Gamification and the Industry
Gamification is defined as being the employment of “game-like” elements in an attempt to promote engagement with a product or service. Over the last five years or so, gamification has seen a rather drastic resurgence in the hospitality industry, with hoteliers incorporating this concept to adapt to their growing millennial audience.
In fact, a recent study conducted by the identity management company Gigya concluded that gamification improves user engagement by an average of 33% whilst having a significant positive effect on both social media numbers and content discovery as well. These numbers are hard to ignore, and for Hasbro (the largest toy manufacturer in the world), they were simply too attractive. So, in cooperation with the Malaysian development company M101 Holdings, Hasbro decided to venture into the hospitality industry and open a hotel inspired by one of their best selling games - Monopoly!
Sound familiar ?
Whilst this is certainly a first for Hasbro, it is not the first time they have proverbially tested the waters of gamification, as earlier this year in collaboration with the advertising agency Leo Burnett Moscow, they opened the pop-up Trivial pursuit near Kurovo in Russia, where guests pay for their stay with knowledge, if you want to read more about this endeavour click here.
The Monopoly Mansion
The Monopoly Mansion, that is due to be completed in late 2019, is located in the Bukit Bintang region of Kuala Lumpur. This 225 bedroom five star boutique hotel will attempt to transport guests from the busy streets of KL to the roaring 1920s and provide a vehicle for guests to enter a totally unique Board Game environment ensuring definitive guest engagement and some significant industry excitement. It will occupy 20 floors with bedroom sizes that start at 407 sqft.
An iconic design
The interior will echo the design of the game originally formatted in 1904 by a woman called Lizzie Magiem. A big fan of the book “Progress and Poverty” by Henry George, Lizzie learned renting out land would only profit a few individuals at the expense of the greater community. As a result, Lizzie decided to create a game with 2 sets of rules: an anti-monopolist set in which all were rewarded when wealth was created, and a monopolist set in which the goal was to create monopolies and crush opponents. Soon, the game became so popular that within a year, 35,000 copies of Monopoly were being produced each week. The game grew to world wide recognition and can now be found in the majority of western homes. In fact now a total of 200 million sets of the board game have been sold world-wide and the game is printed in 26 languages.
Popular for everyone
Such is the global popularity of the game and its applicability to trending gamification, that the minister for tourism for Malaysia who, when speaking at the licencing agreement signing ceremony for The Monopoly Mansion said that “Millennials are looking for a memorable experience influenced by ambience, architecture, panoramic views and objects. Other generations too, are placing increasing value on distant experiences and actively seeking them when travelling.” His thoughts on the benefits of of a hotel of this type as a successful addition to the community in KL resound positivity. What’s more, his sure knowledge that a property of this calibre would surely draw large numbers of experience driven tourists to the country was certainly a driving factor behind his backing of this project.
Claire Gilchrist, vice-president of Hasbro consumer products commented on its potential saying “Given [Monopoly’s] popularity, Hasbro and M101 Holdings share a joint vision to create the world’s first fully themed Monopoly hotel that we are confident will create emotional connections to the brand and lifelong memories for its guests. We couldn’t be more thrilled to build a long-term partnership with M101 Holdings.” A partnership that will surely bring significant success to both parties.
The Monopoly Mansions, whilst boasting one of the most unique concepts in the industry, is also an example of how a multinational company can advertise its product in an overtly blatant fashion whilst maintaining engagement and excitement. Similarly Muji, the multinational conglomerate has broadened its horizons over the industry in a similar way incorporating their homeware products in the interior design of their hotels. Is this an emerging trend? It is possible that in the coming years we see large companies take over the industry in an advertising push - only time will tell! If you want to learn more about what steps Muji took to market their products in a similar manner click here.