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  • 1. Multi-Lib Phase 2 Report 3: Pilot 1 Marketing the Reading Voyage July – August 2005: • Using computer games to deliver cartoon trailers • Automated capturing of user-behaviour information using game data Andrew Lewis October 2006 Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadSupported by a Research and Development grantfrom MLA South East.
  • 2. Reading Voyage July – August 2005:Executive SummaryIn this pilot a combination of animated films and interactive computer games were usedunder controlled conditions to market reading to children, to demonstrate these media’susefulness in automated data collection of user behaviour, and to investigate the efficiencyof such methods.The pilot was successful in achieving its objectives.A measurable impact of getting children onto the annual Summer Reading Scheme usingthese media was demonstrated. The level of impact per unit staff resources wascomparable in scale to other traditional promotional methods, and results indicate that aproposed model of distributing content to large audiences could make these methods anefficient marketing tool as the size of the target audience increases.The pilot also successfully demonstrated the use of computer games to affect usersphysical behaviour in a library, and their use to record data about children’s behaviour inan automated way without using staff intervention.The results demonstrate simple but clear practical illustrations of how game technologymultimedia can be used as a serious tool in libraries for marketing to children, as a meansof measuring user behaviour in a non-intrusive way and as an efficient method of providingdata about customers and services for planning development.
  • 3. ContentsScope ...................................................................................................................... 4Background ............................................................................................................. 4Objectives................................................................................................................ 4Resources used....................................................................................................... 5Method .................................................................................................................... 6 Method used for cartoon trailer 6 Method used for computer games passwords 9Results .................................................................................................................. 12 Results for cartoon trailer 12 Analysis of results for cartoon trailer 14 Results for computer games passwords 19 Analysis of results for computer game passwords 20Conclusions ........................................................................................................... 21 Success against objectives 21 Overall conclusions 21Appendix A – Reading Voyage Vocal recording scripts for voiceovers ................. 23References ............................................................................................................ 24Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 3
  • 4. ScopeThe report is not presented as a detailed case study, but as practitioner research is offeredto the professional library community for use when considering the use of multimediawithin libraries.BackgroundThe use of cartoon-type advertisements had previously been used during the 2004summer reading scheme (Reading Rollercoaster) to promote reading, and to test the useof multimedia as a means to record user activity in an automated way.This pilot builds upon the limitations of these earlier investigations by adding a morefocussed level of data recorded, and comparing impact for use of resources with otherstaff work on the scheme.This work is described in more detail in works detailed under references.ObjectivesAnimated films and interactive computer games were used under controlled conditionswith the intention of:• Marketing the summer Reading Voyage scheme to children across Borough libraries• Demonstrating the use of automatically collected data as an indication of predescribed user behaviour in this marketing campaign• Comparing the level of resources required by this method with other marketing methods used in this campaign.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 4
  • 5. Resources usedThe pilot was delivered using the library’s popular children’s computer games service,which are provided to develop children’s ICT basic skills and confidence. These gamesare available on all library public computers.The games, aimed at a target audience of 5-11, are very popular, and average about 5000downloads each month. Because of this existing popularity, they offered an ideal vehiclefor attracting children in the target group for the Summer Reading Challenge.The main resources produced were an animated trailer that played before the games wereloaded, and a new game provided specifically for the pilot, and only available during theReading Challenge, which required special codes to unlock extra content. Supportingprinted marketing material was produced with special codes on, that were needed toaccess the content.The standard reading scheme registration cards provided by the Reading Agency wereadjusted to allow children to more specifically indicate where they found out about thepromotion.In addition, a diary was kept throughout the pilot, of the time spent for creating the mediaand for making it available as required. For comparison, the time librarians spentphysically promoting the service by traditional means was obtained from their separatedocumentation.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 5
