The “Mobile Game” Doesn’t Start Or End With A Tactic

Mobile Tactics

The ugly and semi-worthless QR code, 

The basic and efficient text, 

The untested but cool Augmented Reality innovation, 

Near Field Communication (amazing when you Google NFC and the National Football Conference is five rankings from the top – oh those mobile geeks are so smart…), 

Apps, unless they are utilities, then don’t even go there, 

The tried and true WAP “landing page” ,

Dial **, innovative and picking up steam,

Or, anything else that has been shoved down your brands face.

The “Game” begins with the psychology of the user and a virtual contract.

The Psychology of the User

The user wants something in return.  The user wants to be rewarded or feel like they are valuable.  For too long Apple, Google, Facebook and others have used the customer’s information and made a killing off of them.  The master’s of the web have pre-sold the users information and the users have reluctantly had to deal with it.  Right now, users have lost the battle by succumbing to the tortuous rabbit hole of relentless untargeted ads push upon them wherever they go on the mobile web.

They have been siphoned off to the web giants who have pre-sold their data to marketers who then market crap back to them.  The users data, location, surfing habits, videos views, the time the user wakes the phone up, the time the users battery goes down, etc. has been pre-sold over and over again.  As the user moves from one mobile page or app to next they’ve been pawned off for virtually nothing.

The Virtual Contract

The “game” is changing as mobile becomes the only player in town.  The user will take back their “brand” and look at their data as a valuable asset.  The “user” has information that companies will pay dearly for.  The best part is that each user will have a different price – a different tipping point where they will hand over that valuable phone number in order to gain the reward or premium.

And the payments?  They should be in offers or premiums, invitations and premieres, even cash!

So the mobile game is pretty easy.  If you have the right content, the right reward, the right premium, then the user will give up their value in return – in essence, they’ll contract with the brand and each will give and get proportionally.

Publishers Are Marking Money Off Of Your Brand

Brands needs to stop tyring to trick them into some convoluted mobile tactic that takes more steps then a simple text.  Stop trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist with stunts that act like big clouds with no rain and focus on the content and contract you have with the user.

#whygamify

Why Gamify? Because people deploy game mechanics in non-game based applications every day.  We have ringtones to achieve status, we use our American Express Cards to level up for “cool things”, and we become members of the million mile clubs just to use the lounges.  Our lives utilize ‘gamification’ mechanics every day, and this has been true since the dawn of mankind.  Why Gamify? intends to break down non-traditional applications and introduce leaders in these fields to comment on what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and their best guess for the future of ‘gamification’ in their fields.  Why Gamify? intends to bring together their insight on how ‘gamification’ and new technology will impact the way the average individual, teacher, business leader, entertainer, athlete, student and beyond thinks about ‘gamification’ in their lives.

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Gotye: Using Fans To “Game” The System

Viral Music Marketing

Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know is one of the most “catchy” tunes of 2011, and 2012, and maybe even 2013 if the fans are allow it….  The ping of the Fisher Price Xylophone to the explosive female voice belting out her pain drives people to listen to the song over and over and over again.  It’s become an anthem for many.

As this post hits the connected world, the video has received well over 300MM plays on YouTube… Wow!

But this was not your typical insta-smash rammed down by the label marketing machine (insert laughter since those barely exist anymore).  No, this was a calculated hit using the most explosive content distribution platform that exists… Twitter.  Gotye and team understand the power of the medium and allow users to create re-makes, covers, and parodies and port them instantly across the Twitter universe driving views and exposure beyond comprehension.  If you haven’t seen the ode to his fans, enjoy this video below… Creating fan based content is a game changer for the new and savvy artists.

As Gotye builds views, he also builds interest in his shows and swag, and that is where the money is.  His willingness to allow his anthem to turn into a user-based tool for teaching, a performance piece for new artists, a parody to get a laugh, or a simple nod from a devoted fan turns his performance into a strategic and targeted platform for driving tour and merch sales that puts true value into his bank account.

Gotye wins this game by unselfishly letting the fans “own” his moment in the sun, and by doing that, they owe him.  When I say owe, it means they are loyal to him and will buy tickets to his performances, purchase his swag, and deliver his messages through Twitter and beyond.  He stays independent, with a handful of straight distribution deals to push what’s left of the physical sales and digital deals.  But, for Gotye, his music will thrive and he “games” the system by letting the fans drive while he sits back and creates the strategy.

