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February 2015

Gamification Promotion

The Goal

The Passport Challenge gave AAdvantage loyalty members a chance to turn their virtual adventures into real-life travels. Tapping into the power of social media and gamification, American Airlines set out to boost engagement from loyalty members and get them comfortable with US Airways following its merger with American. Promotion goals included:

  • Improve awareness and understanding of AAdvantage, its partners and opportunities to earn miles;
  • Enroll new members;
  • Increase the number of members who follow American’s social media posts and encourage them to talk about the promotion via social media;
  • Motivate members to fly specific routes and achieve personalized flight goals. 

The Initiative

American Airlines developed a Facebook application with social gamification features that allowed participants to earn miles by adding stamps to their AAdvantage Passports. Stamps and bonus miles were awarded for playing games and answering trivia questions, sharing via social media and completing specific flight activities. Each activity earned players up to 50 bonus miles, with a maximum reward of more than 10,000 miles.

The Passport Challenge app included:

  • Custom-designed trivia and games;
  • Social media extensions offering passport stamps for liking American Airlines and partner pages, inviting friends to play and sharing promotion-specific content;
  • A personalized dashboard displaying stamps and miles earned as well as updates on participating Facebook friends;
  • A trackable personalized flight goal based on the participant’s travel history, with extra miles for reaching the goal;
  • Bonus rewards for completing passport sections or taking qualified flights.

Promotional support included reminder e-mails to members, banners on aa.com and Facebook and Twitter posts from American Airlines and participating partners.

The Results

At the close of the two-month promotion, which began in March 2014, results far exceeded expectations.

  • Participants earned 70% more passport stamps than expected;
  • Players spent 7-15 minutes completing games and activities, enhancing awareness of the program, airline and partners;
  • Participants completing a game pertaining to a partner increased spending with that partner by a double-digit percentage;
  • Many participants achieved their personal flight goal.

Based on internal measurements, the promotion produced an ROI in excess of 500%.