Sunday, 11 November 2012

Reader's Feedback

Hi everyone!
The purpose of this post is to generate feedback from you guys, our readers and proud 'citizens' of the digital world.

Here are two great videos presenting in a cool and artistic way some of the main issues and possibilities that come with Gamification! 

Let us know, by posting a comment bellow, what your thoughts on Gamification are. How do you feel about Gamification? Do you think it is a good or a bad thing? Do you find yourself influenced by it? Can you give other examples of Gamification?

Your comments are of great value for us and our project!

Thank you all!!!

Gang out.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Surveying The Crowd!

Using gamification as a marketing technique is a recent tool that has come into use. It only surfaced a couple of years ago and has had quite a boom, due to a lot of people feeling the need to be able to be more in contact with what they are working / buying and selling with. The increase in people using gaming and enjoying games that offer rewards, started the idea of offering rewards for buying certain things. Like loyalty cards, members discount etc. It has been proved that people are more lenient in buying something if they can get something back in return.

This lead to us wanting to research into whether this technique actually works, so we used a simple marketing research technique to try to prove that gamification can have an effect on people when asking them to do something as simple as completing a survey. On October 25th we stood at the top of Wind Street and had 40 of the same surveys twenty for the first hour and twenty for the second. For the first hour we tried to get people to complete them, with little luck, we only managed to obtain seven surveys. Then as we went into the second hour, we pulled out a box of twenty chocolate bars and offered them to people in return for completing the surveys. A simple concept but gamification all the same a reward was offered to obtain, if it was a survey for actual marketing research, results. In this second hour we managed to get the full twenty surveys completed and with a lot of enthusiasm from the people that participated as opposed to the people who participated in the first hour who always seemed to be in a rush and with little actual willingness to help us out.

This research proves that by offering rewards to people, even the simplest of ones, results can be achieved. So how can gamification not be a positive and benefit people who are buying or selling.

Case Study 2: O2 Priority Moments

Gamification is used widespread across the world. Although it is used so readily and many people are using it in their everyday lives; the average individual does not know what it is. To make it easier to understand we are using o2 Priority Moments as a working example of Gamification.

It was launched on the 14th of July 2011; it gives their 22 million customers location based deals, for example 45% off Odeon Cinema tickets and free sandwiches from Upper Crust. 

So how can this be good for O2? Because, rewarding the O2 customers with discounts from other companies, it will stimulate the customers to stay with O2’s phoning network. In short, they are receiving more than just a mobile phone deal.

So does this mean that Gamification works in the everyday society? From looking into a poll with o2 users in all stages of life and careers, for example University, teaching and the legal system it was noticed that the younger generation (the student) rarely go into a contract, such as with o2 without reaping other benefits, hence why o2 Priority Moments is so popular with the students. However, it is no surprise that the older generation are happy to sign themselves into a contract with no added bonus. It could be argued that this is due to the fact that Gamification has only been around in recent years, like the other examples on this blog it can be seen that it is mainly the teenage to young adult generation that are immersed in a technology ruled society and therefore reap the benefits of Gamification, with perhaps the exception of the loyalty card.

Another example of a phone network that really submerges itself into the use of Gamification is Orange. Orange Wednesdays has become known nationally as a massive bonus in joining Orange. Orange Wednesdays give 2 for 1 cinema tickets every Wednesday of the week. This use of Gamification created a boom in cinema usage and also an increased number of people joining Orange phone company.
This highlights just how important Gamification has become for the phone networks of today. Yet, it is still amazing that most of society hardly knows what Gamification is and that they are most probably using it every single day.

Case Study 1: Coca-Cola.

‘Coca-Cola’ has been a trademark name ever since it was founded in 1886. ‘The ‘Coca-Cola’ company is the world’s leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups and produces nearly 400 brands’. 

‘Coca-Cola’ is a great example of an old company which has adapted exceptionally well to the changing tendencies of the modern, digitalized world in order to continue having a dominant market presence. When talking about ‘Coca-Cola’ and Gamification the first association that comes to mind is ‘CokeZone’( CokeZone is a place where customers enter codes which they have acquired from purchased products such as bottles, cans or packs of drinks. For every entered code people are awarded points which they can use to exchange for goods or enter prize draws - the more expensive the purchased product is, the larger the amount of points awarded. Even though CokeZone does not represent the typical gamification (game like) model, it uses particular game mechanics such as points, rewards and leader boards. It is natural for people to allot more value to things perceived to have limited availability, which is a reason why people can be driven to act when they believe that something is likely to become scarce. Scarcity of goods or of time to enter a prize draw is one of the main prompts which CokeZone uses to encourage users to participate. CokeZone also ‘kindly’ reminds the users that if they do not participate by submitting another code in a 90-day-period they automatically lose all previously collected points – a thoughtful strategy to keep people coming back. 
Consumers can also earn additional number of points for completing short surveys about their preferences and consumer habits. This is a clever incentive for people to willingly provide valuable information. However, the usual survey form which is time-consuming can often seem boring to people and they might simply complete it without even considering giving a truthful answer. 
The other problem with CokeZone is that people are awarded with very little number of points even for the most expensive products (most points are earned from 10 or 12 can packs only – 10pts; a 2 litre bottle is worth only 3 points). Therefore it would take a lot of time or funds for a person to collect a decent amount of points. And when, eventually, the points are collected, the goods they can be exchanged for are usually of an insignificant value (a single Coca-Cola glass is worth 150pts!). Thus many of the people who start participating, such as myself, quickly get bored and abandon the process of submitting codes. 

