Few industries have seen more challenges and opportunities than the airline industry. The list is long: airport lines, fuel prices, razor thin margins, AMR wrestling with bankruptcy, online travel agencies popping up daily and regulatory changes, to name a few. Delta Airlines is one of a few that’s turned all of these into advantages. The company decided to separate themselves from the rest by focusing their efforts on becoming known as New York City’s hometown airline. They spent over $1 billion redesigning their terminal and ramped up their flight offerings to and from the city. After all was said and done, the company needed a flashy, fun way to let everyone know they’d arrived. Enter: BoomBox. The company wanted to use gamification to raise awareness of their commitment to NYC and to make an emotional connection with the brand. We at BoomBox wanted to create something fun, exciting, engaging, and that used our signature mix of behavioral, neuro-, and game science. The game had to make sense for Delta, in regards to their newly-strengthened presence in New York City and otherwise. We came up with the “Delta Nonstop NYC" program, a six-week sustained social campaign that would make a lasting impression on everyone who played. We based the game around the red coats–Delta’s signature flight attendants. The game mixed social, web, mobile, and the thrill of searching New York City for clues and prizes. It consisted of: - Players visited custom websites (engagement hubs) to uncover clues that helped them find the red coats – a key differentiator of service excellence. - Participants raced to be the first to find a red coat after a clue had been revealed. - There were weekly game announcements via social media platforms which players were encouraged to share with their networks. - Players could boost their scores by checking in at Delta properties (terminals, lounges) and other relevant locations throughout NYC. - Users would engage with Delta daily by going on missions and searching out clues, as well as by interacting with the company on social media platforms. The “Nonstop NYC" campaign was a complete success. By the end of the game we’d racked up almost 190,000 interactions, 7,000 mentions of the hashtag “#nonstopnyc", a total estimated Twitter reach of over 70 million people, and we secured 60% more users than we originally thought. Delta’s ticket sales out of New York rose dramatically, and we won three Webby Awards. While our players were having fun checking in and sharing clues, they were also interacting with the Delta brand--usually several times a day. The campaign was geared not just towards the name or logo of the company, but to the qualities that the brand stands for. Each person’s sustained engagement with Delta resulted in a greater interest in the company, and now those involved are more likely to think Delta when making their next airline purchase. Delta could have blown their entire advertising budget and not have come close to the results this campaign delivered.With gamification becoming the new thing in marketing and advertising, it’s easy for any agency or company to show that they’re a part of the trend. Like websites and social media before it, gamification is quickly going from something that businesses can successfully leverage to grow their customer base and loyalty to simply something else companies need to be involved with because...well...it’s the new thing. Many firms develop one good idea or plan and apply it to every client and campaign, regardless of what the actual goal is and without any real thought. Our “Nonstop NYC" campaign is a fantastic example of how to actually customize a gamification plan using tried and true techniques in new and exciting ways. The project worked to accomplish one or two specific goals, and tried to reach people at a specific point in the consumer life cycle, not just as many as possible. Reaching a smaller but more targeted audience can be much better than just as many people as one can grab. We were able to show people a new option, to open their eyes to another company in the marketplace that might actually be better than the airline they were currently using. The people who participated in this game had a lot of fun, but more importantly they were doing something that was on-message, in keeping with the brand, and that was exactly in line with the goals set forth by Delta. This is smart gamification, not just any old game.
A case study on our campaign on Gamification.co: http://www.gamification.co/2013/11/20/delta-nonstop-nyc/
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