Game Research

Blog by the game research group

Inside the gamification case of a mobile phone marketing campaign – The amalgamation of game studies with marketing communications?

M. Dymek (2016) Inside the gamification case of a mobile phone marketing campaign – The amalgamation of game studies with marketing communications? In: Dymek, M. & Zackariasson, P. (eds.) The Business of Gamification, Routledge

  • This study examines a gamified marketing campaign for the high-profile launch of a new mobile phone model. The empirical data is based on parts of a three-year participative study performed at a prominent communications agency. The chapter analyses the gamification dimensions with several frameworks from game studies and combines those with a marketing communications perspective in order to explore avenues of future research.
  • The empirical gamification in marketing communications case was analysed with two separate frameworks from game studies and marketing communications.
  • The game studies analysis, based on cybertextual MDA, identified three traversal functions: “geo-location list”, “map plotting” and “leaderboard”, that constituted the core game-textual mechanisms of the gamification case.
  • Furthermore, the theoretical frameworks of ludology and narratology are rewardingly applicable on the context of gamification within marketing communications, and indicate new avenues of future research, such as the intersection of games with virtual/brand communications or games as brand narratives/storytelling, that can fuse game studies with various marketing communications perspectives.
  • The marketing communications analysis of gamification emphasised the unique communicational property of active participation, which subsequently resulted in a categorisation of gamification as a type of pull communication that is the domain of earned/non-paid and owned marketing media communications, which is part of the public relations modes of communications.
  • This gamification property of active participation was aligned with the theoretical turn towards relationship-perspectives within marketing communications and public relations theory, indicating a theoretical and practical congruity.
  • Finally, the study concluded that an important issue for further research is whether gamification as relational marketing communications is another form of obfuscation of instrumental management brand strategies vis-à-vis consumers, or whether gamification does indeed contribute elements of novel play into the landscape of contemporary marketing communications.

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