Another example of Coca Cola’s gamification is its relatively new campaign which was introduced in America a year ago. Coke Freestyle is a multi-media, fully interactive campaign which allows people to choose their own unique flavour combinations from every Coca Cola brand. The freestyle machines were located in numerous fast food restaurants across USA. The particularly innovative strategy was to also create a game app for iphone and android devices called PUSH+Play. The gameplay’s purpose shown below is taken from the app’s description of the Play Store.
1. Watch the pattern of each button light up to the sounds. 
2. Repeat the pattern and hit the PUSH button. 
3. Complete each of the brand’s PUSH patterns to win the level and score awesome achievements!
PUSH your way to the top of the leaderboard and see how you rank against others around the world. Plus, rack up bragging rights by earning badges like “Lightning Fast” and “Brainiac!” Share ‘em with your friends to see who’s the real PUSH! + Play pro!

The Coke Freestyle game app is a substantially subtle strategy for marketing research. The app collects data which delivers unique and individual customer insight. Unintentionally people using the freestyle app take part in a really truthful survey for personal preference. This is a great advancement in data collection and survey taking. Consumers are much less likely to be biased and they provide greater contextual information. They also have a good reason to be truthful about their choice considering the fact that they will be the ones consuming the final product. The interactive nature of the game reflects a concrete personal choice, not influenced by mass opinion and standards… Thus gamification in this case can be seen as a positive for both consumers and producers. 

Coca-Cola’s variation of use of gamification does not end with Coke Freestyle. The company introduces a number of different innovative and, most importantly, fun gamification concepts. The following videos show how the Coca-Cola marketing company has been able, through gamification, to do something much more important and difficult than simply selling a product. It has been able to transform a non-alcoholic drink to a synonym of happiness and joy; to connect with the younger generation, reflect its energy and convey the idea that Coca-Cola is all about having fun! 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Gamification. An introduction!

Hey, everybody! Let me enlighten you on the premise of this blogger account. We are a bunch of (cough) highly-intelligent, motivationally driven students studying New Media at Swansea University, tasked with researching an area of our choice from the module. Naturally, we chose the one thing on the list we had never heard of and had no idea what on earth it could be. This was ‘Gamification as a marketing tool’. As such we will be posting various case studies, videos, articles and pictures which illustrate our research and develop an understanding of this alien concept with the positives and negatives it breeds.


Gamification, a concept all of us in our group were not accustomed to when we started this New Media module. However once we delved into the vast world of resources readily available from the internet, we could see that the model of Gamification is simple and more visible than you may think.

So what is Gamification? Concisely it’s the concept of applying game-mechanics or concepts to a task which is devoid of them in the norm. Put simply its taking a day to day task and applying any kind of game criteria to it; targets, goals, levels etc. A prime example of this in marketing would be loyalty bonuses for shopping, such as Tesco’s Clubcard scheme, shoppers are rewarded for shopping with points which lead to a discounts and offers on their next shop. Therefore the more they shop, the more points they gain and in turn the more rewards they receive. The Clubcard scheme shows how powerful Gamification can be as a marketing tool and also highlights how long this concept has been around. In terms of marketing Gamification can also be used as a tool to gain market research, game related consumer surveys would be the most obvious example of this, but recent advances in technology and the mainstream grasping of location technology has led to an amalgamation of loyalty and market research. Applications such as ‘Foursquare’ allow consumers to gain bonuses for repeatedly visiting the same businesses whilst providing market data for the businesses themselves. (Both of the above schemes/apps will be covered in later case studies.)

How effective is Gamification? Well if you were to listen to Ian Bogost you side to believe that “Gamification is bullshit.” Or to elaborate further: “More specifically, Gamification is marketing bullshit, invented by consultants as a means to capture the wild, coveted beast that is videogames and to domesticate it for use in the grey, hopeless wasteland of big business, where bullshit already reigns anyway.” Bogost clearly isn’t a fan of our projects topic; he argues that Gamification focuses too heavily on levels and points, instead of highlighting primary features such as interactions with behavioural complexity. He goes on to clarify that this doesn’t matter to the companies using it because all they can focus on is finalising a sale, which Gamification effectively does. Although Bogost clearly disagrees with the strategies used within the current yardstick of Gamification used by mainstream companies today, he never doubts its effectiveness, only its moral integrity when slumbered into gaming categories. This stands to reason that Gamification does clearly have a place within marketing and research, albeit misconstrued in a gaming sense.

Hopefully now we have some background knowledge of this concept to draw upon and use when studying our case studies and discovering the ever expanding world of Gamification.

The Gang.