Playful brand experiences

Playful brand experiences



This article by Eva Laura Gal, was published in issue 07 of Social Technology Quarterly. ...

This article by Eva Laura Gal, was published in issue 07 of Social Technology Quarterly.
Summary: Playfulness as a part of offering new experiences can be used very effectively by brands. Its significance is that it can influence buying, include a product’s purpose, and reflect its value proposition.



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Playful brand experiences Playful brand experiences Document Transcript

  • 10A lot of successful and popular marketing campaigns use play as a keyelement. Playing is an inherent human behaviour that builds relationshipswhile encouraging exploration, participation and challenge. Creating a playfulexperience for marketing purposes has the same aim: to build a relationshipbetween the players and the brand and convert them from players intoconsumers. Before creating a game for a target audience marketers need toknow which type of playful experience they can choose to achieve their goal.Creating a brand image The goal through play is to position the product,showcase its characteristics, the context, the environment, and theassociations with which the brand can identify itself.Engagement Play is an active quality that requires participation, interaction,and exploration. By giving the player a playful experience to be engaged by,it is more likely that the player becomes a consumer.Social interaction Sometimes playing with others creates a greatexperience. This is especially true in contests or competitions. Players cancompete against each other while enjoying the same experience together.Sharing Sharing a victory, participating in a game and being fascinatedabout it with others can be as important as the playful experience itself. Forthe brand it also generates word-of-mouth.Learning The more people know something about what they enjoy, themore they like and want it. By providing information about the product whileplaying increases the chance for turning players into consumers.Playful BrandExperiencesPlayfulness as a part of offering newexperiences can be used very effectively bybrands. Its significance is that it can influencebuying, include a product’s purpose, and reflectits value Eva Laura GalPhoto Credit: MSNBC
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 071Creating a Brand Image: HeinekenHeineken’s ads have featured legendarypeople in extraordinary situations in recentyears. Its heroes are masculine andattractive men who always solve a situationregardless of how tricky, dangerous orimpossible it seems to be. In the ‘Open YourWorld’ campaign they sponsored the latestbond movie Skyfall to use James Bond toenhance this image.The ‘Crack the Case’ campaign offeredconsumers a personalized and interactiveexperience through an online game. Afteraccessing the game, the player finds himself/herself on the same train in the mountainswhere their advertisements were shot. Onecan be Heineken’s ‘man of the world’ whilehunting the case which used to belong toBond. The mission is to find the case onthe train and open it with a combination ofnumbers while Skyfall’s Bond girl, Severine,helps the player complete the mission.Heineken put its ‘man of the world’ into asituation where he has to act like a double-0spy. Players perceive this while playing thegame. They feel just as masculine, brave,and extraordinary as Heineken’s ‘man ofthe world’. The campaign brings the maleconsumer and the brand closer to eachother by providing players the experience ofbeing a special agent.Photo Credits: felixtriller
  • 12The success of a campaign depends onhow much it can increase consumers’level of engagement. One way to enhanceengagement is to involve the consumers insomething important for them; somethingthey can identify themselves with. Asthe official sponsor of the 2012 OlympicGames, Adidas did this with the aim ofshowcasing British talents and encouraging2Engagement: AdidasUK consumers to ’Take the Stage’ in 2012.The whole campaign was based on theconcept of talent – professional athletespromote the newest collection of Adidas andbrand ambassadors offer exclusive prizesfor winners of a competition. Competitorsupload demonstrations of their talent onAdidas’ website, ask their friends to vote forit, and whoever gets the highest number ofvotes is the winner.The playful and competitive experienceincreased the level of consumerengagement because it excited people toparticipate and ’take the stage’.
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 07Sport brands often support particular sportsand events as sponsors with the aim ofreaching a wider audience. Some brandsgo even further by also organizing theseevents. The aim is to create a communityand give its members the feeling of being inthe same club by adding a new layer to thesport - the layer of social interaction. Nikeand running are very obvious examples butbrands can take up less popular sports andattract more players by supporting events.CrossFit has been around for years butwhen it partnered with Reebok last year,3Social Interaction: CrossFitthe popularity of CrossFit increased. In thebrand’s latest ad, helicopters carry hugecontainers to different cities around theworld. By opening the containers peopleenter the world of CrossFit. CrossFit andReebok established ’CrossFit boxes’ incities around the world. CrossFit trainersprovide exercise classes and coachingto people and organise competitions thatinvolve thousands of players. By licensingits name to CrossFit, Reebok identifies itselfwith the community of CrossFit players whoshare the same values and work for thesame goal: a healthy and fit life. Reebokfacilitated the creation of a communitythat provides players the opportunity toexercise, compete with others, and socialisewith people who they have something incommon with.
  • Nike has always been very effective atenergizing individuals and communities.With its latest ‘Game On, World’ campaignthe brand is trying to reach more peoplethan ever.The campaign launched with two films thatturn the world into a virtual playground withathletes running and jumping amongstobstacles just like Super Mario. The brandcalls everybody for a world-wide competitionwhere performance is measured byNikeFuel, a universal currency. Playershave missions where they compete againstother players and professional athletes. Themost active player is the winner.Nike added a social element to thecompetition. It encouraged athletes toshare their performances with friends andthe rest of the Nike+ community on Twitter,Facebook and YouTube. The intention wasto inspire and motivate players, ensure agrowing number of users, and generategreater word-of-mouth. 4Sharing: Nike
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 07a dog squeezing between family members’legs. The first-person perspective makesone feel as if one is a part of that particularscene. IKEA’s marketing specialists createda fun environment to educate playersabout their products. They created aplayful experience to turn the players intoconsumers by offering them the possibilityto ’try’ and imagine using the product in ahome-like environment and learn about it atthe same time.The more you know something, the moreyou like it. A successful marketing strategycan be based on this universally acceptedtruth. IKEA successfully applied thisstrategy in its ‘Kitchen View’ campaign:It gave consumers as much informationas possible while providing them with aplayful experience.Viewers can explore IKEA kitchens andlearn about the products from the view ofdifferent family members: a grandmother’sbirthday , a young couple dancing, or even5Learning: IKEAPhoto Credit: PowiReferences“There is no other true test of fitness.” CrossfitGames.Gordon,Kyana.“Nike turns theWorld into a Real LifeVersion of Super Mario Bros..”,02 Jul 2012.“Heineken Launches TV and Digital Campaign forSkyfall.”,21 Sep 2012.Fera, Rae Ann. “James Bond and Heineken wantyou to ‘Crack the Case’”.”, 21Sept 2012.Follett, Jonathan. “Engaging User Creativity: ThePlayful Experience.” Uxmatters,17 Dec 2007.