- Ally Financial is transforming U.S. cities into a virtual board game that smartphone users can play via augmented reality (AR). Ally + Monopoly, which is inspired by the Hasbro board game, offers a gamified experience aimed at promoting financial literacy, according to a press release.
- The game is available online nationwide, but several cities have outdoor activations that include a virtual scavenger hunt. To participate, mobile users activate their smartphones in designated public areas marked "Chance" and "Community Chest" to collect virtual Monopoly tokens. Players could win a Jeep Wrangler and cash prizes, while boosting charitable donations from Ally to local nonprofits.
- The scavenger hunt is available in Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, New York, Seattle and Charlotte, North Carolina. Ally will donate $50,000 to Junior Achievement, a nonprofit that promotes entrepreneurship among teens, in the city with the most plays of the virtual game. It also will donate $15,000 to the nonprofit in the other five cities, totaling $125,000 nationally.
Ally Financial's virtual board game aims to engage mobile users with a gamified experience that helps to showcase how the company can help them manage their money. Almost half (41%) of U.S. consumers said they don't feel as confident as they'd like to about money concepts, according to a survey cited by Ally.
Gamified experiences like playing virtual Monopoly in real life could help people more deeply understand their finances. Four out of five (81%) Americans say money-related board games are helpful in teaching basic money concepts, while seven in 10 who played money-related games as a child (71%) say doing so helped make them more comfortable with money concepts, per Ally's survey.
The financial company has made gamified experiences more central to its marketing this year. Ally in July challenged Instagram users to play a virtual version of "truth or dare" that aimed to remove the stress of discussions about money. The "Confessiongrams" campaign urged people to take turns with a friend or significant other in choosing a virtual "card" that features a financial question to answer truthfully or to take a dare challenge.
By utilizing AR, Ally Financial joins brands as diverse as Netflix, PepsiCo and Mercedes-Benz that have used the technology to engage consumers looking to bridge the divide between mobile phones and the physical environments around them.