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Posts Tagged ‘participation’

  • Working Nights for Bragging Rights

    20th July 11

    Posted by Jeremy Ettinghausen

    Posted in interactive

    Author: Priyanka Kanse, Strategist, BBH London


    If you are under 11 you might be aware that Fruit Shoot launched something very cool last week. If you’re not, here is the story of Champion of the Playground:

    http://www.vimeo.com/26663730

    The work we’ve been doing with skills for the last couple of years meant that the Fruit Shoot brand was in good health, but this wasn’t transferring to success at the checkout: our core target audience (8-10 year olds) were turned off by the younger kids coming into the brand and didn’t want to be seen drinking the product.

    Our solution wasn’t a big ad campaign, but a branded gaming platform which merges the virtual world with the real world and recognises the importance of competition and challenge for 8-11 year olds.

    One of the very first pieces of paper that the creative team wrote were the principles of Champion of the Playground (below). It’s really nice to sit down at the end of phase 1 and think that the site is still true those original principles.

    What we’ve learnt

    Much of the commentary about participation platforms seems like common sense, but how the hell do I implement it? We’re learning all the time and there is so much we could say about this project, but these are some of our most interesting findings:

    User first:

    Measure every decision you make against what your user will find compelling. I’m not always a massive fan of research for traditional advertising, but for Champion of the Playground it was essential. One, we’re not 9-year-olds and two, the project lives or dies by its ability to engage.

    The first response by kids to the initial ideas was ‘but how do you stop other people from cheating?’, which meant without unique codes that encrypted the Skills Kit scores, the idea would be fundamentally undermined. We were told that we’d have to wait over a year to get kit with codes, which didn’t really fit with our delivery date, but our Creative Technology wizards worked directly with suppliers  to program boards and test prototype equipment.

    I also now have a favourite ever research moment:  In user-testing with a site prototype one of the kids was asked if they would play the game. His response? “Yeah, but they have to advertise it on TV so I know about it” – so well trained!

    Picking the right battles:

    Not that we had lots of fights, but it’s really hard to pick what to invest development time, brainpower and cash into when all the features look so darn good. And sometimes the most important details are the ones that you can’t see. We bought a games designer in to fix the games and reward logic so that the game felt fair. Just writing that sentence makes it sound simple, but it’s such a delicate balance to achieve and so crucial to the playability.

    Being able to win trophies, badges and cool stuff for your avatar is a reason to play even if you can’t be the overall winner

    And finally

    For us, Champion of the Playground is a great example of how a brief doesn’t have to be answered by traditional advertising solutions. Why do we expect our audience to spend time with us if we’re not entertaining? By creating a game which is inextricably tied up with kids’ personal progress, we are giving them something that they genuinely want to participate in.

    When you create an idea that isn’t a campaign, you naturally earn the right to exist for a longer time and in different formats. The initial response to Champion of the Playground from kids has been enthusiastic, which means that we get to keep creating and keep evolving. So keep an eye on FruitShoot.com, because we have some exciting things planned.

    Credits (names in bold might as well get COTP tattoos, such has been their dedication to the cause)

    Clients: Nadia Moussa & Debbie Eddy

    Creative team: Simon Pearse & Emmanuel Saint M’Leux

    Creative directors: Rosie Bardales, Jeremy Ettinghausen

    Digital producer: Susan Liu

    Technical director: Jim Hunt

    Head of Creative Technology: Jon Andrews

    User Experience: Ricky Faria

    Account team: Ngaio Pardon, Alex Monger, Anna Halliday

    Strategist: Priyanka Kanse

    Strategic Business Lead:  Nina Rahmatallah

    Production Company: Unit 9

    Game consultant: James Sheahan, Metagames [http://metagames.co.uk/]

    Below the line agency: The Marketing Store

  • Sell the audience, not the story

    30th June 11

    Posted by Jeremy Ettinghausen

    Posted in Participation

    Labs were lucky enough to be invited back to Power to the Pixel’s Pixel Lab held at Schwielowsee this week. The attendees – writers, filmmakers and producers among them – spent most of the week intensively workshopping their cross-media projects, punctuated by tutorials and talks from external experts.

