Top 5 Christmas Game Campaign Ideas

Christmas is creeping ever closer, so to set you up for seasonal success we've got a sleigh-load of ideas on turning your branded game campaign into a right Christmas Cracker!

Posted by Leanne on 17.09.19


We see you there. đź‘€ With your twelvety tabs open for various hamper services and your rag-tag collection of Christmas card leftovers from previous mailer campaigns.

Maybe it’s time to do something different? Something a little more interactive.

Branded games are a great way to entertain and engage your audience, say thank you to clients, suppliers or the elves in your workshop for working so hard this year!

To help you on your way to seasonal success, we’ve compiled some ideas based on client Christmas Crackers gone-by to help you frame an awesome branded game campaign.

1. Competition time

First and foremost, we recommend that in conjunction with your game, you also run a prize giveaway.

Sure, we love to play games, but we also love a bit of competition and we all love free goodies. This makes having a prize to giveaway the best motivator for players to engage and to part with their precious time and data.

The prize you offer is completely up to you, but we’d advise keeping your audience in mind. If you’ve got a B2C audience or you’re rolling the game out to your staff as a fun festive sign off to the year, then maybe consider something fun like a bit of new tech or vouchers. If you’re B2B or you want to make the prize relevant to your brand so the reward is mutually beneficial, you could offer a discount voucher or a free product/service.

Prize structure

One key thing to mention here is that we always recommend having a free prize draw structure vs. a top spot winner. The reason for this is twofold;

  1. If some clever birdie manages to set an astronomical score it can be off-putting to new players who may not see the point in entering.
  2. Where there is free stuff up for grabs, there will always be cheaters lurking in the shadows. Making the game a free prize draw takes the heat off the top spot, so cheaters gain nothing from fiddling their way to numero uno.

Free prize draws allow players to just have fun, no matter their skill level.

2. Advent advantage

Aaaah, the humble advent calendar. Chocolately Christmas count down and foundation of sibling squabbles since 1958*. (*yes, really!)

We don’t need to lecture you in the history of the advent calendar for you to already know that it’s not just paper doors and chocolate treats; There are picture ones, stocking ones and, in this glorious modern age, digital ones. And the thing that all these have in common is that they are instantly recognisable and all bring out that childish giddiness for pending goodies.

By going digital, you can incorporate that excitement into your branded game campaign. Create a landing page on your website with an interactive advent calendar page where you can link out to the game and do your daily reveal of prizes.

Multiple opportunities to win will keep players coming back to your game and engaging on a daily basis, really racking up that total engagement time. Need proof? Opus Energy absolutely nailed their Christmas campaign by doing just this and got some of the highest engagement stats we’ve ever seen!

If you’re considering daily/weekly prize draws then it’s worth planning out how you’re going to run these from a technical perspective. In our games, for example, we have created a leaderboard admin screen where you can filter entries by date, making multiple prize draws a doddle. If you’re going with another game developer (*sniffle*), then make sure you ask upfront about filtering entries.

3. Giving back

Instead of offering a physical prize (it’s Christmas, people will be getting enough prezzies anyway) 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 like Melbourne did.

You could also request that your chosen charity feature on your game menu screen too, to encourage players to go and donate extra funds to the pot. Check out Beazley who are a very charitable bunch!

T’is the season of giving after all.

4. Boosting those seasonal offers

Seasonal promotion and branded games can be used in tandem to help direct traffic and generate hype!

Use an unlockable offers functionality which appears locked when a player first visits your game, but, once they’ve achieved the competition entry criteria and go through to submit their score, this lock will pop open and link players out to an offers page. This can either be an existing offers page or, to help track the ROI of your game, a closed, game-exclusive page.

In gamifying special promotions by rewarding play with access to special offers, you can create a sense of exclusivity and urgency, both of which encourage players to become customers, just like DFDS have done in the past.

5. Friend leaderboards and re-engagement

Is there anything more festive than a gathering of friends and family? It’s what the season is all about, right?

So why not encourage your players to get their nearest and dearest in on the action by adding in a friend leaderboard.

Where the global leaderboard displays everyone’s scores, a friend leaderboard tab gives your players the opportunity to connect with their friends and create a second personalised leaderboard; one which displays only the scores of their connections. They’re an easy way for players to compare skills with their friends and family. Victory is all the sweeter when you can rub it their faces!

All joking aside, friend leaderboards can be that extra added incentive players need to share the game, spreading its reach and hopefully getting you some new sign-ups in the process.

Want to take it up a notch? Add re-engagement emails to your game so that players who opt-in to receive updates will get emails if they haven’t played the game in a while, if they get knocked off the leaderboard or if someone they are connected to beats their score (I’m watching you Terry. . .).

Game on!

Wrapping up

We hope that this blog has given you a sleigh-load of ideas for your Christmas campaign and you’re eager to get cracking! Looking for more Christmas marketing hints and tips? Our detailed guide to Christmas marketing strategy explores the winning tactics to Christmas success, proven to boost sales and engage audiences.

If you want to get in touch to discuss your campaign plans or  ideas then give us a call or contact us via email. We’re always happy to chat.


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