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Will Online Games Fuel Mobile Engagement

August 7, 2017

Jet.com has become the latest retailer looking to capitalize on the popularity of online mobile games like Candy Crush to help engage consumers.

In the game, #URLsofSummer, two disparate items are humorously paired in an image and consumers are urged to “guess the Summer URL correctly, and you could win all the items in the photo.” An example given shows a pair of tongs holding a ping pong paddle. The winning URL: jet.com/PingPongTong.

The campaign, running from June 19 to July 14, showcases Jet.com’s broad summer assortments and represents a switch-up from traditional advertising.

“We’re very tongue-in-cheek, very playful, and this campaign — a fun little game you can play while you’re standing in line somewhere — is another way we can give the online shopping experience a more human face,” Sumaiya Balbale, Jet.com’s VP of marketing, tells Marketing Daily.

In Sweden, McDonald’s earned attention earlier this year with the launch of BeatQuiz, which asked diners multiple-choice questions based on the music currently playing in the restaurant. One-on-one battles with friends were encouraged.

Punchh, which helps restaurants deliver personalized offers, also provides games, often via limited promotions, featured on the apps of some of its clients, including Schlotzsky’s, Chicago’s Aurelios Pizza, TGI Fridays in the U.K. and the franchisor, Taco John’s.

Schlotzsky’s “Scratch, Match & Win” game, for example, offered players the chance to win food and drink prizes by entering a code from their drink cup into the game app, then “scratching” and matching two buttons on the screen. Any game can be turned into a sweepstakes by adding a clause that they must “enter” to win.

In an interview with RetailWire, Shyam Rao, CEO of Punchh, said that in general clients benefit from the games through acquisition of new loyalty members and the ability to promote items. Many games require purchasing a specific item to gain an entry code.

The games are also said to reduce anxiety around wait times, help families entertain their kids, and can enrich the dining experience. Said Mr. Rao, “The social benefits of games help overall brand awareness.”

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