SELF Gamifies its Longstanding Workout in the Park Program
It seems that everyone and their dog has an app these days. (Seriously, Google “dog apps” and see what we mean.) But few brands have an app that delivers on multiple marketing objectives, across multiple channels, at once while still being fun and, most importantly, addictive for its customers. SELF magazine delivered on all fronts this year when it launched its SELF Workout in the Park Social Game, the first-ever social game from a magazine brand.
Workout in the Park is a 19-year-old live marketing program that invites consumers to engage with the magazine and its partners for free fitness, nutrition and health-inspired activities. The Social Game was designed to extend the program’s live elements digitally and socially in order to increase brand awareness, boost the magazine’s database and drive revenue through advertising and sponsorship. Through the game, women can create and customize their own workout park, create avatars that reflect their physique, play fitness, nutrition and wellness challenges, mini-games and puzzles, and deck out their avatars in hip workout gear and fashion accessories, among other activities.
The more the consumer plays, the more they can customize their avatar, for instance, chiseling their bodies up or down based on their activity level. (Finally, those six-pack abs I’ve been waiting for!) Virtual coaches—Jasmine the fitness trainer, Chloe the nutrition guide and Mia the wellness coach—serve as hosts of the game, and players get access to real-world benefits, including merchandise offers from sponsors in beauty, fashion, fitness and wellness. Perhaps the best part of the game comes from the mobile app, which enables women to log and track real-life fitness goals and then watch as their progress impacts their in-game avatars. (But wait! I said I wanted six-pack abs!) The mobile app also lets players earn rewards for their real life activities. Self-improvement is at the heart of the game’s mission.
The app and other social components make it easy for players to share their in-game activities with friends. It also gives the magazine’s marketers a constant touch point to keep the program and the brand top of mind between live events. The game environment features ongoing updates that tie real-life events to the virtual world.
The SELF Workout in the Park Social Game was launched on Facebook on April 7 and in the two months that followed, the game was downloaded over 250,000 times and players spent an average of 14 minutes per session. The game has generated more than 200 million media impressions, including a hit in the Advertising column in The New York Times that read, “SELF’s arrival into social gaming is one of those landmark events, seeing the new model embraced in such a big way.” Note to SELF… well played.