Starbucks Enhances Mobile Reward Program With Bingo Game

What Happened
Starbucks added a new feature in its mobile app to make its already-popular rewards program more addictive. Aptly named Bonus Star Bingo, this new feature adds a gaming twist to its mobile rewards program, prompting customers to fill out their bingo cards by using the mobile app to pay for purchases at specific times of the day or for specific items to win more “stars”, which is what Starbucks’ rewards points are called. Customers can win up to 300 stars for filling out the entire virtual bingo card. To promote the launch, the national coffee chain also launched a standalone site to demonstrate the game as well as a social media campaign with sponsored posts and a #BonusStarBingo hashtag.

What Brands Need To Do
This smart addition should help Starbucks continue to fuel its growth in mobile ordering, which accounted for 7% of all transactions in the last quarter. By making a game out of mobile purchases and earning reward points, Starbucks introduces strong incentives for customers to make repeated purchases and boost mobile app usage. This new feature should serve an inspiration for brands looking to more effectively engage their customers on mobile and revamp their rewards program to boost sales. CPG and QSR brands, in particular, should consider tying purchases to a reward program that is easily accessible and manageable on mobile and making it fun and interactive by adding game-like features.


Source: Mobile Commerce Daily

Telegram Launches Chatbot-Powered, In-Chat Gaming Platform

What Happened
Popular messaging app Telegram is upgrading its chatbot platform to support bot-powered mini games as it aims to spice up its user experience and drive more engagement. Previously, developers could make text-based bot games for Telegram. The new API introduced on Monday allows for integrated HTML5-based games inside chat windows, complete with graphics and sound. The API also includes a running tally of your contacts’ scores, if they are playing the same game, to make the games competitive and engaging.

What Brands Should Do
This chatbot initiative opens doors for brands to devise bot-powered mini-games on Telegram to engage with consumers. With more and more smartphone users opting to communicate via messaging apps, it is time for brands to start exploring the new brand opportunities generated by chatbots to reach prospective customers that are becoming increasingly averse to conventional ads.

The Lab has extensive knowledge about building chatbots. If you’re interested in reaching your audience on messaging apps and better serving them with a chatbot, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) for more information or to schedule a visit to the Lab.


Source: TechCrunch


Gatorade Invites Snapchat Users To Play Tennis With Serena Williams

What Happened
Gatorade is running a Snapchat ad that includes a branded mini-game to maximize user engagement. The Gatorade ad, which runs in the ESPN Discover channel, invites users to swipe up on the ad to play a web-based, retro-style video game about playing tennis with Serena Williams. The branded game is also available to all mobile and desktop users at, to which Gatorade is also using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to drive users.

What Brands Need To Do
Gatorade is not the first brand to take advantage of Snapchat ad’s “swipe-up-for-more” feature. Earlier this month, Sony Picture ran a Snapchat ad that directs users to a 360-degree video to promote its upcoming thriller. Despite some major complaints that advertisers hold against Snapchat, there is no denying that brands have mostly warmed up to the app as it continues to grow its user base and improves its ad products. If your brand has yet to develop a Snapchat strategy, now is the time to include the popular messaging app in your social marketing mix.


Source: Digiday

We Tried The Taylor Swift Experience (And We Liked It)

Despite her very public break up with Spotify last week, it looks like Taylor Swift is not exactly done with new digital media yet. Accompanying her new single “Blank Space”, America’s No.1 ex-girlfriend has teamed up with RadicalMedia and American Express and released a free app that promises fans the ultimate “Taylor Swift Experience”. In an effort to connect with today’s Gen Z audience, we downloaded it, tried it, and surprise—we totally enjoyed it.

Tay 1

A neat gamification of the single’s music video, the main “experience” of the app is a 360-degree interactive adventure through the lavish Oheka Castle, where the video was shot. You can either take a fly-on-the-wall approach to follow Taylor around and watch her overdramatically break up with her beau, or you can leave the drama behind and explore the seven different rooms featured in the video at will by moving your device around. The experience is entirely scored with the new single and therefore limited to the song’s length each time.

Tay Cat

To encourage repeat gameplay, a total of 41 Easter egg-style “collectables”—namely, close-up pictures of the props featured in the video—are scattered throughout the various space and up for grabs. (During first play, we stumbled upon a cute photo of Taylor Swift’s cat Olivia Benson in the background.) Unsurprisingly, the app also features upcoming tour dates, a link to watch the music video on YouTube, links to purchase her new album, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and a bit of information about American Express as well.

As content creators become more familiar with new immersive technology, short-form media like music videos could become a great ground for testing how narratives work in new virtual environments.

All images featured are screenshots from the app.

GeoPalz Announces Ibitz Line

GeoPalz, the health tracker for children, has announced the ibitz product line that includes new gamification features and increased connectivity.  As part of the quantified self movement, GeoPalz gathers useful data like steps walked, bmi and overall activity levels and creates a digital experience aimed at shaping behavior. The new ibitz PowerKey and Unity come with accompanying iOS and Android apps that sync via bluetooth and include an in-app GeoBotz character which needs water, exercise and sleep to stay healthy, mirroring children’s activity. There is also an adult-facing app which helps parents’ monitor their progress and integration with some third-party scales and heart rate monitors.