How To Motivate Customer Engagement With Your Brand

“The Optathlon programme has been a resounding success and has generated millions in revenue for United Airlines.”

Extract from United’s campaign video, February 2011

Matmi is proud to have so many very happy clients – but this was a first. Not the quote so much as the fact that our client (via our American partner, Barrie D’Rozario Murphy) was so happy with the results of this campaign, they made a video about it!

What did we do?

If reading is not your thing, then check out the short video explaining the campaign in a nutshell. 

Still with us?  Good, I’ll continue.

When you’re a global brand, it gets more and more difficult to be bold because there’s more and more at stake.

How refreshing it was then to be approached by United Airlines and the US advertising agency, BD’M.  Not only did they want to use advergames for the first time; they wanted to use five of them in a suite on a number of platforms, and put them at the very heart of a promotional campaign for passenger upgrades.

The three online Flash games in the suite were designed to be viral, driving traffic to the Optathlon website. The website drives traffic to the mobile games, and the mobile games drive traffic back to the Optathlon website – which drives traffic to the….  You get the picture. All points of access educated and entertained the customer, leading to a greater understanding of UA’s flight upgrades.

Matmi’s skills on display

The development work took Matmi from our Flash roots for the online games, into Unity 3D for the development of the mobile phone games.  The mobile games are on Apple’s iPhone platform and on Google’s Android platform for smartphones (which at the time was one of Unity’s first outings on Android). It was a fantastic learning process for us and enabled Matmi to show just what we are capable of.

Not to boast (I’m going to anyway) but I think the number of industry awards the campaign won proved we had achieved something innovative at the time that also resulted in an incredible ROI for the client.

This was two years ago. Developing mobile apps has become second nature to us, as will be seen with the release of 3 apps later this year (including one featuring Warwick ‘Ewok’ Davis).  Not ones to stand still, we continue to push the boundaries in digital advertising – working with companies to create online educational suites, augmented reality apps, face mapping solutions and much much more.

Very fancy but how did the campaign perform?

A stunning success. 

During the first three months of the campaign, over 1 million unique visitors had played the online games and tens of thousands had downloaded the games from the Optathlon suite for mobile.  Forget the fact that they’re free; feedback was great.  5/5 ratings in the AppStore, and great comments in forums and blogs. 85,000 passengers also claimed on-the-spot flight upgrades via the games (oh yes!) and United Airlines almost got an excess baggage charge for the campaign’s positive PR coverage.

And on 15th October 2010, one lucky player won a sweepstake worth $20,000 in United Airlines’ air miles.

But what’s intrigued us is that the Optathlon games suite is still flying high – even without the incentives of free flight upgrades and a $20K sweepstake on offer. The stats are now at over 8 million plays, which means that millions more customers (and potential customers) are learning about United Airlines’ range of flight upgrade options 2 years after the campaign was first launched.

That’s not just a stunning success.  It’s subzero on the cool scale.

Why use branded games in your next campaign?

Let’s return to WHY United Airlines came to us in the first place. The original objective was to break a vicious cycle: passengers didn’t book flight upgrades until they had tried them out – but they didn’t try them out because they didn’t understand them. UA wanted to educate their customers about the upgrades without the individual needing to spend a single penny.

This is where Matmi and our innovative cross-platform branded games came in. Entertainment was the key. Think back to your school days; the majority of people find that the best teachers or the things they still remember are usually the ones that were built upon a foundation of entertainment (whatever form that took). They demanded your attention in a positive manner which increased your engagement with the subject/teacher.

Our suite of games filled that role perfectly, like a digital MC. Pulling in the attention of customers (current and potential) with the games, leading to that all important increase in engagement with the brand followed by a greater understanding of what United Airlines had to offer them. Which lead to the fantastic ROI mentioned in the above video.  

If this stellar campaign and its results still haven’t convinced you that a digital solution is the way forward, take a look at another award winning campaign we developed for the band The Gorillaz.

It’s important to note that it’s not enough to just develop any old game and expect it to reproduce the success of the Optathlon campaign. It first requires an understanding of who your target audience is. What they want, where they go to access it and what motivates their behaviour.

So ask yourself, -how well does your brand know its audience? And more importantly – how well do they know you? I can feel a brief coming on…….

When you are ready to maximise your potential for customer engagement, loyalty, motivate buying behaviours and increase exposure …You know who to call.

