Festival Intelligence: Injecting fun and interactivity into gaming across EMEA | M&M Global

Festival Intelligence: Injecting fun and interactivity into gaming across EMEA

As the online gaming phenomenon has exploded amongst young children in recent years, more and more brands are turning to mobile apps and digital banners to inject fun and interactive elements that encourage participation and create unique and innovative experiences for kids and their parents. 

A detailed Ofcom report, Children and parents: Media use and attitudes report 2018, published in January 2019, highlights how online gaming is becoming increasingly popular with children, with three-quarters of 5-15 year old gamers playing online. Therefore, in order to be a part of their online media experience, brands are increasing their presence in this space and finding new, exciting ways to engage both the kids and their parents in transparent and sensitive ways.  

Within the ‘Best Use of Gamification’ category at the Festival of Media Global Awards 2019, shortlisted entries were concentrated in the EMEA region, with entries from Denmark, Germany and the UAE representing over 57% of the shortlist. The remainder was made up of entries from the US and China, which went on to be awarded Gold and Silver accolades.

But turning the focus to the EMEA region, shortlisted entries in this category tapped into the power of gamification techniques to incentivise their target audience through augmented reality (AR), in-store and interactive digital mobile banners, creating unique experiences that keep them engaged in the activation and, in some cases, use this as a demonstration tool to show the capability range. 

For some campaigns, the execution was limited to a single channel to really make an impact but in others a full 360 campaign was utilised to include additional OOH, in-store, SEO, social content, influencers and non-digital channels to create longevity and impact for their campaign.

Strategic partnerships with Snapchat, e-sports and gaming platforms like Tencent Games were secured across many of these entries to tap into a wider audience and user generated content encouraged to boost levels of engagement.  

Speaking on stage at the Festival of Media Global 2019, Peter Sellis, director of product management for Snap discussed how the company has built a successful consumer app which protects privacy, delivers what its users want and understands the culture of privacy across all of its innovations. 

Pegged off the fact that 400,000 AR experiences have been created on Snapchat, Sellis went on to say: “Brands are actually the ones that are helping us drive this type of behaviour because the intellectual property and the storytelling that these brands can bring has been super valuable. But there is a lot of work to be done here because in these worlds, what we see from advertisers has to be additive to the user experience. Everything is an opt-in, everything is about user choice, and everything is about transparency. There is a very clear value exchange which is brought back to the centre of things like creativity and creative execution because it’s so important.” 

When it comes to advertising, the expectation of creativity and clever transmission of the message requires a different communication mechanism for children than for adults. Brands who want to engage children and their parents in the online and mobile space must be fun, interactive and offer a unique personalised experience, done so in a sensitive and responsible manner. 

We put the spotlight on two Festival of Media Global Awards 2019 shortlisted entries, which highlight this trend:


Puck Save The Cows | Puck (Arla Foods) | PHD | KSA, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon

Shortlisted for: Best Use of Gamification (BRONZE WINNER)


Mums across the Middle East play a number of roles that seem to be increasing as quickly as the amount of time they have seems to be shrinking. Puck wanted to help them during the breakfast occasion, a crucial moment of functional need and emotional bonding in the family schedule. As mum’s ally in creating mealtime joy, Puck needed to change the game and reinforce its place back on the breakfast table. The campaign’s objectives were clear, deliver on volume and value, bring back the fun to breakfast time and make Puck blue jar loved by kids and approved by mums.

Gamification was identified as a way to bring fun elements of the brand while incentivising customers to buy the product. Puck needed to partner with a platform who had the tech capabilities to bring gamification to the table, as well as the audience and engagement. Together, Puck and Snapchat created the first gamified lens on the platform in the region, a fun, on-pack interactive activation built on augmented reality.

Through effective in-store, digital and influencer marketing planning, Puck was able to get its audience to the store and sell out of its promo pack in the first eight weeks of the 12 week campaign. On the campaign’s first day, Puck launched the game on a nationwide lens on Snapchat, targeting all Snap users in the GCC to raise campaign awareness. In the days following the launch, the game was only accessible through the Snapcode available on the cream cheese jar in-store. Puck pushed its call to action through diversified content brand and UGC content. Influencers with high affinity among mothers and kids supported in promoting the game, by playing it and sharing their scores.


Lego 3D Banner | Lego | Initiative | Germany

Shortlisted for: Best Use of Gamification


The availability of media space is limited and the pressure of competition extremely high within young target groups. Kids are overwhelmed with the wide variety of products and their advertising. The range of toys and variations of play are endless. Today’s generation of kids is finding less and less time for playing. Full-time school, an overwhelming selection of media and smartphones are taking up an ever-growing portion of their “free time”. That is also true for the overflow of banner ads which they are daily confronted with. The desire to try out that toy, to experience the product and the need to actually possess it has to be aroused firstly through the advertising medium. 

Children are especially demanding and expect more than the typical ads designed by and intended for adults. They want to be surprised and fascinated. Interchangeable and familiar advertising language will neither be convincing to children nor awake the intended desire for the product. The diversity of digital media makes it possible to individually react to sophisticated target groups and in particular to address a younger target group with personalised and creative advertising. 

With the smart transformation of the classic Lego digital banner into 3D animation, Lego achieved a unique advertising experience and an enhanced ad participation. Via mouseover on the ad media as well as turning/flipping the mobile device, the ad appears three-dimensional and motivates interaction. The banner is programmatically controlled, enhanced through a precise and highly efficient targeting, resulting in considerably more traffic onto the landing page.

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