The Joy-O-Matic

A Glorious Online Game

Integrated Services
  • Online Game
  • Custom Illustration
  • Facebook Advertising
  • Social Media Strategy
  • Holiday Promotion
  • Integrated Campaign
  • Copywriting
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One year, we replaced our agency holiday card with an award-winning online contraption.

What do a Vegas-style online game, pickles in your mailbox and custom-illustrated greeting cards have in common? Our most elaborate Yuletide creation yet. Heading into the 2012 holiday season, our only wish was to put all of our integrated campaign knowledge to work for ourselves. We know everyone loves a quick and easy game, especially one they’re rewarded often for playing. Steadfastly guided by this and other insights from projects past, we set out to answer one question: How can we build a game that makes playing feel like winning?

For Every Spin, a Win

Unlike its casino counterparts, each and every spin of the Joy-O-Matic produced a reward. Visitors to the custom microsite could instantly print, pin, or share the bright shiny things that clicked into place, whether all three were alike or not. These instant prizes included a fully loaded, redpepper-devised drinking game and witty greeting cards (all instantly printable). Best of all, a three-in-a-row spin scored players a gift, shipped promptly their way.

A Workshop of Talent

As we wondered what the instant prizes could be, we realized pepper-made pieces of art were a must. With that, we replaced the static icons inside the spinner with our custom-written and -illustrated holiday greeting cards. Fantastically irreverent sayings (“Silent nuts, holy nuts,” for example) were brought to life by equally playful illustrations. This showcased some of our sharpest skillsets while adding a “What’ll I see next?” kind of anticipation to the experience.

It’s better to re-gift than to receive.

Winning an actual gift from the Joy-O-Matic was bittersweet. Winners were prompted to be “nice” and ship their gift to a friend. The alternative? Keeping it for one’s naughty self. And with things like a Picklecicle Kit and cans of spotted dick pudding, the choice wasn’t easy. In fact, even after mailing out over 200 of these pleasantly awkward surprises ourselves, we still can’t say what we would’ve done. (Okay, we may have kept a few.)

Spreading the Good News

We know better than to build it and expect folks to flock to it—just ask our media director. By targeting other marketers and industry players who might have had an interest in our holiday shenanigans, we generated just shy of 2 million impressions for the game and the agency in only 2 weeks. And because of our laser-targeting capabilities, some Facebook ads performed as well as, if not better than, most expandable rich media ads.

The real winner? Us.

A lot of weddings happen in Vegas. But we were simply seeking engagement—and we got it. Nearly 5,000 people spent an average of 3 minutes (!) on, trying their luck at the spinner over 11,740 times. Facebook felt the love, too, when over 1,000 people shared the game to earn more spins. Did we mention that all this happened in 2 weeks? Just making sure.