Case study: Bilka and its universe of branded mobile games

Case study: Bilka and its universe of branded mobile games

  • Bilka wished to be part of the entertainment industry
  • KPIs: Brand engagement and new permissions
  • Three mobile games launched on the Pointvoucher platform
  • Players get rewarded with real products in Bilka for the time spent in games
  • The project boosted brand engagement – people played for 156 years in total so far
  • Games let Bilka acquire 250K  permissions

Background

Bilka, the only hypermarket in Denmark, has created a vision to become the No.1 entertainment brand in retail and effectively save on its marketing spend, taking brands like Red Bull and LEGO as role models. Besides hosting a bunch of events at its stores each year, such as Bingo and Drive-in-cinema in a parking lot, Bilka was also looking into other channels and initiatives that can help them walk the path towards the entertainment industry.

The Challenge

At the time, Bilka had already experimented with a couple of mini-games but realized that even though the initiatives worked in terms of participation the engagement rate was very low. Hence, Bilka aimed for high quality games that would engage customers with the brand, drive them to stores and collect permissions. However, the thought of a huge investment in gaming frightened the client, since they aimed to minimize marketing spend and perform marketing activities at an efficient reasonable cost.

Insight

The entertainment industry felt right for Bilka because the brand knew it could bring something new to the table and they were already executing diverse marketing initiatives that focused on fun solutions, which brought customers’ satisfaction and drove people to stores.

Solution

The solution was to join Poinvoucher’s plug ‘n’ play marketing and loyalty platform. That meant wrapping a mobile game in Bilka’s brand universe and connecting to Pointvoucher’s marketplace, a voucher shop, which would offer rewards for customers who play the game.

The plan was to launch an MVP, develop it further and eventually release more mobile games that would target different segments of Bilka’s audience if the MVP worked. The initiative was built on an existing Bilka’s marketing campaign that most Danes are familiar with – Far til Fjorten, or Father of Fourteen, which tells a story about Per and Malene and their fourteen kids family. Moreover, Bilka’s voucher shop, would let the client not only reward players with real products but also test or introduce new items to its customers.

Each game was created to aim at a specific customer segment by looking into different game genres that usually appeal to diverse players. All games can be played using the same user account. This gives more power to redeem rewards from Bilka, since voucher points earned in different games are accumulated.

Far til Fjorten, a Match-3 puzzle game similar to Candy Crush, was released in October, 2016 and topped the Danish App Store rankings right away. The core audience of this game category is aged 35 and above, usually female, with a slight popularity among males aged 35-44. The game was updated during 2017 and 2018 with new levels and themes.

In April 2018, a second branded game Power Per, an Endless Runner type of game, was launched to appeal to competition, speed and reward-hungry players, who mostly belong to a segment of young males.

In July 2018, a third mobile game Bilkabale came out. Solitaire gameplay was taken as the reference when designing the game, since this genre boasts to have a pretty high rate of stickiness (i.e. long hours of play). This type of card game caters people across all genders and ages, though, it is mostly played by an older audience of casual gamers.

The fourth Far til Femten game Suppedas was released in November 2018, in order to target the segment of customers who enjoy playing word puzzle games.

Bilka has used owned media and paid marketing channels to introduce and market the games, new levels and updates.

Results

With a portfolio of four games Bilka has proven its dedication to advance brand experience, entertain and inform customers. But most importantly, a small up-front investment has shown a huge success so far.

Here are the total results across Far til Femten games (November, 2018):

  • Downloads: 402K (7% of the population)
  • Permissions: 250K
  • Vouchers claimed: 323K
  • Engagement rate (per average user): 4 hours

The results presented above illustrate that the project has fulfilled the goal to acquire email permissions and engage players with the brand. Furthermore, the initiative has evolved into a huge community of loyal gamers who now have a chance to choose between different types of apps for their entertainment fix as well as receive real rewards Bilka. The fans of Far til Femten games have even gathered into a Facebook group where they chat and exchange tips and tricks every day.  

Overall, the balance of a creative vision, entertaining output matched the commercial requirements and made the investment worthwhile raising endless ambitions for the future, as there are new games to be released next year to target new segments of Bilka’s customers.


In Pointvoucher’s Let’s play blog, we’ve dedicated our time and space to give our readers in-depth articles on using gamification as part of marketing strategy. On top of that, we’ll bring you insights on what is happening in casual gaming, the basics of building a brand universe in games, the psychology behind gaming in marketing, case stories on branded entertainment and much more.

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