Implementing game-centric design techniques into a marketing campaign is proven to work if incorporated fittingly. Gamification allows brands to deeply engage with its users within an entertaining platform — building participation and trust.
McDonald’s recently ran a mobile ad for a word scramble game that incorporated dollar menu items. In addition to learning about the dollar menu items while playing, users can also find the nearest McDonald’s location. The ad for the game was promoted on popular iPhone apps.
The ad encouraged users to test their McDonald’s knowledge; “You make smart choices every day. Like thinking before you speak and buying the McDouble. Show off your smarts at McDonald’s.” After unscrambling a word, users can share their score on Facebook, which facilitates spreading the word about the McDouble promotion. Users can also browse the dollar menu to see the different items with a picture and description.
What worked about this game? McDonald’s challenged people by asking them to test their knowledge. Not only were people playing the game, they were also learning about products. By capturing people’s attention with this amusing game, consumers were inadvertently thinking about the products. When the consumer later thinks about grabbing a bite to eat, McDonald’s is top of mind.