#whygamify

Why Gamify? Because people deploy game mechanics in non-game based applications every day.  We have ringtones to achieve status, we use our American Express Cards to level up for “cool things”, and we become members of the million mile clubs just to use the lounges.  Our lives utilize ‘gamification’ mechanics every day, and this has been true since the dawn of mankind.  Why Gamify? intends to break down non-traditional applications and introduce leaders in these fields to comment on what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and their best guess for the future of ‘gamification’ in their fields.  Why Gamify? intends to bring together their insight on how ‘gamification’ and new technology will impact the way the average individual, teacher, business leader, entertainer, athlete, student and beyond thinks about ‘gamification’ in their lives.

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Kompu Gacha (kampuガチャ), McDonald’s Is In, Are You?

 

 

The Japanese Police “Gacha”

If you are an Agency or a Brand and missed the recent decision in Japan to outlaw “Kompu Gacha” and thought nothing of it (or heard of it), well, think again.

Tyler York explains:  Kompu gacha, or “complete gacha”, is a system that strongly incentivizes the gacha monetization method. Gacha is similar to a prize vending machine at a carnival: you pay a small amount of money to receive an item at random. Kompu gacha expands on this mechanic by offering players an extremely valuable grand prize for completing a set of gacha prizes. Since the gacha prizes are awarded at random, it’s very hard to get these grand prizes.

Basically, it’s the lottery, and it’s not legal in the US and many other countries worldwide.  Yet, McDonald’s seems to pull this off every year through their Monopoly game.  To be fair, they allow users to “write in” for free game pieces, making the game a contest rather than a lottery.  But really?  Does anyone ever write in for the free game pieces?  McDs knows all to well that they “Gacha” when you roll into their fine dining establishment and buy that Happy Meal for one more chance to get Boardwalk… (stupid pun, but had to)

Well, they are smart, and it works, and brands who want to make mobile their home should incorporate this game mechanic.  It is simple, proven and addicting – like any good game.

The initiation can be as simple as a mobile tweet, SMS or NFC campaign, insert “Great Prize X” and multiple “Pretty Good Prizes Y through Z” and you’ve got an addictive, virtual reward, mobile campaign.  And, if you really want to get crazy, build in a skill-based promotional betting module (legal in all but 4 US States) and you’ve got a hyper-powerful, socialized and gamified mobile platform.

なぜgamify

#whygamify

Why Gamify? Because people deploy game mechanics in non-game based applications every day.  We have ringtones to achieve status, we use our American Express Cards to level up for “cool things”, and we become members of the million mile clubs just to use the lounges.  Our lives utilize ‘gamification’ mechanics every day, and this has been true since the dawn of mankind.  Why Gamify? intends to break down non-traditional applications and introduce leaders in these fields to comment on what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and their best guess for the future of ‘gamification’ in their fields.  Why Gamify? intends to bring together their insight on how ‘gamification’ and new technology will impact the way the average individual, teacher, business leader, entertainer, athlete, student and beyond thinks about ‘gamification’ in their lives.

 

 

 

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Mobile Ads Suck! The Future is Gamifing Mobile Ads

Banksy Banner

Banksy Banner

Mobile Theory, 4th Screen, Facebook Mobile Ads, give me a break.  The ad value is dropping as the banner becomes the only model.  It’s the wrong time to push a terrible model from the web to mobile like so many companies have tried.  It’s the same mantra..

CEO:  We need a mobile ad strategy

Mobile Guru:  Yes master, no problem, we’ll build an app and layer in full screen banners ads, the users are going to love ‘em.

CEO:  Great, apps are the best, right?

Mobile Guru:  Sure, and we can cross promote with Angry Birds or something and really drive sales.

CEO:  How?

Mobile Guru:  You know, banners, everyone clicks on them and then we extend our brand through a mobile ecosystem driving retention and ROI while shaping our social footprint for future campaigns via word-of-mouth extended through viral BLAH, BLAH, BLAH..

CEO:  I have no idea what you said, but let’s go for it…

My favorite is when you get articles written by Value Click – http://yhoo.it/FOdJSV – that speak volumes of the business.  Of course they are going to write articles and hide any negative facts, user experience, etc.  The article discusses how full screen banner ads on mobile are X amount more interactive.  Can you imagine the user experience?  What is worse is that they have the cajones to put an ad in on their press release for one of their divisions, Greystripe.

