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May 2014

Gamification Promotion

The Goal

The advent of online booking systems changed the landscape for the airline industry, particularly in customer loyalty, with passengers encouraged to make decisions based on lowest price rather than affinity to an airline. Air Canada created Earn Your Wings to reinvigorate its existing loyalty rewards programs through gamification strategies and to turn collecting Aeroplan Miles into an exciting new experience.

The Initiative

For the Earn Your Wings campaign, participants monitored and shared their status on a leaderboard that ranked them according to the number of Wings earned.

Players earned Wings for every takeoff or touchdown with Air Canada. Participants could also collect a variety of badges from different categories such as “Challenge,” “Pit Stop,” and “Savvy Traveller” by booking flights to select destinations.

To increase the level of competition, players could capture bonuses as they climbed the leaderboard. Air Canada incorporated industry partners into the game by rewarding participants with additional badges for completing a combination of three activities such as hotel stays and car rentals with Fairmont and Avis.

By leveraging concurrent promotions, participants could also be awarded Bonus Aeroplan Miles relative to the amount of Wings earned, which counted towards Air Canada’s frequent flyer program, Altitude.

Since “status” is a motivating factor for business travellers, the logic behind “status” structures was used as the base concept for Earn Your Wings, reflected in the competitive online community where leaders could move up and down the leaderboard. Top players split a pot of 10 million miles at the end of the promotion period – an incentive that made the competition especially fierce.

Earn Your Wings gave participants a new advantage for flying with Air Canada over its competitors. And by continuously recording and ranking behaviorally generated data, Air Canada’s travellers were made to feel connected to the airline at all times.

The Results

The two separate Earn Your Wings campaigns completed in 2013 accumulated a total of 114,716 registrations. Plans are underway for a third installment in fall 2014.

The first edition generated an ROI of more than 560%, and the second an ROI of more than 503%. Combined, the two promotions brought in more than C$26.2 million in incremental revenues.

Members visited a total of 438,556 airports earning a collective total of 178,410,608 Wings and 156,480,016 Bonus Aeroplan Miles. Each participant earned at least 2,533 Wings and 1,422 Bonus Aeroplan Miles.

Participants viewed the microsite and leaderboard a total of 437,102 times and amassed almost 900,000 page views. Visitors to the website spent an average of two minutes and 24 seconds exploring their ranks on the leaderboard and the different badges available to earn.

Participants were also extremely engaged on social media, sharing posts about the contest 16,327 times.