Digitata Insights has won global recognition and a Silver award at the recent Festival of Media Global Awards, for the “Sunlight Smart Water Savers” mobile game it developed for Unilever’s Sunlight two-in-one campaign. The win is further evidence that gaming is an increasingly effective way for marketers to engage with audiences for longer than they would in the case of a traditional advert, in a novel way.

Digitata Insights conceptualised the campaign, “Sunlight Smart Water Savers”, based on a brief from Unilever as a means not only to increase awareness for its Sunlight laundry brand, but also as a way of contributing to drought relief efforts in the Western Cape by encouraging an interactive way to save water, which would have a positive impact on global communities, as well as society at large.

The campaign, which was covered by Redzone earlier this year, highlighted the benefits of Sunlight’s re-engineered 2-in-1 washing powder.  Digitata Insights chief marketing officer Henk Swanepoel says that to communicate the benefits of the washing powder, as well as drive awareness around the importance of saving water, the agency developed a mobile campaign based on gamification that would educate consumers around the brand values and, in an entertaining and interactive way, also get them to proactively think about saving water.

“It’s an ideal platform to impart this type of communication,” says Swanepoel. “Through gamification, consumers are engaged for longer than they would be when viewing a traditional advert, which means that the brand can incorporate multiple messages over a longer period of time.” Swanepoel admits that it hasn’t been easy to get most agencies to buy into the concept of gamification, but says that clients are beginning to see the benefits, which include the production of accurate data that is easily measurable – a huge plus given the current preoccupation with return on investment.

The big take-out

Gamification can be an effective way of influencing consumer behaviour and engagement. 

Ultimately, gamification is a fun way for a brand to engage with consumers. Swanepoel points out that the Sunlight Smart Savers campaign created a way for consumers to enjoy themselves while learning to save a precious resource at the same time. Digitata Insights developed the campaign to be Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) based, so that it would work on feature phones. It made use of five of SA’s vernacular languages and was free to play on Vodacom and MTN. A Web-based solution was developed for smart devices and desktops.

Ultimately, the campaign shows that gamification can be used to effectively entrench behaviours within those who engage with the platform and can be used to create a social impact.