Fiat YouWear: Fun example of Gamification
Earlier this week I was at a networking event and I ended up having to teach what gamification is all about. For some reason I seem to hang out with the innovators of this world, who seemingly understand the same things I do, but that doesn’t mean anything to the general public, which was a great insight. I also learned that in order to appeal those non-IT related professions, my explanations need to be a whole bunch simpler.
So what better way than to explain what gamification is all about with an example, the Fiat YouWear campaign on Facebook is a good example of using a game to attract new users to your product. Gamification is all about using game mechanics, game dynamics and game psychology to non-game environments. The non-game environment in this case is new car marketing.
The whole idea behind gamified marketing is to create the sense of fun and playfulness, instil an element of engagement and create a sense of loyalty, because of the positive experience the game brings. My guess is that Fiat is after the younger female target audience and the metrosexual male with possibly a first car on their mind. Facebook as a platform allows you to target advertising to very specific groups, so I would hope that this is indeed what Fiat is also doing. The reason why I found out about it is because Karen Haller, colour consultant, posted her input to the app on Facebook and as a curious individual I had to try it out, even though I am not specifically in the prime target market, but could be in the extended one.
What was great is that the app is very easy to use, so low barriers to entry and from a company perspective they now have access to my preferences on Facebook, which is handy information if used well. A game psychology dynamic that is tapped into with this app is the intrinsic motivator of gaining some knowledge that is interesting or important for me. It definitely ticks the ‘what’s in ti for me’ box enough for me to want to share some personal information and play the game. Profiling questionnaires are always popular and the novelty factor of having a colour profile based on my pictures in my Facebook account is a fun perspective. The result is relatively low risk and won’t reveal so much that I would be embarrassed. In fact the descriptions on the colour profile are hilarious and increase the fun factor. The positive result which is triggered by positive chemical reactions in our body is now related to the game and by association to the Fiat 500, which effectively means we are more positively disposed to the brand and the car. It would be very interesting to see if Fiat is tracking the effect on car sales and preferences, including the colour, because that is the ultimate confirmation of a successful marketing campaign.
The choice of platform to launch this campaign on, is another game mechanic in action namely that of social influence. Facebook is the social platform of choice for the Fiat 500 target market and by encouraging game participants to share their colour results you encourage their friends to take part too. It has the potential to create an interesting debate. The campaign also runs on Twitter, which once again is a great location to find the target audience, but it lacks the visual aspects that makes this campaign so much fun. It is a pity that the campaign doesn’t immediately show when you go to the company website, how you could tailor your Fiat 500 your way. The app taps into curiosity, ownership and social influence factors which are some of the core drivers of gamification as defined in the Octalysis Gamification Framework by Yukai Chou.
The campaign received some bad rep by a reputable trade journalist, which is interesting. I asked Karen what the age group of the journalist was and it was significantly higher than the target market and old school car marketing. What does this mean? Well gamification is a new concept, hence traditionalists will only get it when the rest of the world has tested and applied it. Secondly it is great proof of a targeted marketing campaign, because the journalist was clearly not the kind of customer they were after and my guess would be is that he drives a more traditionally acceptable family car instead of the funky young Fiat. Personally I see that as very positive feedback, because you are on target and secondly not everyone is ready for gamification just yet – they may just be a bit further detached from their playful self and stuck in ‘serious business’ mode.
Business shouldn’t be boring and my aim is definitely to bring the fun and playfulness back into business, so I salute companies that take this route.
The question is where does the game take us from here, is there a follow-on for Fiat YouWear? Is there a journey I can take, an adventure? There is a competition, so by merely using the app and sharing about it I do have the potential to win prizes, which is an added incentive although being honest that’s not the first reason why I tried it, I was more curious, but it is a nice added bonus. There is potential for each colour Fiat to go on an epic journey of discovery, bringing along the colour members only, which taps into the exclusivity factor and ads the epic journey curiosity, which tends to be inherent to games. You want to find out what’s next and whether there is more to gain by sticking around. Maybe the ultimate prize of winning your colour Fiat500.
Oh and my colour – based on my most current Facebook pictures was: