Trend - BITE sized marketing trends

Are you ready to play?

Welcome to your new gamified world

Hirsch & Mann, Stop Smile Stroll, winner of the 2016 Playable City Award
Hirsch & Mann, Stop Smile Stroll, winner of the 2016 Playable City Award

The world is your playground, quite literally. And it’s about to get even more fun. Stop Smile Stroll is a new concept for the Playable City Award from design and technology consultancy Hirsch & Mann. The interactive crossing design encourages pedestrians to dance, rather than walk, across roads ‘bringing strangers together for a serendipitous shared moment’.

What‘s the best thing to do in a playground? Play games of course. PokémonGo has already turned the world into an augmented Poké jungle. Central Park offers its own ‘Pokémon Go Safari’. Using the same technology, start-up Snatch has partnered with brands to transform streets into a virtual treasure hunt. Players grab hidden parcels, then protect them from other players who are trying to Snatch them.

“Imagine what the world looks like with a 5G network streaming latency free gaming to every device you own…The length of distance I drive in my Tesla on the way to work might mean that I get more juice in Need For Speed…A world where games and life start to blend,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO, Electronic Arts.

Sound Scouts was winner of the SXSW Accelerator Event in the Health and Wearables category. In collaboration with Australia’s National Acoustic Laboratories, the start-up has gamified a test to identify hearing problems that can effect a child’s ability to learn, communicate and socialise. The children don’t even know they’re being tested.

When does it stop being fun? China’s Sesame Credit is a score to show how good a citizen you are. If you’re thinking about that Black Mirror episode where your social media rating affects everything from the house you can rent to the friends you keep, then you’ve pretty much got it. Sesame Credit scans your social data, purchasing behaviour, it even scans your friends (you lose points for having friends with low Sesame scores). Welcome to Big Brother’s kinder, gentler hand.

As the world continues to become more gamified, the question is, are you ready to play?

Alvio turns controlling asthma into a game

Running, playing and jumping is the best part of being a kid. But if a child has asthma it can be really debilitating. When asthma patients track their condition and exercise their lungs it cuts the need for medication by half. Unfortunately the traditional devices available are not fun to use and don’t track data. They’re just about the last thing a kid would be interested in.

Alvio is a breathing trainer that acts like a game controller. Designed for kids, the smart breathing device links to an app that can be downloaded to a tablet. Players control the game with their breath, moving a blowfish through the sea. Inhaling and exhaling moves the character up and down to hit targets in the water. Other games measure how far children can exhale, sending the fish flying out of the water and into outer space. Parents can track their child’s progress and be notified if results improve or get worse.

Alvio now partners with some of the top hospitals in the US to make their games even more useful.

Agency: R/GA London, London

less likely to need medication with lung training
An all-in-one breathing trainer, symptom tracker and mobile game controller that helps you get healthier as you play

Delta’s LA Snapchat DreamHunt

Delta Airlines partnered with Snapchat to engage its customers in Los Angeles with a location-based scavenger hunt. Delta DreamHunt challenges people to find hidden Snapchat filters strategically placed in neighborhoods around the city. Each week, a different theme will be spotlighted, which aligns with an influencer and their location. Clues will be available to help people uncover the hidden filter. Once they discover it, they need to snap and send a photo to Delta’s Snapchat channel. Winners received unique experiences with L.A. influencers, tickets to major entertainment events and Delta perks such as tickets, miles, and Sky Club memberships.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York

Delta DreamHunt

Virgin’s treasure hunt leads to Necker Island

The Virgin brand portfolio is growing. With the Virgin Red app they wanted to inspire loyalty across all of the products.  The ambition was to create a brand that would act as the central point for all the Virgin Businesses – a way to help their customers discover new things and be rewarded for living a life more Virgin. The app was launched with V Marks the Spot, an epic nationwide treasure hunt inspired by Sir Richard’s favourite childhood reading book, Masquerade. The aim of the game is to hunt down some of the one million golden coins that are cunningly hidden around the web, in the Virgin Red app and across the Virgin Empire. This could be planes, trains and even the gym. The player with the most coins wins a trip to join Richard on Necker to dig up some real treasure.

Agency: V Marks the Spot, Mr President

Virgin, V Marks the Spot

Under Armour’s dark forest video game

To avoid creating a game that would get lost in the Apple Store’s sea of apps, Under Armour chose to partner with Snapchat. It Comes From Below is an interactive video game created to be an extension of the brand’s TV spot. In both the game and the TV ad, American football player Cam Newton runs through a dark forest. In the game players must help him dodge trees and wolves and collect special Under Armour logo boosts. According to the agency, 20% of users who saw Under Armour’s Snap Ad for the game swiped up to play it, 19% of players shared it with a friend and the average play time was 78 seconds.

Agency: RED Interactive Agency, Santa Monica

Under Armour, It Comes From Below

About the author

Kara Melchers, Managing Editor, BITE

Kara has editorial control over BITE, Creativebrief’s daily insight into global marketing trends and the cultural movements driving them. She runs BITE INSPIRE sessions in the UK and US, for brands including Virgin Atlantic, A.G. BARR, British Gas and Pepsico. She also presents at our BITE LIVE events series and industry festivals in London and New York. Get in touch if you’re working on an interesting project