experience – the Next Level of Gamification

18th October, 2018

The need to play has always been intrinsic to us humans. Over the past decades, the nature of play has shifted, it has been amplified through the digital world. The early adopters of this shift were often dismissed as geeks or nerds, but gaming has become mainstream, crossing demographics and going beyond stereotypes.

The French football player Antoine Griezman celebrated his world cup goals in front of a billion people with dances mimicking the popular game Fortnite.

Earlier this year, superstar Drake joined the live-streamer Ninja to play games together in front of a record 650.000 concurrent viewers.

Professional gamers are now competing for prize pools bigger than that of most traditional sport events.

Gaming culture is now front and centre of consumer culture; a culture that is being adopted and implemented directly, moving from single gaming elements to creating full gaming experiences in different shapes and sizes.

Brands have attempted to partake in the rise of gaming through ‘gamification’, often including it as a standard in marketing briefs. However, it is still a nice-to-have, a way of updating an existing idea, or an injection of fun for Gen Z.

In a world where playing digital games has become the norm and experiences are the new tool to bring brands to life, gaming culture should be an influential component of any agency response.

Smart brands are beginning to adopt this approach in different ways:

Chanel is travelling across China with it’s pop up “Coco Chanel Game Center”, reviving the arcade hall experience by recreating classic games in style. Playing the games allowed users to win or sample new Chanel products.

Milka even took it offline and tapped into the resurging appeal of real-life games, creating the “Milka Biscuit Run” board game, giving away over 7.000 of them as part of a campaign.

Under Armour created a mobile game that was based on the real-time action of basketball star Stephen Curry. When Curry scored, users could participate in the trivia game “Steph IQ” to win various prizes. It had a live host, live prize draws, and brought play to the second screen when watching basketball.

Sports Direct has announced earlier this year to create dedicated spaces within their stores to e-sports. Partnering with Game Digital, the retailer allows people to “pay and play”, using their space for tournaments, relax with friends or participate in other game themed events.

For us to tap into our inherent need to play, we have to start moving away from adding single, shiny elements of fun to creating full-on playful experiences built from the ground up. In the constant fight for people’s time, gaming experiences can help marketers win some of their consumers’ undivided focus and attention. Game on.


Gaming has become a broad and diverse

Gaming has outgrown its niche and is no longer the domain of only nerds and geeks. People across all ages, genders and professions are spending more time enjoying games on various platforms.

From gamification elements to full experiences

Gamification has long been synonymous with adding fun, playful elements to existing campaigns or products. To capture today’s need for play, brands have to move beyond such elements and create experiences with play at their core.

Objective dictates the platform

Gaming experiences can differ vastly from platform to platform. Depending on the objective, mobile may be better to engage people in specific moments or occasions, while physical experiences can be more suited for sampling and education.

Don’t just think digital

Gaming has exploded through digital but this allowed a number of different types of games to grow simultaneously. Board games, tabletop games and card games are all growing in appeal and offer different approaches to gaming experiences.


   Contributed by Lukas Quittan, Planner at Integer London