Digital Signage Gamification Ideas for 7 Markets

The business world loves buzzwords, and one of the newest and hottest today is “gamification”. But what is it, and how can it apply to your digital signage? Before we get into gamification ideas, let’s talk a bit about the basics.

Gamification is using things we normally associate with games – like a set of rules, competition and rewards – to get people interested. When people play games, they have fun. So, when people interact with your message or brand to reap the benefits (after all, you can’t win if you don’t play), it feels like their own idea and something they want to do.

Now, think of gamification ideas for your digital signage. You’ve already created beautiful, well-crafted messages to inform and engage your audience, but how do you know if it’s working? Because people must interact with your messages to “play”, there’s already built-in ROI. The more people participate, the more effective your message is.

People across all markets are starting to explore ways to gamify their digital signage messages:

  1. Create your game – make sure it aligns with a goal.
  2. Advertise it on your screens, along with instructions and rules.
  3. Show progress on screens using easy-to-read graphics and leaderboards.
  4. Recognize winners throughout the facility, along with what they’ve won, encouraging others to participate in future games.

The incentives need to be tangible and attractive. Things like prize drawings, food trucks for a special department lunch, and discounts at local or on-site venues are all things people would like. Some companies create a progressive system, with winners receiving points they can accumulate over time that can eventually be traded in at a virtual “shop” for real-world prizes and rewards.

Here are some specific gamification ideas for various markets. But take a look at all of them – what works in one market might also work in another. Always think of who your specific audience is, what might appeal to them as a prize, and what behavior you are trying to encourage.

Colleges & Universities

  • Create prize drawing for signing up to and downloading the school app. Each person who does this is entered in a raffle, with an enticing prize (such as a discount card for the café or the bookstore). This could be one time, or weekly until your target numbers are hit.
  • Snapshot capture – take a picture with your phone of the school mascot and show it at the bookstore for a 5% discount. Limited time offer. It could be the mascot, or any other iconic image. The image could be hidden in different messages, or moving around the screen in a video.
  • Have a school-wide scavenger hunt, with locations and clues in your digital signage messages. This is a great way for new students to get oriented on campus. For a more in-depth look at this idea, see our previous blog on scavenger hunts.


  • Get employees to enroll in the benefits program by offering raffle prizes within a specified time limit, or until your enrollment goals have been met.
  • Spur competition by showing progress towards quotas for the sales team. Offer rewards for first to reach quota, largest sales numbers in a quarter, etc.
  • Get your employees actively using your social media sites by offering prizes or points to those who post and share relevant and interesting items on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks your company is using.


  • Rewards can be intangible as well – offer teams a casual Friday dress code or similar benefit for reaching a target satisfaction ratings for customer service.
  • Encourage conservation of resources by displaying current usage stats vs. goals for energy use and recycling.
  • Increase participation in community activities like blood or food drives by showing current progress towards goals in easy-to-read graphs.


  • Devices like FitBits already use gamification to encourage specific behavior. Have FitBit challenges for individuals and teams on staff, with an appropriately healthy reward.
  • Gamification can also target your visitors. Have interactive games available for patients and visitors, especially children, to make their time in your facility less stressful.
  • Touchscreens or webpages can feature online nutrition quizzes, with the prize being a free health screening – good for both staff and visitors alike.


  • Get valuable feedback from your visitors by offering discounts for on-site services in exchange for filling out comment cards, and giving online ratings and reviews.
  • Use your digital signage screens to have a fun scavenger hunt for groups – it helps them learn what you offer and how to get around your facility.
  • Offer rewards for signing up to your loyalty programs within a limited time period.

K-12 Schools

  • Get kids reading with a graduated reading challenge, with prizes awarded at each tier of achievement.
  • Start training the students to be digital citizens by giving them hands-on experience creating and designing digital signage messages. Gamify it by having students vote for the best design.
  • Show the schools ranking in the district, county and state, as well as awards and accomplishment by students and student groups. Sometimes, the reward is simply knowing that you and your peers are doing well.


  • Increase efficiencies by using data visualizations to show progress towards production or delivery goals.
  • Increase participation in safety training courses by offering points for completed modules that can be accumulated and used to “buy” prizes.
  • Make sure everyone knows who’s who in both the office and the factory floor by gamifying employee profiles.

These are just a few gamification ideas for ways to get people doing what you want them to do, and making it fun with game techniques. You’ll get increased participation and engagement, and have immediate return on investment data on the effectiveness of your messages and campaigns:

Download the free infographic: Gamification Ideas for 7 Markets

Want more ideas for content and design for digital signs? Read our white paper.