In recent months financial services brands have increasingly been turning to gaming experiences as a way of engaging their audiences with fun online brand experiences.
Last October Barclays launched 56 Sage Street a role playing game aimed at educating users about how to make and then safeguard money through hard work and the avoidance of scamming.
Similarly in the US, Bank of America developed the Morris Code specifically aimed at educating college students around managing their finances. Largely video-based it aims to deliver the content in a fun and engaging way and interestingly buries the Bank of America brand as far away as it possibly can.
This week a US start up Payoff launched their personal financial planning service as a game experience. Picking up on some of the features of Facebook and Foursquare, it allows users to set financial goals such as paying off a loan, which in turn can earn them badges which can then be turned into real cash rewards. It has effectively taken some of the classic features of Social Networking and activated them in real terms.
The increase in the use of gaming as well as video as a marketing platform really is a mirror to what consumers actually spend their time doing on the net and how they most enjoy consuming content. Good marketing has always relied on providing an extension of an experience that makes the audience feel good, which is why we should expect to see a lot more gaming-type approaches throughout 2011.