There is a general connotation that games are only meant for children. But according to a study on video game consumers by Entertainment Software Association, there are more than 1.8 billion gamers in the world. The average gamer is 35 years old and women above 18 represent 33% of the gaming population! Clearly, these are facts that nullify the general beliefs surrounding games. And wherever the masses are present, advertising finds its way through. Games provide the much needed engagement and interactivity that branding companies look out for and that is why the best creative agencies around the world have been using them in their advertising campaigns for various brands. So, let us take a look at some of the best examples of gamification in advertising. NikeFuel MissionsHow would you like to play a game with the avatars of Calvin Johnson, Allyson Felix, Alex Morgan and Neymar Jr? That is exactly what Nike provided with their ‘NikeFuel Missions’ game; a part of their activity tracker ‘Nike+ FuelBand’. The game, empowered by the gamer’s everyday movement, used the FuelBand to regulate and monitor the progress of the user’s movement. Once a user chose a difficulty level, they were challenged to achieve a certain amount of NikeFuel to advance further in the game. And as one raced against time, they met celebrity athletes who adviced on how to better the game! After every mission, users were able to sync the Nike+ device to track their progress. If the desired results were not achieved, one could replay the mission. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtZIwxeuH20).Ford – Penalty KickYou have played football games where you have to put the ball in the back of the net. How would you like to kick them through the backdoor of a car? This is what Ford provided with its ‘penalty kick game’ to promote one of their latest car models in Sweden. The campaign ran as a mobile banner and a user, upon clicking the banner, were taken to a full screen where they had to shoot three penalty kicks through the back door of the new model! At the end of the game, users were given a chance to watch a video and they were also able to make an appointment to visit a regional dealership. (https://www.gamewheel.com/5-times-major-brands-used-ad-games-marketing-campaigns/ – 1st one).Target – Holiday WishTarget Corporation, the second largest discount store retailer in the United States launched the ‘Holiday Wish’ app that allowed kids to create wish lists and send them over to Santa! This 3D animated game like app is delightfully lighthearted and cheerful as it served as a bridge between the lovely kids and Santa. The game also allowed Mothers to access wish lists and share them across relatives and when the relatives bought toys, the list was automatically adjusted. What was even more exciting? The game featured augmented advertising that allowed kids to scan pages of the gifting catalogue and immediately add them into their digital wish list. The AR animation had toys being drawn into the toy tube and into the Wish List headquarters in the same manner in which toys were added to digital list. Furthermore, the AR experience included a scan of the catalogue cover, an avatar character for the kids and a special message with the kid’s name scrolling across the catalogue cover for Santa. Talk about fairy tales coming true! (https://vimeo.com/132058245)Starbucks RewardsWhat if the entire buying experience itself is a game? Welcome to Starbucks Rewards! This is an excellent example of how to use gamification to create customer engagement and ensure repeat business. Starbucks Rewards members receive stars or points for every purchase they make. These stars can later be redeemed for incentives such as free food and drinks. The more stars you earn, better are the chances to earn unique rewards such as free birthday beverage and free refills. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4ScwYcBA7E)Urban Sport Club – Rock Climbing GameUrban Sport Club, a fitness-flat rate, launched a rock climbing themed game as part of their lead generation campaign and there was an interesting prize element to the campaign. The game challenged users to climb as high as they can. The top three performers were offered 3 months of Urban Sport Membership absolutely free. And thus, there was more at stake than just playing the game! People do like to share their achievements and when they do that, they become a brand’s greatest promoter. (Case Study 2 – https://www.gamewheel.com/gamification-in-marketing/)M&M’s – Eye Spy GameHere is an example of an inexpensive yet very effective game campaign. To promote their pretzel products, M’s introduced a marketing campaign that had an eye spy game. The idea behind the game was very simple. There was a large graphic design of scattered M&M’s and the user had to find a small pretzel hidden among them. The game bought more than 25,000 new likes on the brand’s official Facebook page and it also generated more than 6000 shares and 10000 comments.(https://in.pinterest.com/pin/520165825688287209/?autologin=true)Chipotle – A Love StoryFree Food! How about that for an inspiration to play a game. And that is exactly what Chipotle offered through its match game ‘A Love Story’ that asked users to flip cards and match real Chipotle ingredients by avoiding added colors and flavors. The reward? A buy-one get-one free coupon on any food item. The game encourages consumers to stay engaged with the brand and purchase more all the while establishing the brand’s message of using healthy ingredients instead of added colors and flavors. That is the power of gamification!(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzAKqiPWbHM)Games have the unique capacity to connect with any section or class of audience. After all, everyone loves light hearted moments. As Maya Angelou rightly said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. Games put a smile across anyone’s face and thus a brand can be remembered for long. So when are you joining in?