“To integrate Greystripe’s SDK in only a few simple steps, visit:”

I’m sparring you the opportunity to click on the link since i’m not supporting this embarassment.

To compound the issue, Romney, of all people, is trying to get “in touch” with the American people by delivering full screen ads through iad:

Romney iAd Coming To Haunt You

Romney iAd Coming To Haunt You

Ouch, this one has to hurt as users open their favorite story, game or app to get that punch in the face.  Really, no gamification?, no compelling mission?, no leveling system?  Just a black and white image with the standard Twitter, Facebook and G+ logo in case you feel the urge to Tweet, Post or do whatever G+ does with the ad.  Give me a break, socializing a crappy banner ad?  Really Zac Moffett? – Here’s a quote from Zac…

“Zac Moffatt, the Romney campaign’s digital director, believes that people will “spend more time” with the iAds and said that the campaign will be experimenting with the mobile push leading up to the Republican convention in August. The camp is also using Google’s mobile network to get information to Android users, effectively covering the entire smartphone market.”  ( http://bit.ly/MqJrHi )

I love how he says people will “spend more time” with the iAds – What he means is that people will spend more time looking for the little X to delete out of the obnoxious ad that they never asked for.

It’s simple, gamify the mobile ad expereince through unique missions, badges, and value to the user to create a true “gamified” exchange between both participants.  Until now few companies have done this.  Just ask Facebook how it’s going for them.

#jonashudson

#whygamify

Why Gamify? Because people deploy game mechanics in non-game based applications every day.  We have ringtones to achieve status, we use our American Express Cards to level up for “cool things”, and we become members of the million mile clubs just to use the lounges.  Our lives utilize ‘gamification’ mechanics every day, and this has been true since the dawn of mankind.  Why Gamify? intends to break down non-traditional applications and introduce leaders in these fields to comment on what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and their best guess for the future of ‘gamification’ in their fields.  Why Gamify? intends to bring together their insight on how ‘gamification’ and new technology will impact the way the average individual, teacher, business leader, entertainer, athlete, student and beyond thinks about ‘gamification’ in their lives.

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Beware, Games and Film Disruption Coming To A VHX or Steam Near You!

A movie about a video game makes it to Sundance and gets distribution through VHX and Steam… Huh?  Did everyone in the studio system follow?

OK, to be fair, it is also did a theatrical four-wall tour and will drop onto iTunes in with an “extremely tight release window”, according to Indie Game’s producers.

In a recent article by Liz Shannon Miller ( http://bit.ly/Ky9BHZ ), Casey Pugh, a co-founder in VHX was talking about the model, and said the following -

“Crowd-funded on Kickstarter and self-released on VHX. This is where the film, video and television business is going and it’s only the tip of the iceberg.”

This comment showcases the disruptive models intersecting with the game and film models and turning traditional content financing, production and distribution on it’s head.

Furthermore, the entire disruptive model gamifies the experience through social expression, P2P content management, and, most importantly, the F-U factor to the old school model.  Between this and the recent Kickstarter success of Amanda Fucking Palmer and her climb to finance and distribution history by trying to raise 100K and receiving over 1MM in pledges –  http://kck.st/JliwXm the box once owned by Pandora is open –  It’s going to be a frenzy for the film, games and music industries – and it’s a beautiful, gamified, thing!

(added) Trailer for the film, Indie Game, The Moive

#whygamify

Why Gamify? Because people deploy game mechanics in non-game based applications every day.  We have ringtones to achieve status, we use our American Express Cards to level up for “cool things”, and we become members of the million mile clubs just to use the lounges.  Our lives utilize ‘gamification’ mechanics every day, and this has been true since the dawn of mankind.  Why Gamify? intends to break down non-traditional applications and introduce leaders in these fields to comment on what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and their best guess for the future of ‘gamification’ in their fields.  Why Gamify? intends to bring together their insight on how ‘gamification’ and new technology will impact the way the average individual, teacher, business leader, entertainer, athlete, student and beyond thinks about ‘gamification’ in their lives.

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Hunger Games “Gamifys” Marketing

Banksy-HANKSY

Banksy-HANKSY

The success of the Hunger Games against it’s relatively low spend in marketing and ad dollars shows a tipping point in how the conglomerates are going to play the studio P and A game.

