‘Coca-Cola’ is a great example of an old company which has adapted exceptionally well to the changing tendencies of the modern, digitalized world in order to continue having a dominant market presence. When talking about ‘Coca-Cola’ and Gamification the first association that comes to mind is ‘CokeZone’(www.cokezone.co.uk). CokeZone is a place where customers enter codes which they have acquired from purchased products such as bottles, cans or packs of drinks. For every entered code people are awarded points which they can use to exchange for goods or enter prize draws - the more expensive the purchased product is, the larger the amount of points awarded. Even though CokeZone does not represent the typical gamification (game like) model, it uses particular game mechanics such as points, rewards and leader boards. It is natural for people to allot more value to things perceived to have limited availability, which is a reason why people can be driven to act when they believe that something is likely to become scarce. Scarcity of goods or of time to enter a prize draw is one of the main prompts which CokeZone uses to encourage users to participate. CokeZone also ‘kindly’ reminds the users that if they do not participate by submitting another code in a 90-day-period they automatically lose all previously collected points – a thoughtful strategy to keep people coming back.
Consumers can also earn additional number of points for completing short surveys about their preferences and consumer habits. This is a clever incentive for people to willingly provide valuable information. However, the usual survey form which is time-consuming can often seem boring to people and they might simply complete it without even considering giving a truthful answer.
The other problem with CokeZone is that people are awarded with very little number of points even for the most expensive products (most points are earned from 10 or 12 can packs only – 10pts; a 2 litre bottle is worth only 3 points). Therefore it would take a lot of time or funds for a person to collect a decent amount of points. And when, eventually, the points are collected, the goods they can be exchanged for are usually of an insignificant value (a single Coca-Cola glass is worth 150pts!). Thus many of the people who start participating, such as myself, quickly get bored and abandon the process of submitting codes.
Another example of Coca Cola’s gamification is its relatively new campaign which was introduced in America a year ago. Coke Freestyle is a multi-media, fully interactive campaign which allows people to choose their own unique flavour combinations from every Coca Cola brand. The freestyle machines were located in numerous fast food restaurants across USA. The particularly innovative strategy was to also create a game app for iphone and android devices called PUSH+Play. The gameplay’s purpose shown below is taken from the app’s description of the Play Store.
1. Watch the pattern of each button light up to the sounds.
2. Repeat the pattern and hit the PUSH button.
3. Complete each of the brand’s PUSH patterns to win the level and score awesome achievements!
PUSH your way to the top of the leaderboard and see how you rank against others around the world. Plus, rack up bragging rights by earning badges like “Lightning Fast” and “Brainiac!” Share ‘em with your friends to see who’s the real PUSH! + Play pro!
The Coke Freestyle game app is a substantially subtle strategy for marketing research. The app collects data which delivers unique and individual customer insight. Unintentionally people using the freestyle app take part in a really truthful survey for personal preference. This is a great advancement in data collection and survey taking. Consumers are much less likely to be biased and they provide greater contextual information. They also have a good reason to be truthful about their choice considering the fact that they will be the ones consuming the final product. The interactive nature of the game reflects a concrete personal choice, not influenced by mass opinion and standards… Thus gamification in this case can be seen as a positive for both consumers and producers.
Coca-Cola’s variation of use of gamification does not end with Coke Freestyle. The company introduces a number of different innovative and, most importantly, fun gamification concepts. The following videos show how the Coca-Cola marketing company has been able, through gamification, to do something much more important and difficult than simply selling a product. It has been able to transform a non-alcoholic drink to a synonym of happiness and joy; to connect with the younger generation, reflect its energy and convey the idea that Coca-Cola is all about having fun!