Updated: Sep 15
The Huat Pals frenzy has been completely unprecedented - we’ve seen countless memes, desperate pleas from friends over our Instagram stories and even listings on Carousell. If you and your friends have been on the hunt for Google Pay’s BB Loh for the past month, you’ve all been played. There’s only one winner from the craze, and that’s Google Pay. They have single-handedly pulled off one of the most extensive user acquisition campaigns our country has ever seen. So how did we all end up on this wild goose chase for BB Loh?
In this article, find out how Google designed the User Experience for Huat Pals for the sole purpose of gaining virality.
“Wa, where can I get A FREAKING BB Loh?”
The frustration is real. BB Loh has been one of the trending topics on social media in the last month. Who is this elusive BB Loh and why is everyone looking for him/her?
I remember back then when Google Pay (G Pay) started taking off in Singapore, Google was extremely generous with their monetary incentives through different cashback schemes to acquire more users. We saw more excitement this Chinese New Year as Google saw a good opportunity to shower us with even more wealth (but really, there’s ain’t no such thing as a free lunch - we’ll get to that below).
Introducing ‘Huat Pals’ – a social game built into G Pay that you can win virtual angpows ranging from S$8.88 to S$88.88. New and existing G Pay users can play 'Huat pals' with friends and family for a limited time between 4 to 26 February 2021. The goal of the game was simple: collect all five characters called Huat pals (Lenny, RaRa, Ah Hua, Neo and BB Loh), and the user earns a guaranteed angpao worth anywhere between S$8.88 to S$88.88.
And that was basically how the inhabitants on the Little Red Dot have been on a wild goose chase to find Huat pals ever since. From a UX standpoint, this examination of G Pay’s Huat Pals draws on some fascinating insights on human behaviour and smart marketing tactics.
How did Huat Pals become such a huge trend in that short span of time? Why is it important for Google to be so aggressive in its user acquisition?