In 2010 Matmi were approached by Barrie D’Rozario Murphy to produce five free-to-play online and mobile games for United Airlines, designed so that each game promoted a different flight upgrade option. The whole campaign was called Optathlon and the five games we created were:
- Legroom Legend (Unity3D – Mobile)
- Line Jump Hero (Unity3D – Mobile)
- Mileage Ace (Flash – Web)
- Suitcase Skyway (Flash – Web)
- Airport Oasis (Flash – Web)
Being free-to-play and accessible in transit meant that passengers could play the games in the airport – prompted by on-the-spot advertising. As part of the campaign, United’s customers could win flight upgrades instantly and claim their upgrade before boarding their flight.
As the campaign closed in October 2010, the games had been played over 5 million times by 750,000 unique visitors. 85,000 passengers won free upgrades – and went on to purchase them on subsequent flights and spread the word to fellow passengers. Optathlon earned United Airlines millions of dollars’ worth of additional revenue and gained valuable PR coverage in the travel/tourism press. But it hasn’t stopped there because the beauty of the games is that they can still be played.
- 5 million game plays in 4 months.
- 85,000 passengers won free flight upgrades.
- 10,000 game plays per week one year later with no additional promotion – The Optathlon has gone viral
“We loved the Optathlon suite of games, but we had no idea that response levels would be so high. The mobile games got great reviews in the App Store as well – 4+ out of 5 which is great. All credit to Barrie D’Rozario Murphy and Matmi for a high quality campaign that wowed our customers and really got the buzz going over United and our flight upgrades. Highly recommended – we’d have no hesitation in using a games-based marketing campaign again.” – Aaron Stash, Marketing & Communications Strategy, United Airlines