Marketing health–with games

At the end of last year, we wrote a post that covered experts’ predictions about marketing trends for 2011.

One of the trends mentioned was “gamification,” or marketing messages or brand awareness in the form of games. Every day, it seems,  another company jumps on the bandwagon, announcing a new game that has prizes of free products, trips, etc.

Now, apparently, health experts are turning to games to promote the idea of healthy lifestyles and wellness.   In an article in HealthLeadersmedia about the 5 big ideas to come out of a recent major health care conference, author Margaret Dick Tocknell named gaming as “Idea Number 5.”

Health care organizations are racing to develop games that use audience engagement techniques, social interaction,  rewards, and multimedia presentations to get people involved in taking better care of themselves.

Tocknell quotes Microsoft’s Dennis Schmuland, who clearly sees the value in such an approach:  “[F]un always takes precedence.”

She reports:  “Aetna is set to launch…a social game to promote wellness that will be accessible through mobile phones, email and social media channels. There’s even a group…looking at how digital games can be used to help motivate treatment adherence and manage chronic health conditions.”

Here’s hoping that this marketing strategy succeeds where so many other attempts to improve our nation’s health have failed.

To read the item, click here.

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