    Raising money in a still nascent format is always going to be challenging, so Pixel Lab participants were keen to know how brands and advertisers viewed transmedia storytelling as a platform and what approaches were likely to lead to successful fundraising.

    Using the smart thinking from Metafilter forum user blue_beetle as the starting point I suggested that rather than try and sell a story to a brand, selling the audience might be a more productive approach. This is partly because it’s so noisy out there that a brand needs to work exceptionally hard to cut through with a story and also because increasingly brands see participation (through a variety of mechanics) as a good route to engaging an audience and building brand loyalty.

    It wouldn’t be a Labs talk if we didn’t reference Kevin Kelly, and his ‘Six words for the modern internet‘ made for a useful primer on participation and behaviours. Taking each of the behaviours and looking at campaigns that had shone them through a branded lens I asked whether it was possible to extend the idea of audience as product and ask what they paid with for each form of participation.

    With each of these costs of participating the audience clearly need to be rewarded and this reward will vary with the depth and type of participation. The reward might be a story or another form of transmedia experience but there are other rewards for participation and access and engagement might sometimes be reward enough.

    The full presentation is below – let us know what you think in the comments.



  • Collaboration: blurring consumption & production

    18th January 11

    Posted by Saneel Radia

    Posted in collaboration, People

    A few weeks ago, we posted about what collaborative consumption means for marketers. We found it interesting that the focus on collaboration for most brands tended toward production (innovation, development, etc), but that there wasn’t much noise about the consequence of people collaborating to consume a brand’s products. As is the case often, one of the comments was more insightful than the post. It raised the point that collaboration in consumption actually yields production innovation. Thus, we asked the commenter– Shaun Abrahamson, CEO of Mutopo Colaboratorie– to elaborate.

    ***                                            ***                                             ***

    Author: Shaun Abrahamson (@shaunabe), CEO, Mutopo Colaboratorie

    As a guest poster, some additional disclosure is required because my LinkedIn profile is incomplete. I’d like to add:

    + reviewer at Amazon
    + gas refiller at Zipcar
    + traffic data provider at Google Maps
    + plug-in tester at WordPress
    + opinion offerer at Jovoto
    + classifieds editor at Craigslist
    + A/B headline tester at the Huffingtonpost
    + music popularity statistics reporter at Apple
    + idea spreader at Kickstarter

    I think most LinkedIn profiles have similar omissions. But that is only part of the problem, because I don’t just do work for organizations, but also for friends and family.

    So why it is so important to know who I “work” for or with?

    Of people, value creation, costs and revenues
    All organizations incur costs to make and communicate – to create, design, develop, produce and distribute products or provide services; to generate awareness, evaluation and trials to generate revenues. Of course many of the costs in doing this relate to things like media buying, IT infrastructure, raw materials, rents and the like, but depending on the business a very large percentage of the costs come directly from paying people (i.e., salaries for ALL the jobs to make the organization function).

    So what happens if one of your competitors figures out a way to get some of their work done more cheaply? Fewer people, lower salaries – off shoring and outsourcing over the last 20 years has fundamentally changed developing and developed economies.

    Or, what happens when your competitors are able to attract better talent?

    Most labour conversations tend to focus on full time employment, but there is another important workforce – they are doing the types of tasks we don’t disclose on our LinkedIn profiles. And they are not just working for organizations as we tend to think of them, but for the benefit of their peers.

    Paid vs. earned vs. owned business activities
    Recently Rishad Tobaccowala described among other trends for 2011, paid vs. earned vs. owned media. I’d like to steal this idea and expand it to paid vs. earned vs. owned business activities. Not as catchy, but I’ll keep the explanation short.

