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Breaking down Google’s #StampWaliDiwali Campaign - How Apps can create one for themselves

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

In 40,000 year old prehistoric caves, archaeologists discovered metal pieces, shells and other bizarre things. This was the first evidence of human being’s need to collect objects.

It’s 2022 now and a man named Jian Yang from Singapore, owns a collection of 6,000 Barbie dolls. Scott Wiener has a collection of 1500+ pizza boxes from more than 100 countries. And a Google executive, John Reznikoff holds a Guinness World Record for the largest collection of celebrity hair.

Think of anything in the world, and there's probably someone who collects it.

This is called Object attachment - an emotional need to amass objects or experiences.

In 2019, Google Pay launched #StampsWaliDiwali campaign. Rules were simple - Collect all 5 Diwali stamps and get a cash reward of ₹251.

However, it wasn't the ₹251 that got users excited.

In this article, I will break down the four psychological reasons that helped Google’s stamps campaign strike a chord with its users.

1. The thrill of the hunt

GPay made it really easy for users to get their first stamp. They simply had to click on ‘Diwali Scanner’ and unlock it.

However, as they progressed, stamps became scarce. Users found it nearly impossible to find the fifth stamp.

GPay announced the ‘Rangoli Bonanza’ where thousands of rangoli stamps were given out at five different time periods during the day. Millions of users would jump on to the App hoping to unlock the stamp.

This behavior is triggered by the Goal-Gradient Effect. It was proposed by Clark Hull in 1932. He says that as people get closer to a reward, they speed up their behavior to achieve their goal faster.

In the case of GPay, as users unlocked third and fourth stamps, their motivation to go the extra mile for the last stamp increased exponentially. They started recharging their friend's phone and sent a small amount to them.

2. Engaging users in 5 words

As users start collecting stamps, they can see a section which says ‘Just 3 stamps to go!’.

This section is very important. All of us are wired to remember the unfinished tasks more easily than the completed ones. This phenomena is called the Zeigarnik Effect - named after psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik.

It feeds on our need to attain fulfilment. When users read ‘Just 3 stamps to go’ and see the unhighlighted stamps, it sets a trigger in their mind to keep coming back to the App to finish the task.

LinkedIn is another example of the Zeigarnik Effect put to use. They urge users to complete their profile by showing a progress bar.

3. Spike interest with variable rewards

In 1950, popular psychologist B.F Skinner performed an experiment which proved that variable rewards are more powerful than predictable rewards.

GPay used this idea in its scratch card based referral program which acquired 7.5 million users in less than 5 weeks.

In the stamps campaign, Google introduced variable rewards in two ways -

  • Awarding of stamps

GPay nudged users to perform certain activities in the App in exchange for a stamp. But which stamp will be unlocked was left ambiguous.

The unpredictability factor got users hooked.

  • Not revealing the stamp in notification

When a friend gifts a stamp to the user, the notification does not reveal which stamp has been unlocked. Once again, the ambiguity forces them to return to the App multiple times, further adding fuel to the campaign.

4. Taps into user’s need for belonging

GPay did a great job in incorporating social elements into the campaign. Users were asked to ‘gift or request’ from their friends to unlock a surprise stamp. The ‘Flower’ stamp was mainly given out only when they engaged in this activity.

Furthermore, users were able to compare their progress against their friends on a leaderboard.

Human beings crave social validation. When users started engaging with each other, the campaign’s reach and visibility went through the roof. #RangoliStamp went viral on Twitter where users started sharing funny memes.

#StampsWaliDiwali was the most trending topic of discussion during the 2019 season. Everyone I met was either actively participating in it or had tried it at least a couple of times.

Google never disclosed the results of the campaign. However, considering its virality and the fact that it was extended for another 2 weeks proves how successful it was.

Creating a Stamp Campaign for your App

You can get started with a similar Stamp campaign using Flyy in 2-3 weeks.

1. Easy integration

Flyy plug-and-play SDK has pre-built screens for different kind of campaigns that your App can use once our SDK is integrated inside your App. Stamp Campaign screen is one of the many screens available in the SDK.

It takes 2-3 weeks to integrate the SDK into your App and go-live.

2. Dashboard for Campaign Creation & Management

Our dashboard makes it easy for customers to create gamified campaigns, make changes and analyse.

Here’s a step by step guide on how to create stamp campaigns -

  • Locate Stamp Campaigns section

Locate the Retention dropdown on the left and click on Stamp Campaigns. Click on ‘Create Stamp Campaign’ on the top right.

  • Choose the design theme

You can choose between two design themes - Default and Banner.

Default theme lets you add the title, description and rules in a text-based format.

However, I personally recommend customers to use the Banner theme. It allows you to get creative with your content & designs.

  • Add Stamps

Next step is to upload your stamps, name them and add a ‘weightage’ to it. Weightage is the assigned probability of getting a stamp.

Stamps with weightage closer to 100 are easy to unlock and those closer to 1 are hard [Rangoli stamps in GPay].

In our campaign, users can unlock the CSK stamp multiple times but a MI stamp will be extremely rare. This is how you can apply the Goal Gradient Effect to the campaign.

  • Add rewards to your campaign

Select between Cash and Virtual Currency as your reward options. Set the minimum and maximum reward amount along with the overall budget.

Click on Save and your Stamp campaign will be created.

3. Create challenges

This is the part where you define the tasks which users need to complete to earn the stamps.

Locate the Retention dropdown on the left and click on Create a Campaign. Under Offer Type, select Collection.

Select the Stamp campaign along with the event you want to reward.

Next, add the offer title, description and banner.

Lastly, add the users you want to target, schedule the campaign and hit Save.

And that’s it! Your Stamp campaign is up and running in less than five minutes.

4. Analyze campaign performance

There are no defined frameworks that can assure you a successful Gamification campaign. The only way is to constantly experiment and learn. The reports and analytics section of the dashboard provides you with every detail about the ongoing campaign.

Here’s how the campaign looks inside the App -


Before creating a campaign, it’s important to answer some important questions -

  1. Are the tasks too complicated?

  2. Is the reward attractive enough to motivate users to participate?

  3. Is the messaging misleading or difficult to follow?

Answering these will help you create a compelling stamps campaign for your users.

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