Alternative marketing thinking


Archive for the category “Gaming”

Advertising. Not Like the Music Industry.

There have been many stories in the media in the last few weeks about the decay of advertising. There was this long one about The Future of Advertising in Fast Company. BusinessWeek countered it with this one on how Big Dumb Agencies may not be going away anywhere soon. The most provocative one, however was by Adaptive Path’s Peter Merholz. It was a brutal piece, one that tore apart our business as one with a “poisonous core”. While there has been a lot of debate and discussion around the post – in fact Peter has posted a rejoinder explaining various points on his original one, I thought the last item on his first rant to be a bit off key.  Advertising Agencies are the New Music Industry, he wrote.

I am not sure if the music industry analogy is the right one for the advertising business. While just like the music business, traditional advertising is being run over by the arrival of the Internet and other digital mediums, unlike the music industry, which went down primarily because of the growth of file sharing, I think advertising will evolve thanks to a combination of many smaller changes.

Search Marketing. While Google and others in the search marketing business are seeing exceptional growth, search marketing alone will not end advertising as we know it.

Social Media. Yes it is hot at the moment and will be extremely important in the years to come. Social media engagement will be one of the many things that marketers will need to help manage a brand.

PR. For years PR was a discipline that marketing had little influence over. Bougsky’s allegedly famous quote “…write me the press release” aptly describes how PR has become an important mover of marketing messages. Recently Pepsi’s Shiv Singh tweeted about wanting a partner who was a combination of a digital agency, a traditional agency and a PR company.

Video. BMW films showed us what can be done when branded messages are played out in digital media. There have been many experiments that have followed. The age of video, though, is just beginning to play out.

Mobile. Mobile devices will have as much or more impact on the marketing business as computers, TV and radio have had in the past. Always connected, always on phones are a tsunami that will change traditional messaging, but will need to do more to completely annihilate brand messages.

Location Based Services. These new and emerging concepts will add another dimension to real-time marketing. There are some simple and straight forward “Minority Report” kind of possibilities that location based messaging can do. These concepts will evolve and amaze us in the years to come.

Reality Enhanced. Ideas like augmented reality are just being experimented with at the moment. There will be more we will do by overlaying smart digital ideas over real things in the future.

Gaming. In an attention starved world, inventive new branded or brand embedded  games will give marketers access into the minds of people.

Crowdsourcing. Not so much a concept as much as an approach to producing ideas. Crowdsourcing will chip away advertising agency strongholds and change advertising in many ways.

Amazement. For decades, advertising had this knack of creating jaw-dropping moments. Not anymore. Anyone with a digital camera can now. Ads now have to fight even harder to be seen and talked about.

Marketers, marketing messages and the ones who create them, advertising agencies, will have to change to stay in touch with people who have lot more to do. The reason for this change will be many. All of them equally relevant.


The Bailout. Now A Game.

Enough has been said and written about bailouts in the financial services sector. So now the guys at Blue Interactive has gone out and created an interesting little game. The BailOutGame. Steer a truck across a cityscape and the game ask you to make bets across many famous American bailouts that have taken place in the recent past. A simple yet chilling reminder on how the bailouts are sinking the nation further and further into debt. Play here.

Youtube Disintegrates For WII

An interesting piece of innovation from Nintendo in which the ever familiar pages of YouTube is rearranged completely to launch a new video for the game ‘Wario Land; Shake It’. The video shakes so much that the footage escapes from the viewer into the whole YouTube screen page. Nice one Nintendo.

Slay And Save

Kids in Japan will learn to save in a new RPG adventure with the soon-to-be launched game, Bankquest. Kids can shove money into the slot of this piggy bank tower, allowing the game to progress, and can then buy weapons and armor to slay dragons and beasts on behalf of their chosen protagonist. The game comes from Takara Tomy, the leading Japanese toy and entertainment company that has give Japan some of its favourite toys and games. This latest fascinating game is played through a small LCD window mounted in the side of the bank. Buttons underneath the screen let players control the game’s hero as he fights his way through a monster-infested tower. More than slaying and fighting, the game is mainly an incentive to save: equipment for the hero, necessary to defeat the tower’s denizens, can only be purchased by putting real money into the bank. The idea of taking a piggy bank further ahead in a gaming avatar is certainly making it a fun way of collecting money. Due to release in August, one will have to wait and see how this picks up among the Japanese kids. Read more here.

Bankers Learn By Playing

Mint, the Indian avatar of Wall Street Journal has an interesting story on how ICICI Bank trains it new recruits on dealing with customers. They play online games. “Gaming is an integral part of our induction programme,” says K. Ramkumar, group head, HR, ICICI Bank. More than 2,000 ICICI employees have been playing games, and winning prizes, as preparation for handling customers. The use of online games fits in nicely with the HR department’s focus on e-learning. “The gaming initiative reinforces our brand proposition of anytime, anywhere learning,” Ramkumar adds. The bank uses four games—queue management, cheque clearing (operations), cheque payment across the counter, and savings accounts. As the names suggest, these games present situations with customers seeking services in these areas. Experts say gaming could become an important tool in learning, and not just for children. “Games can be used to capture key real-time information about people, activities and outcomes and to provide more frequent guidance and link performance to recognition,” says Daniel Dias, director, IBM India Research Laboratory. The ICICI HR team is now busy working on a larger game—a branch simulator that will recreate all the functions of managing a branch. Read more in LiveMint.

Games Brands Play

BusinessWeek Magazine spoke to Gary Kitchen one of the fathers of computer gaming on the growing business of advergames. Where he talks about Burger King and how they took the concept to the next level by launching a successful campaign with three advergame-type titles of their own for Xbox/Xbox 360. One of the complexities of making a successful advergame is that it still has to be fun and make the player feel glad he played it, and at the same time, the marketer has to believe that the game created a positive product association or good old fashioned branding. Here’s more from Gary’s

TV Planning Game

Many of us in advertising have dreamt of getting a job in a TV station. Look around and you will find some friend or colleague who has recently moved to one such gig. TV Station Manager is a SIMS like game that lets you take control of a TV station about to go bankrupt. In this game, you’ll take the role of a new manager, just graduated, hoping that you’ll be able to fix the situation and maybe even raise the TV Channel popularity.

Creative Gaming

Benetton has an online interactivity quite unlike any other on the web today. Benettonplay is a gaming site that enhances the player’s sense of creative potential and allows them to share their creation with others. Created by Benetton’s very own design studio — Fabrika, these games are open rather than closed – “where the player brings their own creativity to the experience, rather than follow a pre-defined path”.


Searching and retrieving on the net becomes far simpler now. How many times have you typed keywords in vain waiting for that elusive image to pop-up? At you can play a game that actually lets you add words to the metadata.

Are virtual assets taxable?

Since the trafficking of virtual goods from games like “World of Warcraft,” and “Star Wars Galaxies” on exchanges like eBay sets their fair market value, the online game players are collectively holding millions of dollars’ worth of these digital assets. So should online game players’ assets–the weapons, characters, clothing and such–they’ve accumulated but not yet sold for real-world cash, be taxable by the IRS?

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