Exploring the MDA Framework and the Unconventional Marketing Strategies of Brands


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 18, 2023

3 min read


Exploring the MDA Framework and the Unconventional Marketing Strategies of Brands


In the world of game design, the MDA Framework has emerged as a powerful tool for evaluating, analyzing, and researching game mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics. By breaking down games into these three fundamental components, designers can better understand the essence of a game and how it resonates with players. Surprisingly, this framework has found an unlikely application in the marketing world, as brands are now experimenting with platforms like OnlyFans to engage with their audience in unique and innovative ways.

Understanding the MDA Framework:

The MDA Framework, short for Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics, provides a structured approach for comprehending the core elements that make a game successful. Mechanics refer to the underlying algorithms and fundamental mechanisms that drive the gameplay. Dynamics, on the other hand, represent the emergent behaviors and experiences that arise from the interactions between the mechanics and the players. Lastly, aesthetics encompass the emotional responses and experiences elicited in players as a result of the combined mechanics and dynamics.

Applying the MDA Framework to Marketing:

Brands are now beginning to leverage the MDA Framework to create captivating marketing campaigns that resonate with their target audience. One such example is Sticky's Finger Joint, a fast casual chicken chain, who has recently launched its own OnlyFans account. By subscribing to their account, fans gain exclusive access to a range of content, including behind-the-scenes footage, polls for future menu items, and even potential rewards. This unconventional marketing approach allows Sticky's Finger Joint to tap into the dynamics and aesthetics of the MDA Framework.

Connecting the Dots:

Interestingly, there are commonalities between the MDA Framework and Sticky's Finger Joint's OnlyFans strategy. When we examine the mechanics of the situation, we can see that by offering exclusive content and rewards, Sticky's Finger Joint expands the players' (subscribers') choices and options. This aligns with the idea that as players accrue more in-game currency or rewards, their decision-making capabilities grow.

Moreover, the dynamics at play on the OnlyFans platform further contribute to the widening gap between subscribers. Depending on the circumstances and the choices presented, some subscribers may have more advantages or access to exclusive benefits, creating disparities similar to the concept of the rich getting richer in games.

In terms of aesthetics, the emotional connection between the players (subscribers) and the brand becomes crucial. Those who believe they have a chance of winning or gaining rewards are more likely to engage emotionally and feel a sense of camaraderie with the brand. Conversely, subscribers who perceive themselves as losing or having limited opportunities may struggle to form an emotional connection.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace the MDA Framework: Consider applying the MDA Framework to your marketing strategies to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics that drive engagement and emotional connections with your audience.
  • 2. Explore Unconventional Platforms: Be open to experimenting with new platforms and channels like OnlyFans to engage with your audience in unique and unexpected ways. This can help you stand out from the competition and foster a sense of exclusivity and loyalty among your customers.
  • 3. Foster Emotional Connections: Focus on creating experiences and opportunities that allow your audience to feel connected and emotionally invested in your brand. By understanding the dynamics and aesthetics that drive these connections, you can tailor your marketing efforts to resonate with your target audience on a deeper level.


The MDA Framework, originally developed for game design, has found a surprising application in the world of marketing. By leveraging platforms like OnlyFans, brands like Sticky's Finger Joint are able to tap into the mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics that drive engagement and emotional connections with their audience. As marketers, we can learn from these unconventional strategies and apply the MDA Framework to create compelling and impactful campaigns that resonate with our target audience. Embracing this approach, exploring new platforms, and fostering emotional connections will enable us to connect with our customers in deeper and more meaningful ways.

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