The Flappy Bird Effect – Finding success in gamification nostalgia

The public sector can bring great examples of inevitable struggles within one industry. With it’s communication complexities with young people presents unique challenges. From a potential digital divide to trust issues and the struggle to make information relevant, traditional approaches often fall short. Recognizing these hurdles, the Federation of Estonian Student Unions (EÜL) chose a creative approach: interactive marketing. This is their story.
Picture of Kalev Kärpuk
Kalev Kärpuk
Digital Marketing Campaign for ISIC with the Flappy Bird game effect

As a marketing professional, you’ve most certainly found yourself in a situation where you’re facing the almost inevitable struggles of your industry. The public sector is a perfect example of it. With it’s communication complexities with young people presents unique challenges. From a potential digital divide to trust issues and the struggle to make information relevant, traditional approaches often fall short. Recognizing these hurdles, the Federation of Estonian Student Unions (EÜL) chose a creative approach: interactive marketing.

Coming up with the plan

As the official representative for the ISIC brand in Estonia, their goal was crystal clear – craft a game that not only resonates with students but also raises awareness about the ISIC card. The decision to use a Flappy Bird-style game was not just a whim but a well-thought-out strategy. It sought deep emotions evoking the feeling of nostalgia amongst young players.

Now, that we know what was their goal, let’s dive into the specifics of the game type and explore the Flappy Bird effect.

The Federation of Estonian Student Unions marketing campaign at student events to aquire new customers and engage existing ones.

Gamification in Action: The Flappy Bird Effect

When analyzing the campaign with EÜL, we concluded that the secret to success lies in choosing the correct game type. In their case – the Flappy Bird.

Flappy Bird is a game that brilliantly demonstrates the fundamentals of gamification marketing. It doesn’t require players to master a complex set of controls, understand weapons or memorise complex environments. Because of that, and because it is so easy to die, players experience emotions like positive frustration, desire to be better and adrenaline all at the same time making them play the game several times further communicating EÜL’s campaign message.

This strategic choice aimed not only to entertain but also to create a lasting impact by associating positive emotions with the ISIC brand. When participating in several student events, some youngsters came to them saying that they LOVED the game and couldn’t stop playing. Thanks to the interactive element, they created a connection with potential future ISIC card owners.

Since numbers may give a different perspective, let’s take a look at their campaign analytics.

Metrics Speak Louder Than Words: Exceeding Expectations

Analyzing the metrics of the gamification campaign provides insights into its remarkable success. Our statistics revealed that the campaign surpassed its initial goal of reaching 10,000 people by 200%, attracting over 20,000 visitors. This achievement indicated a significant engagement level, reaching almost all first-year students and other students in the target demographic. The wide-scale use of marketing channels like social media, newsletters, and university events played a crucial role in amplifying the campaign’s reach.

Nika Brett Udras, ISIC digital marketing campaign manager and creator

Our experience with Adact has been exceptional. The platform’s user experience, prize management and customer support are top-notch, making gamification in marketing even more effective.

Nika Brett Udras, the Federation of Estonian Student Unions Marketing Manager

Benefits Beyond Fun: The Impact of Gamification in Marketing

As we now know, gamification marketing transcends mere entertainment, offering tangible benefits to businesses. One key advantage is the heightened engagement with your customers, a valuable asset nowadays as more content is being pushed out the attention span shortens year by year. Furthermore, gamification contributes to building brand awareness by encouraging participants to share their experiences, creating the desired word-of-mouth effect.

Gamification doesn’t stop at engagement and brand awareness—it significantly impacts conversion rates. In a world where conventional marketing methods are easily ignored, gamified campaigns stand out and capture customers’ attention. Through games like Wheel of Fortune or Plinko, businesses can offer tangible rewards, give out coupons, create special raffles and much more. But when creating a campaign, keeping mind that content is king because eventually, it is still a game.

In the meeting, we will take a look at ADACT, discuss different game ideas and how gamification can help reach your marketing goals.

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