For more information on what Matmi can do for your digital design needs:

PHONE: 01625 560771





Why a Branded Game is good for business

Branded gaming has become a part of the digital landscape in the last few years, and it’s an area we here at Matmi understand perfectly. We’ve been creating branded digital games for brands for over a decade, and we know that a well-designed, branded games are one of the most cost effective ways to engage and communicate with customer, old and new. Here’s a few reasons why we think they are ace!

Cost Effective

Have a think about how much a TV ad costs to produce. Not only is there the cost of the ad, the editing, the media buying and all the rest. Whatever way you cut it, it’s going to cost hundreds of thousands to make something special. Then take that cost, divide it by around 20 and you could have a unique, creative, digital solution that actively engages the audience, and will see them actively coming back time and again. 

Take Vimto as an example. We developed a full interactive website which included a range of online games that have been played millions of times, and continue to generate interest over a year after release. Our ‘High Dive’ game has been played over 3.5 million times. That’s 3.5 million people who actively played a Vimto advert.

We don’t know of a TV advert that can raise that kind of awareness.

Positive Engagement

Now let’s think about those 3.5 million players some more. Another huge advantage of branded games is the positive, fluffy feeling they create. You can get millions of people repeatedly playing your game, and having fun. Those 3.5 million plays equates to nearly 250,000 hours of eyeballs on your brand.

What about great ROI?

If we look at all the games Matmi have developed, one similarity sits across them all. They’ve all been developed to not only be great games, but to act as traffic drivers through to our clients websites. And when we’ve never experienced less than 7% click though rate, it’s easy to see that they have all performed well. In fact 7% is the least you could expect. The highest click through rate we’ve seen was a massive 33%! 33% of millions of players means a lot of fresh eyes coming through to what you offer. 

Show me the Money!

A branded game can also generate revenue. Not just in terms of raising brand awareness and pushing a commercial message, it will do that as standard, but actually making customers spend their hard earned £’s and $’s as a by-product of playing a game. Take the award winning Optathlon campaign we developed for United Airlines alongside BD’M. 

We developed 5 online games, and 2 mobile games that went viral around the world, helping to promote UA’s range of travel options. The clever bit was in giving away a range of instant win prizes, ranging from flight discounts to free upgrade options. It was these discounts that encouraged the games millions of players to fly United Airlines, a simple promotional campaign that they felt help raise millions in additional revenue. Not bad for a simple branded game.

And the great thing is, these games keep on giving. Even though the competition element ran for six months, the games are still downloaded, and played by thousands of people online every day. So United Airlines still benefit from all the points we’ve made above, nearly two years after the initial campaign ended.

Going Viral

As memorable as some TV adverts can be (simples!), they do not go ‘viral’. This is where branded games come out on top. Matmi always create fully integrated social systems into our digital products. This helps the spread of the games through people sharing scores, UGC, pictures etc. via their favourite social networks.

Get it right and the players naturally become your brand advocates. Research has shown that brand recommendations made by friends have a greater impact on whether they will buy their products over a competitor. Nielsen’s latest ‘Global Trust in Advertising’ report repeats findings from previous years. They show that the most effective and trust worthy source customers listen to are recommendations from friends. 


With modern digital tv set-top boxes and on-demand becoming more popular, people are skipping adverts whenever possible reducing their effective ROI. Jumps made in the technology sector have opened up huge possibilities for creative cross-platform solutions for marketing brands. 

Branded games provide the opportunity to create something unique and memorable. They have the potential to not only increase brand exposure and actively engage the audience but also can deliver revenue in their own right (e.g. in-app purchases). A branded game can be truly social and can be spread virally with little promotional costs compared to traditional advertising.


For more information on what Matmi can do for your digital design needs:

PHONE: 01625 560771





Matmi’s Jeff features in the top 100 Marketers outside of London

The Drum magazine publish a ‘Power 100’ list every year, ranking the top people in the marketing industry outside of London. For 2012, Matmi’s very own Jeff Coghlan has found himself amongst these marketing mammoths. 

More than 500 marketers were nominated, which the Drums editorial panel then whittled down to 100. This list was then opened up to Drum members to help decide where on the final Power 100 list each of these individuals should be positioned.

