Engaginglab / Gamification

Pump Cast News – Analyzed from a gamification point of view.

This is a great one. I just came across this video and it made my day!

I don’t want to share it with you just because it is so amazing but I think that it is also a great example of a gamified activity from beginning to the end, from onboarding to mastery and from extrinsic to intrinsic. But first, have a look!

For the win.

Did you like it? I was amazed by the engagement & passion of these guys. The whole campaign was amazing. But let’s have a deeper look how it is structured:

First there is this surprise being addressed at the gas station by this anchor. Unexpected events are a great way to create a flush of dopamine inside the brain. So, this man’s brain actually got a shot of dopamine and so it is focused and in anticipation for what’s coming next.

The anchor, by addressing the alongside singing, can create a relevant connection with the man. It is meaningful to him and ‘Meaning’ is one of the big four Gamification-laws.

Next, the anchorman offers an extrinsic reward to get the guy ‘onboarding’ the show. He uses gas (what is obvious because gas, at this right moment, has a value for the guy, right?) as a trigger. The challenge: Karaoke. So, we have a goal: Sing a song.  And we already have the rules for the challenge: Karaoke-rules.

But of course the man doesn’t have to say yes. He can still say no, get his gas and drive away. The participation on this challenge is completely voluntary. That’s the second, important law of Gamification.

To let the guy choosing his favorite song that he wants to perform helps to provide a situation where he feels to be able to overcome the challenge. I bet it is still challenging because he has to perform it unexpected and in public. But he knows his skills and this challenge seems to match them. These are the perfect conditions to achieve the ‘state of Flow’ like Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls it or the regime of competence, as it is called by neuroscientists. 

After starting singing he gets immediate feedback (The third law of Gamification). The anchor is cheering and the other people around him aren’t acting negative. Perhaps some of them are cheering also or at least smiling but I can’t see this. This makes him feeling even more comfortable as he advances. He sings louder and also starts moving. At the end of his song he is so confident that he even improvises by using his own text (“livin’ on a tank of gas”). Editors note: “Did he just moved from an achiever to an explorer (Bartles Player Types)?”

After onboarding and being a newbie at this show, during his song, this man definitely leveled-up and became a regular. He knows how to ‘play’ this game and he did great. So, it’s time now to introduce the next element. After ‘playing this game’ by himself a social-component is introduced. His wife. 

She also starts her ‘journey’ within the challenge and the anchor recognizes that she is able to perform at least as great as her husband and so he challenges them performing together.

And this is a very fascinating situation for me. Both start to improvise. Just singing isn’t challenging enough anymore. They want to perform better. Even if there is no extrinsic reward (like gas) anymore because they already earned it.

So, why are they even enhancing their performance? The answer: they moved from being extrinsic rewarded to be intrinsic motivated. Right now, they are experiencing their personal ‘path to mastery’ (fourth law of Gamification and the most important one IMHO). They are getting immediate & positive feedback. They moved their general karaoke-experience from a comfortable area (probably a pub or home) to a more challenging and unfamiliar public one (gas station). I bet that at this point they are totally experiencing the Flow. They are totally satisfied. And at the end they are achieving an ‘easter egg’ (a reward that wasn’t announced before) by noticing that they are being part of the ‘Tonight show with Jay Leno’.

I think that this is a great example about how Gamification can be structured successful. It wasn’t really meant to be Gamification but if it would have been the case to “Gamify the refueling experience!” than it would be an awesome approach to do so. Pump Cast News added Fun. Job done.


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