How gamification is changing the landscape of user engagement: Google Pay Diwali Campaign 2019

Google Pay Diwali
What is gamification?

From an end user’s perspective, the word gamification becomes synonymous with playing games. They envision games created for a business purpose. Well, corporate gamification is a tweaked concept. Corporate gamification is all about boosting the existing website, enterprise application, or an online community by integrating mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty.

The word Gamification is abused in the marketing world today. It’s unbelievable but a simple quiz contest on Instagram is pitched as Gamification. Every brand is trying hard to crack the gamification code but lack of imagination generally creates a dull experience. Google Pay and the agency involved has done a great job here. Not just it is intriguing but the entry barriers/friction to start the game are non-existent. If you use Google Pay, you are already part of the game.

Case Study: Google Pay Diwali Campaign

Rangoli, Diya, lantern, jhumka or flowers are words you are sure to hear at any Indian home during the festive season. However, this Diwali, these words have taken a whole new meaning for some people. People were busy searching for rangoli, diya, lantern, jhumka, and flower but not for the Diwali decoration. They were trying to collect the Diwali stamps on Google Pay to earn themselves some money and gifts. 

To enhance its user engagement, Google Pay offered Rs. 251 to anyone who managed to grab all five stamps, a diya, jhumka, flower, rangoli, and lantern. You can get the stamps by scanning festive items or by transferring money more than Rs 33. The prospect of getting the money as well as the adventure of collecting different stamps has hooked many. However, it is proving to be harder than expected. People are complaining about not finding some of the stamps.

But here’s the thing. No matter how much you try, the rangoli and flower stamps are rarer than a hen’s tooth! Very soon, the words “flower” and “rangoli” began trending on social media, with thousands tweeting that they just needed these two stamps to win the money and were unable to do so. Some went so far as to claim that this was a scam by the app itself.

Google Pay Diwali Strategy 

Now that you have already become a part and achieved success (stamps) initially, you feel like finishing the game (the climax is important). You start with useless transactions with friends to achieve these stamps but subconsciously you also plan to transact only through Google Pay. Meanwhile, Google Pay plays with your mind by planting cues (Get a bill payment done or recharge your phone). They successfully integrate and promote their services while you try to unlock these stamps using the suggested services.

Also, historically games that have been difficult to finish have succeeded in engaging the players because if everyone can achieve it, it’s not an achievement. 

Diwali is a festival where we share food, warmth, and money with our loved ones, the campaign had an instant connect with the Indian audience because there is an option to share all these stamps with your close ones. The 2019 Diwali season also witnesses thousands of Instagram stories, tweets from people asking for the Rangoli and Flower stamps and also several memes by the Indian population. All these together garnered more organic engagement for the brand. The popularity of the Google Pay Diwali Campaign was such that media houses like Hindustan Times and Republic World also started writing articles to help people find the coveted Rangoli stamp. 

It’s scientifically proven that our brain releases more dopamine in the anticipation of rewards than the reward itself. Google Pay has played well on this psychology, the anticipation to receive a Rangoli has been the highlight of this campaign. The brand did not just engage existing users, they acquired new users’ courtesy of the shared nature of the contest. Kudos to Google for playing its cards right this Diwali. The idea is praiseworthy and a thing to note for other companies.  

In conclusion, it has been a happy Diwali for folks out at Google Pay and almost a happy Diwali for Google Pay users in India. 

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