"It is a great honour to feature on the Drums Power 100 lists. It’s always nice to be recognised for what you do by people in your industry. Digital Marketing has changed a lot since Matmi’s inception over 10 years ago. Matmi have always tried to push the boundaries regarding what can be done within the digital marketing industry. So to know our work is appreciated by others and attractive to clients is gratifying. I’d like to say a big thank you to the whole Matmi team for helping me shape my ideas into a reality over the years. "

- Jeff Coghlan, Matmi MD

So if you want to know who has the most influence, profile, responsibility, experience and knowledge? Who controls the future of the industry? And who is instrumental in attracting client investment to their agency and region?

Check out the full list here: 

If you want one of the top digital marketers working on your next campaign, then get in touch.

Matmi logo

PHONE: 01625 560771





To create awareness on Casinò di Venezia among tourists visiting the city, 2 baggage conveyors were transformed into giant roulettes.

by Maurizio Cinti

Fun little form of real world advertising. Combine this with a digital marketing campaign, maybe utilising some form of game-mechanics and it’s a sure thing :)

Gamification at SAScon 2012

Last week, on the 17th and 18th May, I was kindly invited along to chair a panel at the Search-Analytics-Social Media Conference on the use of Gamification. The event had many experienced speakers from the SEO and Social media industry. It was a fascinating place to be for us because SEO marketing is not something we would class as one of our specialities.  

The panel I chaired featured  who did a fantastic talk entitled ”15 Ways to Integrate Gamification Features into Your SEO Strategy”, which I strongly recommend you check out. It discusses gamification from the perspective of an SEO.

Below is a copy of my slide show, relating to gamification in more general terms.

Jeff (Matmi MD)

Creative Review - Imagine with Lego

German ad agency Jung von Matt has created this charming print campaign to advertise Lego. The ads feature minimalist interpretations of some of our best-loved cartoon characters, all created with blocks of Lego: can you guess who’s who?
Here’s a clue: The Simpsons, Asterix and Donald Duck all feature. We’ll let you work out the rest.

View the rest here:

Ten Ways to use SMS to Boost your Business

Texting isn’t just a way for Chantelle to tell Tiffany what Olivia did at the club last night. It can be a powerful way for businesses to reach out to their customers, to manage essential everyday operations, and to keep track of what’s going on, even while out of the office. Here we take a look at 10 ways in which businesses can turn SMS texting to their advantage.

  1. Promote your business with bulk SMS – Web-based and application based SMS services make it possible to quickly, easily and cost-effectively get your marketing messages direct into the pockets of those who have opted in. Many estimates have put the open rates for SMS messages at between 90% and 98% - far higher than those for email marketing messages.
  2. Send client reminders – Businesses can dramatically cut no-shows and late arrivals by sending out courtesy reminders of appointments and scheduled meetings via SMS beforehand.
  3. Text special offer codes and coupons – Sending customers a discount code or SMS ‘coupon’ that they can redeem by presenting the text message or keying in a code online can be of use for a variety of businesses, from clubs and shops to online retail sites.
  4. Provide secure internal messaging – Businesses’ IT and human resources departments can utilise computer-based SMS applications to transmit sensitive information, such as new system passwords, securely and reliably.
  5. Receive important notifications – Webmasters, office managers and others can arrange to receive automated notifications from servers and computer programs via email to SMS services, ensuring that they can keep in the loop wherever they are.
  6. Communicate with field staff – Businesses who have regularly have a lot of team members out and about, such as sales peoples or couriers, can utilise computer to SMS texting facilities to streamline essential communication processes, and increase cost-effectiveness.
  7. Keep in touch with email to SMS – By using email to SMS services it is possible for business owners, managers and self-employed individuals to receive and reply to important email correspondences promptly, wherever they happen to be, direct on their mobile phone.
  8. Integrate bulk SMS services into your website or applications – SMS API’s (Application Programming Interfaces) make it possible for developers to easily incorporate bulk SMS technology into their own applications and websites, unlocking an array of potential uses.
  9. Issue membership renewal reminders – Subscription based businesses can greatly improve customer retention rates by issuing scheduled SMS reminders directly to members’ phones before the account expiry date. Not only is it a potent reminder, but customers can be given the option to renew their membership conveniently and instantaneously by simply replying to the text message.
  10. Provide SMS-based customer support – For some customer support issues, a conversation with a real live person is the only way of dealing with the matter properly. However in other cases, such as responding to an email query about a delivery date, a response via SMS is not only appropriate, but it is also very effective for the purpose, and far less time-consuming for both parties.

About the Author:

Pavel Webb is the affiliate manager at TextMagic, a bulk SMS gateway based in United Kingdom.