Bunchball, the San Jose, California based social gaming company first released their gamification platform back in 2005 – several years before the word even existed. Bunchball launched with $2M in series A funding and one major client – NBC. As pioneers in the gamification industry the first few years were far from easy. Rajat Paharia the company’s founder and chief product officer recently described the first few years as “three years of suck”. However since last year and the immense success of applications like Foursquare and Farmville the market has become a lot more receptive to the power of using game mechanics to drive engagement.
Over the past year Bunchball have doubled their customer base which now includes the three big US TV networks ABC, CBS and NBC as well as other networks including Bravo, USA Network, Syfy and Telemundo. Major film studios like Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox have also embraced Bunchball’s brand of gamification, for example recently, Chiquita and Twentieth Century Fox created an innovative, gamified cross-promotion campaign built on Nitro to promote the new hit movie Rio.
Playboy is using Bunchball’s Nitro gamification platform to power a Facebook app called “Miss Social,” to help increase online interest. “Gamification is the DNA woven throughout Playboy’s latest digital ventures to develop and engage our audience,” said Greg Johnson, Vice President, Digital Ventures at Playboy Enterprises, Inc. “Since launching Playboy’s Miss Social Facebook application in December 2010, we have over 80,000 active users interacting with the program. We’re seeing over 85% of the audience re-engage and 60% growth in revenue month over month. Bunchball’s powerful analytics tools provide us critical insights into user behaviors and what drives our audience. The Nitro platform’s flexibility enables us to test, iterate and optimize in real time, which is critical to the success of our business.”
In addition to media organizations, Bunchball has also worked with a number of organizations in retail, corporate and health verticals to help integrate gaming mechanics into broader company campaigns and loyalty programs.
Customers using Bunchball’s Nitro solution have seen page views double, pages per visit increase 60%, unique visitors increase 30%, time on site increase 100% and a doubling in repeat monthly visits, leading to an ROI of 400% — with a payback time of as little as 3 months.
“We’ve seen huge growth in interest in gamification over the last year, and we’re thrilled to see that translate into genuine customer demand,” said Rajat Paharia, founder and CPO, Bunchball. “We’ve doubled our customer base, and our clients are introducing increasingly innovative and exciting applications. We believe our success is a direct result of our focus on proving the business value of gamification and working closely with organizations to make sure that game mechanics are well integrated into campaigns for maximum ROI.”