Ultimate Guide to Prize Ideas for Branded Games

Roll up, roll up! We’re here to walk you through everything you’ll need to know about prizes for your branded game campaign, with plenty of ideas and examples to help you plan your competition.

Posted by Alistair on 04.10.22


We’ve helped many clients to run a branded game campaign over the years, so we’ve learned a thing or two about how to make them a success. The biggest factor for maximising engagement – apart from having a great game, of course – is making sure you have a solid prize structure.

In this detailed guide, we’ll go through everything you need to know when planning the prizes for your competition. If you have any questions, simply get in touch at hello@peekandpoke.com and we’ll be happy to chat.

Now grab yourself a cup of something refreshing and join us as we help you get to grips with what you’ll need to make your game campaign a roaring success. 🦁

Peek & Poke’s guide to prize ideas

Free prize draw for the win

First things first, we highly recommend that you run a free prize draw competition as part of your game campaign. Not only will this give your players that little extra incentive to play and submit their scores to the leaderboard – it’s also a good way to structure the campaign period.

You see, our games are no marketing silver bullet. They perform at their best as part of a competition that keeps your audience coming back for the chance to win. The more chances they have to win, the more they’ll engage with your brand.

Characters with Game and Prizes

Frequency and format

Ideally, you’ll have multiple prizes to give away on a daily or weekly basis. If one of your campaign KPIs is solid engagement figures, prizes will encourage players to keep coming back to your game for additional chances to win.

Here are a few examples of different ideas for prize formats:

  • Daily prizes with a digital advent calendar (great for the festive period, allowing you to run a competition over 12 days, 24 days, 1 month, or even 2 months like Borden Cheese did)
  • Weekly prize draw (good for ongoing promo, allowing you to get creative like Sleeping Giant Media did with their live winner announcements on LinkedIn on Fridays)
  • One enormous prize at the end of a competition period (like Domino’s did with their free pizza for a year)

By offering regular prizes to your audience, you’ll also create opportunities to promote the game each time you announce the winners via email and/or social media (more on that later).

Ideas for Competition Prize Format


In an ideal world, you’ll have just as much budget to allocate to prizes as the branded game itself. This will allow you to offer great prizes every day or week, encouraging your audience to keep coming back for the chance to win.

But things aren’t always ideal, and your specific campaign may look completely different to someone else’s.

For example, you might be running a trade show game with lots of smaller, on-the-spot prizes for anyone who has swung by the stand and achieved a certain score. Perhaps you’re trying to promote a new product, give away vouchers or discount codes, or engage employees within your organisation?

Whatever the scenario, all we’ll say is you should set aside at least some of your overall budget for prizes rather than none at all. If in doubt, try to go for a mix of ‘bigger’ and ‘smaller’ prizes to keep things interesting for your audience.

Advice for Prize Budget

Don’t offer top-spot prizes

You might think it makes sense to offer the big competition prize to the person at the top of the leaderboard. That’s how it’s typically done, right?

Well, put yourself in the shoes of a new potential player. You’ve come to the game for the first time, only to see that the high scores on the leaderboard seem sky high and out of reach. For many people, this can be off-putting and it’s likely that they’ll not even bother to compete.

By drawing a winner from everyone who’s submitted a score, your players will know that it doesn’t matter if they’re not very good at the game – it’s just a bit of fun. It keeps the experience positive and removes any pressure that people might feel to achieve a certain score.

It’s also worth mentioning that top-spot competitions always attract cheats

Game Leaderboard with Cheat Characters

Seriously, avoid top-spot prizes

We’re dedicated percussionists when it comes to this point, and we refuse to apologise for banging the same drum over and over. Join us for another chorus from the top:

“No. Top. Spot. Prizes.” 🎵

If you’d like to learn more about why, click here.

Picking a winner

Before we dive into some specific prize ideas, we just wanted to explain how you actually go about drawing those prize winners from your leaderboard entries. The good news is it’s simple.

