Shares fantasy takes Oslo daily to young and changes perceptions

Oct 20, 2021 at 08:38 pm by admin

Making a game of the stockmarket has helped a Norwegian business daily attract young readers.

With the barriers to investing traditionally quite high – particularly for younger people and women – Dagens Næringsliv target group leader Petter Winther says autumn 2020 saw ordinary Norwegians starting to trade stocks for real. “With a large variety of small-scale investors entering the marketplace, the need for more and comprehensive knowledge about stocks and trading grows,” he says.

The Oslo-based publisher – Norway’s oldest and most respected – still “doesn’t quite cut it” with younger readers despite its very credible coverage of markets and the economy.

“Audience insight work taught us that young people did want to learn about stocks,” he says in an INMA Ideas Blog. How might DN teach them about savings and investments in an entertaining and engaging way?

The answer, he says, was by “stealing the gaming industry’s toolkit”.

In collaboration with longtime software partner Norkon Computing, the publisher developed a gaming universe on its platform.

Fantasy Fund is a stock market game that gets users playing in two minutes or less, regardless of how much knowledge they have about the stock market.

A unique selling point was the user-friendly design and gameplay. “Norkon’s goal is to get you playing in two minutes or less, whether you know anything at all about stocks and trading or not,” says Winther.

Players create their own fund by picking stocks for 1 million (fantasy) Norwegian kroner and naming their fund. They must then pick stocks from at least five listings at the Oslo stock exchange.

Their stake in each stock can easily be changed by using digital levers, but they can also sell off some stocks and invest in new companies.

Players compete against each other, and every week the fund that gives the highest return is named the winner. After ten weeks, an overall winner is crowned champion. The developers used rankings, competitor lists, and other features known from gaming to improve engagement.

Many efforts were made to appeal specifically to younger audiences, including the name Fantasy Fund (at odds with DN’s “no English, please” language policy) and the design profile.

Winther says that “as the project was a pilot”, the marketing budget was a measly 100,000 NOK (US$11,689), with all marketing materials made in-house and distributed through the publisher’s own channels and in social media.

“Video played an important part in the social media outreach efforts, targeting financially interested young people,” he says. “In addition to attracting potential players with knowledge and a desire to win, we awarded attractive prizes each week during the game as well as to the overall winner.”

The Dagens Næringsliv newsroom committed to producing and publishing stories about saving and investing throughout the game’s duration. This was in part consumer-oriented stories giving advice, but also critical and investigative stories about actors and institutions looking to profit on the newfound interest in stock market investments.

While the main objective was to engage younger users, goals were set for new registered users, user engagement, subscription/user revenue, and advertising/partnership revenue.

“In addition, our hope was to move the brand association of DN from printed paper to mobile news provider, and from ‘wise and boring’ to ‘wise and innovative’.

Playing the game was free but required registration.

Winther says that while the initial goal had been to recruit 10,000 players during the first season, that goal was surpassed in ten days, with the game attracting a total of 21,275 players over ten weeks. also set several new records for signed-on registered users during the period.

Many Fantasy Fund players were registered users or subscribers, but 10,000 new DN (free) user accounts were registered in six weeks, as many as for the whole of 2019.

“Our goal was to have 45 per cent of users under 35 years old. Before launch, that goal seemed completely unrealistic,” he says. “After the ten-week period, a whopping 54 per cent of players were under 35, and we were excited to see that 24 per cent of players were 25 or younger – and that the youngest player group was the most active.”

Winther says it is difficult to say if DN managed to move its brand association from printed paper to mobile news provider, but feedback from advertising clients and the success with engaging younger readers indicate brand perceptions have moved more toward digital and innovative solutions.

Sections: Digital business


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