Smartpost Itella’s ‘Back to School’ Gamified Success – A Lesson in Fun and Engagement

Picture of Kalev Kärpuk
Kalev Kärpuk
Itella smartpost back to school gamification marketing campaign case study cover photo

In a world where marketing seems stuck in a time warp, where the same old strategies no longer dazzle the crowd, there’s a new kid on the block – gamification marketing. It’s the spark that’s igniting the hearts of brands and their audiences, changing the game completely. Now, let us tell you the story of Smartpost Itella who decided to take the gamification plunge.

Smartpost, a leading delivery service company with an extensive network of parcel lockers across the Baltics, aimed to bring a playful twist to its Back to School marketing campaign. The inspiration for the campaign came from the gameshow concept called “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” The campaign’s overarching goal was to entice the target audience to order school supplies from local e-commerce stores in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and have them delivered conveniently to Smartpost Itella parcel lockers.

Now that we have the campaign’s overall background, let’s delve into the details of their marketing campaign.

Why did a delivery service company decide to implement gamification marketing?

The dual objectives of the campaign were clear. Firstly, the campaign aimed to maintain a strong connection with their e-commerce partners by providing them with a platform for promotion. Secondly, Smartpost wanted to encourage consumers to shift their back-to-school shopping habits online. Lastly, the campaign had an additional goal: to expand its newsletter subscriber database.

However, the approach needed to be playful, engaging, and far from the conventional “Come buy school supplies!” call to action. So, the team decided to take a more lighthearted approach by creating a fun quiz, titled “Are You Smarter Than a Third Grader?”

The Genesis of the “Smarter Than a 3rd Grader” Concept

With their goals in mind, the team aimed to create a campaign that focused on 3 things: entertainment, the possibility of completing in a few minutes and bringing attention to Smartpost Itella’s branding. So, considering that the campaign was on the Back to School topic, they found a game show called “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” that they decided to modify into their concept.

The inclusion of playful questions and quirky elements added an extra layer of fun. The team believed that this type of game would resonate with their audience and create an enjoyable experience. Which it did. You can try out their game below:

Feedback and Player Enthusiasm

The feedback from the campaign was overwhelmingly positive. It became evident that players enjoyed the quiz a lot, with some of them even returning to play multiple times. The quiz was designed to be educational and entertaining, drawing questions from the curriculum of a real third-grade class in Estonia. What is the most interesting discovery, is that the questions were challenging even for adults. It was utterly intriguing to see how much adults have forgotten over time.

The engaging nature of the quiz sparked discussions on social media, with participants debating the correct and incorrect answers. This made the campaign go viral, with many users sharing it across various social platforms.

Metrics and Results: Surpassing Expectations

The campaign delivered exceptional results that exceeded all expectations. The number of quiz players and new newsletter subscribers far surpassed initial projections. Notably, the campaign caught the attention of e-commerce stores, resulting in an influx of new subscribers while the campaign was still running.

Considering the market size, the campaign was very successful for Smartpost Itella. You can almost never see a 2% bounce rate on a landing page with thousands of visitors. Despite the “impossible”, Smartpost still achieved it.


Elen Mitt from Smartpost’s marketing team: “The results far exceeded expectations: there were almost half as many players and subscribers to the newsletter as we had predicted. It was surprising to see that each customer played an average of 4 times which helps with our customer engagement goal. I was also pleased that the game attracted the attention of e-shops and even during the campaign there were subscribers from e-shops.”

Itella back to school marketing campaign result banner for gamification marketing

Campaign promotion – the final piece to a successful campaign

To engage participants in the campaign, Itella chose to utilize several digital marketing channels. Itella Smartpost executed digital ads through platforms such as Google and Meta. Banners featuring the quiz were strategically placed in local digital channels, including online school-related homework and grade management platform like “e-kool.”

Itella also leveraged its own channels for banner placements (high-traffic websites and and displayed information about the quiz on the screens of their parcel lockers. The Smartpost newsletter was another valuable channel that contributed to the campaign’s success, drawing in a significant number of quiz participants and subscribers.

This campaign is a perfect example of how a creative, engaging, and educational approach can not only meet objectives but exceed expectations. Itella Smartpost leveraged the power of gamification to make a memorable impact, fostering connections with e-commerce partners and educating participants while spreading the joy of learning in a unique way.

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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