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  • Frank Gussoni

Playing the Advertising Game

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

The technical definition of Gamification is the strategic attempt to enhance systems, services, organizations, and activities in order to create similar experiences to those experienced when playing games in order to motivate and engage users. (Wikipedia) For those in the advertising world, the two words that stand out from that definition is “to motivate and engage users”. The main reason to advertise is to get the attention of consumers and convince them to use your service or buy your products.

Gamification has truly become one of the best ways to do that. As I have said in previous blogs, advertising has become more personal and conversational. Consumers aren’t responding as much to an ad that is simply being shown to them. As a matter of fact, they are doing more and more to get away from them with the use of ad blockers or paying for content to exclude ads all together.

With these challenges in front of them, marketers are ramping up the use of gamification to create a personal experience for the audiences they are trying to reach. According to a recent report done by MarketsandMarkets, the gamification market is set to grow from the $9.1 billion it saw in 2020 to $30.7 billion by 2025. And all this investment is happening for good reason.

When consumers are given an opportunity to win a prize, enter a sweepstakes or collect points, for playing a game, they do it! Psychology tells us that we approach all challenges and competitions with the main goal of winning. When we win, we feel happy! And who doesn’t want to feel happy?

Thanks to gamification, consumers spend more time seeing an advertisement for a brand or product, not only without even realizing it, but actually enjoying it. Part of the reason advertising gamification offers a natural feel for consumers is because it’s being used in so many other aspects of their lives. Gamification is being used for purposes of education in their schools, for increase health awareness by their doctors and fitness professionals and even within their own companies to improve skill trainings and employee morale.

In advertising, gamification can be as simple as implementing a lottery reward like a virtual scratch and win or a text to win game. While neither are new options, they are both very compelling to consumers, cost nothing and require little effort to try and win. Gamification can also include a much more involved “playing system”, like in the case of “Prize Pacing” where rewards are given out in small pieces at a time. The idea behind this model is to keep consumers coming back to collect all the pieces they need to win their reward.

No matter what gamification method is used, the ultimate goal is no different than any other form of advertising… to boost sales and increase profits. These game style promotions offer benefits that drive companies closer to reaching those goals. In the end, not only can they help to drive sales, but they also offer new ways to collect consumer data, increase engagement, grow a company’s brands, and help to create repeat business. All of which are homeruns!

When you’re creating your next ad campaign, keep gamification in mind. Adding an element of interaction is a natural way to make anything more engaging, more personal, and ultimately more effective.



President & Founder of A3 media.

We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

Frank’s Take provides uncommon sense media buying advice for regional and mid-market businesses.

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President & Founder of A3 media. We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

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