Ally Financial Inc., a digital financial services company based in the US, has successfully utilized gamification as part of its marketing strategy to engage with teachers, parents, Gen Z and Millennial consumers through education and play. As a result, Ally has successfully drawn in a younger audience than its competitors, with 42% of Ally's web visitors in 2021 being aged 18-34. From October 2020 to June 2021, Ally has focused on the following six gaming initiatives:
Ally Financial Inc., a digital financial services company based in the US, offers banking, investing and lending services to consumers, businesses, automotive dealers and corporate clients. The company holds $182B assets as of March 31st 2021.
The company's brand identity reflects its commitment to "Do It Right" while being a trusted financial services provider to over +9M Americans.
Ally has successfully drawn in a younger audience than its competitors, with 42% of Ally's web visitors in 2021 being aged 18-34.
Gamification has played a significant role in Ally's digital marketing strategy since 2019. Ally's gaming strategy focuses on creating free interactive programs that engage with teachers, parents, Gen Z and Millennial consumers through education and play.
From October 2020 to June 2021, Ally has focused on the following six gaming initiatives:
In October 2020, Ally announced the launch of “Ally Island” on Animal Crossing. The campaign included a two-week in-game activation that allowed players to improve their financial positions in the game while gaining a deeper understanding of financial concepts such as currency, interest rates, stock prices, and real estate.
Objective: “Ally had noticed that the pandemic was pushing time people spent playing video games to record highs. Animal Crossing: New Horizons was providing the No. 1 refuge for COVID-battered consumers”. Ally Island created a fun and effective tool to motivate people to “adopt smarter financial behaviors”.
In-game Activation: Ally created a new island within the game, Ally's Island. The island was a digital space that aligned with the brand's mission of helping people with financial literacy. In addition, the island was a unique place for the brand, in which it had a 100% share of voice.
Ally Island's "Turnip Exchange" offered players 1,000 bells for turnips at ten times the standard rate—a metaphor for the government's low-interest rates in the real world.
To launch the event, Ally partnered with Twitch streamer, KangGaming, to tour his audience through the island and share his personal story about how Ally helped his family achieve financial freedom.
Twitch: Followers: 48.5K | Total Views: 7.66M | Peak Viewers: 29K | Avg. Viewers: 222
Ally supported the campaign with paid ads on Twitch from Oct. 26 to Nov. 16, 2020.
Additionally, Ally took over the gaming section on Reddit to promote the campaign. Ally experienced a +244% increase in social mentions during the campaign*.
During Financial Literacy Month in April 2021, Ally launched an augmented reality experience “Adventures with Zee Bucks” as part of their children's book series, "Ally's Adventures with Money".
The app "Adventures with Zeee Bucks" (available on the Apple and Google app store) turns a pop-up piggybank into an interactive world featuring the book's characters. The AR game aims to teach children about earning, spending and saving money.
According to this study, 70% of students reported improved learning experience with AR learning tools.
For National Superhero Day (April 28, 2021), Ally launched a week-long augmented reality game where players could win sweepstake prizes ranging from $10 to a grand prize of $50,000. The Digital Dollar landing page generated over +500K web visits during the 5-day campaign period.
In collaboration with Ally’s "Moguls in the Making" challenge, Ally developed a world within Minecraft, called Fintropolis. Fintropolis launched in August 2021 and is a free world that weaves financial lessons into the experience as players navigate through it.
Ideas for the Minecraft world were conceived by four Ally interns hired from Ally's Moguls in the Making program — a pitch competition that encourages college students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to become business leaders.
The game provides middle-schoolers with life boosting financial skills, such as careers, jobs, taxes, budgeting and investing.
Ally promoted the free Minecraft world on Instagram with the following video ad below. Fintropolis achieved over +1M downloads within the first 25 days of launching (Source).
Ally launched "Ally Racing" in August 2021. The game is a web-based NASCAR game that allows fans of all ages to race the No. 48 Ally car. The game features nostalgic 1980s-style 8-bit graphics and simple instructions for gamers of all skill levels to enjoy.
Ally signed a three-year contract to be Twitch’s Official financial services partner. The partnership includes category exclusivity — meaning Ally will be their exclusive banking partner, brand integrations and brand placements on /twitchgaming shows such as The Weekly. Additionally, Ally will be the presenting partner of Game Changers, a limited-run series on /twitchgaming, which spotlights gaming creators from underrepresented groups (Source).