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Gamification is the New Brand Engagement
By: Clifton Simmons
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The Gamification Summit, which ran from January 20-21, was a sold-out event in San Francisco, proving that a growing legion of marketers are seeing the light: gaming is “the new black” in brand building and engagement.
Defined in Wikipedia, “Gamification is the use of game play mechanics for non-game applications (also known as "funware"), particularly consumer-oriented web and mobile sites, in order to encourage people to adopt the applications. It also strives to encourage users to engage in desired behaviors in connection with the applications."
This isn’t some massive effort from brands to begin courting 30-something Xbox players. Marketers have given a name to the way brands are now engaging their target markets through “white collar games” that include apps and casual games like Farmville on Facebook. Gamification* also exists in the real world, with programs like McDonald’s Monopoly, one of the longest-running game campaigns out there.
If anything, the summit was eye-opening when proving its case about the usefulness of gaming...when used properly. And proper use is key. It’s bad enough when marketers want social media when there is no place for it, only because it’s the “in thing” to have. We don’t want to start entertaining requests to “gamify,*” like we’re requesting a side order of fries.

*Get used to the terms. You may be using them soon.

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About the Author
Clifton SimmonsChicago Copywriter. Non-traditional creative in a traditional world. Blogging to future creative minds on professoradman.com.
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