All you have to do is log into your game’s dashboard and you’ll be able to export a CSV file of the leaderboard data for the previous day or week (or any other period you like).

With the names of players corresponding to numbered rows in the spreadsheet, simply use an online random generator tool to enter the high and low numbers and pick your winner from within that range. We like to use random.org for our own competitions, but you could use any tool you like.

Once you’ve exported the data, you can simply clear the leaderboard to encourage a whole raft of new entries for the next prize!

Game Leaderboard with Winner Export Button

Brand-specific prizes

If you’re trying to think of prizes to give away to your audience, start by looking close to home.

What is it that your brand is known for? Do you have products or services that you could give away as prizes? Maybe vouchers or discounts on those products or services? Perhaps you have some amazing branded merch that players could win?

Here are a few examples of brand-specific giveaways that our clients have offered to their players in past competitions:

Branded Merch Prizes from Nickelodeon and Peek & Poke

Industry-specific prizes

Software / tech

  • Devices such as phones, laptops, or tablets
  • Wearable tech such as smart watches or wireless earbuds
  • Gaming consoles or devices
  • Free tickets to tech industry events


  • Free or discounted travel or accommodation
  • Luggage items such as baggage or backpacks
  • Portable chargers, speakers, or adapters
  • Travel books or guides


  • Free drinks
  • Free meals or food items
  • Discounts on mid-week or set menus
  • Discounts on accommodation (if applicable)
  • Vouchers for customers to use at a future date


  • Tickets to concerts, shows, or events
  • Subscriptions to apps or streaming services
  • Gaming consoles or devices


  • Vouchers (in-store or online)
  • Special offers

Seasonal or campaign-specific prizes

If your campaign is centred around a certain season, celebration, event, or sporting occasion, this can help inform the prizes that you offer to your audience. Here are some examples:


  • Gift cards
  • Board games
  • Care packages
  • Christmas hampers
  • Christmas-themed or winter clothing
  • Charity donations (more on this below)

Valentine’s Day

  • Meal vouchers for two
  • Weekend getaway for two
  • Spa day for two
  • Cinema vouchers
  • Champagne or wine


  • Easter eggs
  • Chocolate or sweet treats
  • Long weekend getaway
  • Flowers or plants


  • Halloween-themed treats
  • Theme park tickets
  • Haunted house getaway
  • Trip to Transylvania (?!)


  • Summer clothing
  • Summer drinks hamper
  • Beach holiday getaway
  • Tickets for outdoor attractions

Sporting events

  • Sportswear
  • Footwear
  • Sports equipment
  • Sports merchandise
  • Sports event tickets

Fundraising and charity donations

As an alternative to physical prizes, why not make your competition about something charitable that could really make a difference?

There are many ways you can do this. For example, you could offer up a specific amount of money for the winner of your competition to donate to a registered charity of their choice.

Or, if you want to give everyone the chance to do a little good, offer to donate to a nominated charity for each player that submits a score to the leaderboard (just like Melbourne Man did with their game competition).

You could also request that your chosen charity be featured on your game menu screen, encouraging players to go and donate extra funds to the pot.

Melbourne Man Fundraising Game

Promoting your game

Finally, once you’ve planned your prizes and your game is ready to launch, remember to shout about it!

The game will act as a great tool for engaging and entertaining your audience, but it can’t promote itself. Spread the word on social media, in your email newsletters, on your website’s homepage, through paid advertising, and in your company’s email signatures.

Depending on your business, you may also want to create physical promotional materials such as posters to put up around your premises.

Don’t forget – by offering regular prizes to your audience, you’ll create opportunities to promote the game each time you announce the winners. It’s a win-win for your campaign plan!

Advice for Promoting Game Competition

Wrapping up

We hope this guide helps you to better understand the importance of a good prize structure for your branded game campaign. If you’re still feeling a little unsure about what you can achieve with your budget, simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

New to the world of branded games and looking to learn more? Check out these other handy resources:

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