Firstly, I have to say Gamification is a great word to say. It trips off the tongue and for that it must be congratulated. Well done Gamification I congratulate you. I have started saying it in the shower. Imperial Leather helps.
That’s kind of where the good news stops. Gamification according to Wikipedia
means ‘use of game design techniques and mechanics to solve problems and
engage audiences’. I have to admit after many years of working on digital/
technology brands and platforms I have no idea what that actually means.
Lets see if we can make sense of it. ‘Using game design techniques to solve
problems and engage audiences’. So if brand X has issues with its audience and
building engagement it could use Gamification to use gaming techniques to get
their audience touching, discussing their product. Oh I see. Awesome.
So lets see if this works. I am a toothpaste brand. I cant seem to get anyone
talking about my brand. The marketing director is demanding a social media
strategy because it’s obviously what they need – there is no discussion. It’s
Marketing & PR types panic. They run to their agency.
‘Quick. We need to engage with our audience. Its our problem. We don’t know
what to do’.
The agency sits back. It strokes its beard and thinks. It stares; it reads a load of
blogs and community threads about new trends in media. It thinks again. Why
not? Agencies think a lot right?
Video. That’s been done. We have done the viral.
What about games? What about Gamification? People loves games.
Gamification is born.
They come up with a plan. Using gaming techniques they come up with a fantasy
RPG game where you are placed within the mouth of a giant and have to travel
from tooth to tooth to save the mouth from the evil Plaque demons.
Or perhaps a simple flash game where you get to clean as many teeth as you
can in a minute. Sorry that last example has made me feel very sad and alone. I
It’s an abstract example, but I think there needs to be an element of realism
to this – Gaming techniques is a very opaque term. Gaming platforms and franchises are now as big and as influential as Hollywood blockbusters – A brands job is to listen, understand what they want from you as a product and service. Building gaming techniques for the majority of brands sounds like a huge investment without any real sense of strategy.
If brands spent more time investing internally on the basics of digital publishing
– data, content & community they might get some interesting results.
Perhaps spending more time being open, transparent, ethical and supportive of
people may get you more long-term engagement.
I am off now to play Demon Plaque Monsters 2 brought to you by Colgate.