Success Story

Gamification is breaking new ground in the native advertising universe for Ekstra Bladet

The Danish news publisher Ekstra Bladet wanted to optimize and differentiate their advert space to generate high quality leads for their customers amid heavy Christmas demand. They saw an opportunity to combine gamification with storytelling and native advertising to create fuller campaigns, with both branding and performance KPIs. The resulting pilot campaign for DAT (Danish Air Transport) paved the way for a whole new revenue dimension, and a valuable, measurable new offering for their customers.

“We want our content to remain relevant and make the most of each ad space, so naturally, we need to optimize, when demand is high.”

Joen Jay Dahl, Native Specialist, Ekstra Bladet Brand Stories 

DAT’s ‘Flying home for Christmas’ campaign 

Ekstra Bladet used Playable’s gamification platform to pilot a Christmas campaign for the airline DAT. The campaign, ‘Flying home for Christmas’, was a Christmas Calendar that ran on the front page of the online newspaper every day in December until Christmas eve. By signing up to receive a daily email, players had multiple opportunities to win plane tickets home for as long as the campaign was running. This format meant that DAT could spend more time with potential customers in a fun, interactive way, gain positive brand recognition, and get valuable email permissions that they could later use to develop customer loyalty.

The results at a glance


Clicks in 24 days


Sec per visit


Conversion rate




Unique registrations

Combining branding and performance KPIs resulted in +500 hours spent with brand

Won silver for Best Research Project at the 2022 Native Advertising Awards

Ekstra Bladet had used gamification before in connection with their articles, but this was the first gamified advert to stand alone on the front page. The results were astonishing: in just 24 days, the Christmas Calendar generated 120.000 clicks, compared to an average of between 50.000 and 60.000 for non-gamified native adverts.

DAT’s campaign hit both branding and performance KPIs 

“With gamification, you get all your information from one place. You don’t have to pick up data from several sources. It’s one campaign, with brand KPIs and performance KPIs combined!”

Joen Jay Dahl, Native Specialist, Ekstra Bladet Brand Stories

Reaching about one million daily users, Ekstra Bladet’s platform gave the campaign excellent reach and traction, and it was a huge win for DAT. The Christmas Calendar achieved its branding KPIs by creating a fun, interactive, and educational experience for the Ekstra Bladet users. But it also achieved other measurable major performance KPIs: email permissions, time spent and conversion rate. 

There was more good news on the branding side too, for both Ekstra Bladet and DAT. Ekstra Bladet asked what people thought of having a Christmas Calendar on the front page – and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Furthermore, customers reacted so enthusiastically to DAT’s campaign that it created positive associations for Ekstra Bladet’s own branding, too. The campaign lent itself perfectly to storytelling around DAT’s brand, so it was easy for Ekstra Bladet to build a partnership universe with them, and a landing page with a shared identity that lifted brand perception for both.

Services used

  • Calendar features
  • Particle generator
  • Games: Quiz, Puzzle, Guess the Word

Flying home for Christmas case video (Click on image).

Why Playable is a good match for Ekstra Bladet

‘Flying home for Christmas’ is an example of how gamification is breaking new ground in the native ad universe: enabling DAT to track not just brand engagement, but performance KPIs like email permissions and conversion, too. Ordinarily, native campaigns tap into brand awareness, qualified awareness, and brand consideration, and are measured only by article reads, reading time, and the number of clicks generated. But with gamification, Ekstra Bladet can offer more holistic strategic campaigns with greater scope for tracking customer engagement further down the funnel. This means measuring time spent per game, conversion rate, unique registrations, and total registrations.

“Normally our tracking stops as soon as users leave our site. Now, by interacting with them and collecting permissions, we can help brands follow users further down the funnel – from the first interaction with a brand, all the way through to customer loyalty. With the Playable platform, we can now offer brands a full-circle partnership experience, when they do Native Advertising campaigns at Ekstra Bladet.”

Joen Jay Dahl, Native Specialist, Ekstra Bladet Brand Stories

What’s next for Ekstra Bladet? 

With the success of DAT’s Christmas Calendar, Ekstra Bladet Brand Stories can now offer full, gamified partnership campaigns to its advertising customers. Enhanced tracking means they can confidently promise high value leads and longer interactions with potential customers. Ekstra Bladet and DAT plan to build on their Christmas success by developing seasonal campaigns around strong strategic and contextual touchpoints.

“I see great potential in providing a complete partnership-campaign experience for our customers on both brand and performance KPIs. We have always been very good at telling the story, but gamification adds further engagement and data. A lot of customers are focusing on performance KPIs. We were missing out on these customers as some of our campaigns were only focused on brand building – now, we can provide both options every time with gamification.”

Joen Jay Dahl, Native Specialist, Ekstra Bladet Brand Stories
Ecooking Customer Story with Playable
“By ways of merit alone, Playable is now placed alongside Facebook and the other channels we usually use. To be honest, I am surprised by this turn of events, but the results speak their own clear language.”
— Morten Junge Bertelsen, Global Head of E-commerce, Ecooking Read the success story