A recent article ( http://reut.rs/J1V3NU ) discussed how social media and fewer traditional marketing and ad tactics helped drive the success of the one of this years top film openings – The Hunger Games.  In the article Chase Carrey, deputy chairman and chief operating officer of News Corp, downplayed the threat of social networking sites.

“TV will have a truly important place in generating interest in new movies,”. Users of social networks “don’t like pop-ups and other ads.”

This statement implies that Chase doesn’t get how and what a social networks role in messaging works.  The social ecosystem is a game based on how, who, what, where and why.

How:  How is the studio going to make their message the next social “meme”?  What are the tactics that will drive the objective.

Who:  Who is going to understand the messaging and take it from a simple Facebook posting tactic to targeted meme.

What:  What is the social influencer tactic that is going to drive any relevance.  A simple game or giveaway is not the answer.  The “What” needs to be the content and if you don’t treat social as content then you might as well stop playing the game.

Where:  Where is critical and knowing where to launch will dictate reach and frequency – a true ROI metric that most “social” leaders have trouble grasping.  It’s not a matter of posting on Twitter and getting as many re-tweets, it’s about targeting social to the audience that matters, the ones that are the true early adopters of the content.

When: When is like “Where” – When is the right time to leak the meme to the tastemakers; weeks, days, or hours before you want the messaging to bake into the social conscience.

The people running the congloms are frightened.  The VPs and up are freaking out; pension and retirement are only a few years away and they don’t want to upset the applecart so they will continue to place media buys in the “traditional” environment.  Meanwhile, the underlings want to keep their jobs but have one foot out the door trying to figure out which group or technology is going to disrupt the antiquated model.

Fortunately for Lions Gate, they have always rewarded the “free thinkers” by giving their employees some runway to launch creative and tech friendly campaigns.  It will be fun watching the transformation from ad and marketing budgets from “traditional” to social and new media.

Let the social ad game begin.

#jonashudson

#whygamify

Why Gamify? Because people deploy game mechanics in non-game based applications every day.  We have ringtones to achieve status, we use our American Express Cards to level up for “cool things”, and we become members of the million mile clubs just to use the lounges.  Our lives utilize ‘gamification’ mechanics every day, and this has been true since the dawn of mankind.  Why Gamify? intends to break down non-traditional applications and introduce leaders in these fields to comment on what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and their best guess for the future of ‘gamification’ in their fields.  Why Gamify? intends to bring together their insight on how ‘gamification’ and new technology will impact the way the average individual, teacher, business leader, entertainer, athlete, student and beyond thinks about ‘gamification’ in their lives.

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Skylander’s “Gamifies” The 2 Year Olds

Ask any 2 year old today and they’ll tell you they’ve been hoodwinked by the brilliance of Activision’s Skylanders.  It’s incredible what the genius’ over at Activision have come up with – the blending of the toy and video game industry into a simple, manageable package.

According to CNBC.com, Skylanders has sold just under $200 Million at retail since October of 2011.

“To put that in context, it puts Skylanders in the top 10 properties during that timeframe in terms of revenue generated at retail,”   (  http://www.cnbc.com/id/47043890  )

Pairing video games with toys has always been a long shot, but Skylanders seems to manage doing it perfectly, and in a down video game economy.

It works because it gives the kids a chance to collect both physically and digitally and parade their achievements where it counts most – the schoolyards.  Families can “co-own” the creatures which enables community in the household.  And, most importantly, it allows the little 2 Year olds to play with their older brother or sisters.

The 2 year old has been “gamed” and it will surely change the way brands look at the physical toy marketplace.  I can see the Hasbro’s and Matell’s of the world scrambling now as the VP’s of product scream down the hallways -

“Why doesn’t Barbie have a Teleporter”

#whygamify

Why Gamify? Because people deploy game mechanics in non-game based applications every day.  We have ringtones to achieve status, we use our American Express Cards to level up for “cool things”, and we become members of the million mile clubs just to use the lounges.  Our lives utilize ‘gamification’ mechanics every day, and this has been true since the dawn of mankind.  Why Gamify? intends to break down non-traditional applications and introduce leaders in these fields to comment on what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and their best guess for the future of ‘gamification’ in their fields.  Why Gamify? intends to bring together their insight on how ‘gamification’ and new technology will impact the way the average individual, teacher, business leader, entertainer, athlete, student and beyond thinks about ‘gamification’ in their lives.

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