How Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni made 16% more students wash their hands more often!

At Unbox, we have been following principles of gamification in solving business challenges and creating memorable learning experiences. A first of its kind, we were requested to drive a practical credit course on ‘Gamification in Business’ for the management students of one of the best universities in India. The course had 7 modules spanning across two months and learners had to implement their learnings on a hands-on project as a part of their final assignment. All the projects were brilliantly planned, designed and executed.
Here are the details of one such project!

The Challenge Statement 

The learners found out that students in their university don’t wash their hands often after using the restroom. Uncomfortable, yet true. Their aim was to nudge people to wash their hands more frequently, especially, after using the restroom.

The Gamified Solution 

Celebrities to the rescue!
Two famous celebrities were chosen for a friendly duel. People were asked to vote for their favourite celebrity among the two by washing their hands. The more the liquid soap used from one celebrity’s soap dispenser the more the votes in their bank. The winner was announced at the end of the day, and everyone wanted their favourite celebrity to be the winner of the duel.

The Gamification Process 

Of the plethora of the principles and frameworks in gamification, we at Unbox have framed 11 principles of gamification that we leverage on in our consulting process. The learners used three of these 11 principles in their solution.

1. Unpack The Rewards

Reward and recognise users that perform well as per your gamified system to encourage them to involve themselves more: The age-old and time-tested motivator to get people to participate in something. Everyone loves a good incentive to do something. Rewards can help increase participation.

2. Unfold Personalisation

Personalize aspects of the user’s experience to instill a deep connect and in turn drive creativity while interacting with the system: We are more likely to engage in something that we can relate to and is catered to us rather than something generic. Giving the users something that they will hold close to their heart gives them something to feel invested in. The success of this idea can be mainly attributed to the selection of the celebrities. They picked celebrities from two popular fields that people are extremely passionate about. They have clear favourites; they believe that their favourite is superior to the others. One being cricket, which is the most popular sport in India and everyone, well, almost everyone, loves it! Fans have a constant battle between who is better – Virat Kohli or MS Dhoni? The other being music and famous bands – another fan favourite. Especially, among the young crowd in the universities, One Direction and BTS are a huge sensation with each fan believing their band is better than the other.

3. Unwind, Make it Fun and Competitive 

Fun and competition – two of the best motivators out there. Combine the two, and you’ve hit the jackpot. People are more likely to engage with something if it seems fun for obvious reasons. The competition between the fans is a huge deal. They always want their favourite to win, and we’ve seen many social media battles on the same. They will never give up a chance to show their support and that was shown by the participants which led to the success of the idea.

The Impact 

The number of people washing their hands increased by 16.5% on implementation of this idea. Who would have thought that something as monotonous as washing hands could be made fun by adding the element of competition? Gamification surely did. This solution serves two purposes – more hands are being washed and people had fun doing it!


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