    I believe that some of today’s most successful organizations are figuring out how to earn “business activities” that their competitors still pay for. It’s more visible in part because it has become easier to help people help you. Amazon sells more because so many of us choose to write elegant reviews there and Lego benefits from a relentless flood of new product ideas from their community. Zipcar has us refilling gas tanks in the name of sharing and the Huffington Post generates more pageviews when they learn what we like by observing our choices. Groupon gets us to band together into temporary “big organizations”, so we can get discounts previously only available to real big organizations.

    The fundamental change in this collaborative model is that business can create value by “earning” our effort. If you’re looking for inspiration for all the ways in which people can add value, I like the business model canvas or board of innovation (their templates were used to create the diagram above). More specifically, these visual business model tools can be used to quickly highlight the number of ways in which consumers can also be producers, or customers can also be suppliers.

    Beyond roles, these visuals also help outline the different value exchanges: from money and fame to reputation and experiences. The diagram at the start of the post was my attempt to describe the various value exchanges happening around this guest post. It is far from complete, but I hope it shows how “customers” also show up as “suppliers” in exchange for a variety of non-financial currencies. Organizations have many new ways to redefine their relationships with the people formerly known as customers (apologies to Jay Rosen).

    Why this type collaboration matters to marketers
    MIT Center for Collective Intelligence does a great job breaking collaboration down into its DNA – the who, what, why, where and how of collaboration. In Mutopo’s experience on projects like betacup and Life Edited, some of the hard questions have been:

    + why will people participate?
    + what are the right activites and outcomes to focus on?
    + what expertise is required?
    + what can organizations offer in return?
    + how do we quality control?

    I don’t know that this is altogether new for marketers (or for markets). We’ve always had to build teams and find talent, but the scale has changed. Some activities will involve large numbers of people accomplishing tasking in a few minutes or in a few weeks. It will mean much more time evaluating what new outcomes we want, who we want to work with, what they want, what they can do, what we can give them and evaluating how they are doing.

    Finding talent may feel like human resources’ responsibility, but this is a critical role for marketing. Not only because it can touch current or prospective customers, but because it is another way to create value for the organization beyond driving sales through a funnel. And these collaborations can build on exactly the relationships brands aspire to build anyway. Now they have the additional benefit of greatly expanding the reasons for conversation, as well as the types of conversations we can have. After all, it’s quite engaging to discuss what we can accomplish together.

  • Participation Inequality, by Arts Alliance

    15th October 10

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in Cross-platform, media

    Earlier this week @saneel and I were at Power to the Pixel’s Cross-Media Forum, contributing as part of a jury looking at 9 different projects competing for an ARTE Pixel Pitch Award (see who took part here). Whilst the talent and ideas were impressive, this post is to share something the founder of Arts Alliance, Thomas Hoegh, showed at the very start of the day. Thomas had just one slide, but it was killer. So simple and useful, we photographed it (badly) and then re-drew it for posterity:

    Participant media model by Arts Alliance

    We like the way it breaks down Jacob Nielsen’s 1:9:90 rule of participation inequality into something a little more chewy. The best bit about it? According to Thomas, this slide is 15 years old.

    Our friend Dan Light (@danlight) live blogged Thomas Hoegh’s excellent keynote which you can check it out here.

    For more about Power to the Pixel, have a look here or follow them on Twitter @powertothepixel.

  • The Power And Perils Of Participation

    18th September 10

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in interactive, social media

    This post was originally written for the Likeminds blog. More about them here, and check out their Creativity and Curation event down in Exeter, UK, 28/29th October.

    Ulysses & The Sirens by Herbert Draper

    Don’t get me wrong. We’ve argued long and hard here in favour of brands embracing new behaviours if they’re to drive real cultural and commercial impact. To invite participation; to get out there and allow their customers in. And in terms of audience appetite for this, we’ve even gone as far as to question whether Jakob Nielsen’s 90:9:1 rule – that states the vast majority of visitors to any website are only there to lurk – will hold water for much longer in this post last year.

    We’re going to continue arguing the case for new behaviour, not against. Nonetheless, there have been a couple of instances that have given us pause for thought recently. Read full post

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