  • 6. MethodThe pilot lasted for two calendar months, from 1st July 2005, about 2 weeks before theChallenge started, until 31st August 2006, about a week before the Challenge ended, andconsisted of two main methods, one using cartoon trailers the other using gamespasswords.Method used for cartoon trailerThe first part of this pilot exposed children to an advertisement trailer to raise awareness of the Reading Challenge. The success of this was measured by the number of people who indicated that they had found out about the scheme from a library computer. This was measured by adjusting the standard Reading Challenge registration card. In Fig. 1, the area in the box was added.Figure 1 Adjusted feedback section on TRA Reading Challenge registration cardWhen they launched the games children normally saw the standard interface listing whatgames are available. Figure 2 The standard games interface on public computers in 2005Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 6
  • 7. For the duration of the pilot, an animated promotional cartoon trailer, lasting about 30seconds was displayed every time a child accessed the games.Key to the pilot was the fact that every child accessing the games was exposed to thistrailer before they could see the interface.The trailer animated marketing combined images from the Reading challenge, withadditional specially created material and vocal recordings. The design was full screencolour with bold graphics, stark headline facts and key messages delivered in a comic andstriking way. The storyboard is below.For a full transcritption of this trailer see Appendix A.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 7
  • 8. Do you find the summer holidays.. BOR – ING!! Do you need some… ADVENTURE! BOOOM!.. Or maybe… you’re in the mood for… luuurrve Then you need the Reading Voyage Escape with a book to… romance… adventure… not only that, but prizes too… The Reading Voyage, starts, etcFigure 3 Outline storyboard for the Reading Voyage Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead MultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 8
  • 9. Method used for computer games passwordsAfter the trailer had played, an amended version of the games interface was visible with anoptional extra game, available only for the duration of the pilot Figure 4 Games Interface in 2005 with new game option displayedThe number of accesses of the main interface was recorded which gave the total numberof time the trailer was seen in the pilot.The game itself was a simple music making game, which allowed the player to turn onsound effects by pressing keys on the keyboard. Each letter key when pressed wouldstart a repeating sound effect. By pressing different combinations, the user could maketheir own music play using the sequenced effects.Figure 5 Music game with restricted content showing how to get the extra contentLibrary and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 9
  • 10. Although the game was playable with the top row of letter keys (Q,W,E,R,T,Y,U,I,O,P) theother sound effects controlled by other keys were only accessible by entering a specialcode.The game told children to ask staff in their library for a password if they wished to accessthe extra content. (see fig. 5)Each library was issued a set of tickets to give out to any child who reacted to thisincentive. A fixed number of tickets were issued at each different library, and these ticketshad a unique code identifying that library. (see fig 6.) Figure 5 Marketing leaflet (front and back views) showing marketing messages and passwordStaff were issued with instructions about how to issue the tickets. These told them toissue a separate ticket for every child who asked, and to count the total number they gaveover the period of the whole pilot.A separate ticket was issued every time. This was strictly enforced to measure exactlyhow many times the incentive caused a child to react, and ask for marketing material.Once a child had entered the code from the ticket into the game, they were able to playthe full game. This made available sound effects for all keys, and also displayed stickfigures that danced in time with the music, the children created. Different steps werelinked to different sound effects.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 10
  • 11. Figure 6 Music game shoing full version unlocked by passwordsAlthough the extra content made available looked the same in each library, a separate filewas downloaded for each separate library, corresponding to the code for that library. Thenumber of downloads for each file was recorded. This indicated how many times thedistinct codes had been entered corresponding to that library, and this was compared tothe number of tickets given out.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 11
  • 12. ResultsResults for cartoon trailerTimingsEvent DateDate media went live: 1st July 2006Date media was removed: 31st August 2006Reading Challenge started: 16th July 2006Reading Challenge ended 5th September 2005Resource inputs recorded to promote the Reading VoyageTask InputTime spent designing and creating the promotional trailer: 17 hoursTime spent by librarians promoting Reading Challenge in traditional activities: 254 hoursTime spent by volunteers promoting Reading Challenge in traditional activities: 104 hoursTotal spent promoting Reading Challenge in traditional activities: 358 hoursTime spent on Reading Voyage that is independent of scale of operation (admin, etc) 232 hoursLibrary and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 12
  • 13. Time spent on Reading Voyage that is dependent of scale of operation (events etc.) 126 hoursReading Voyage Material Resources spent £1,176Equivalent hourly rate used to compare material costs with staff time costs (RBWM 2005 scale 6): £11.31Equivalent staff resource used based upon materials spent (£1176/£11.31) 104Number of schools visited: 8Impact of promotions as indicated by children on Reading Voyage registration cardsMeans of promotion: Numbers joiningSchool: 352Library: 72Library (staff): 310Library (computer): 6Cartoon trailer file downloads (how many times the trailer was viewed)month numberJul-05 1259Aug-05 1536Total 2795Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 13
  • 14. Analysis of results for cartoon trailerThe amount of staff time it took to create the cartoon trailer promotion was 17 hours, whichwas designing, recording and delivering the media content. The results show that the trailerdid have a measurable impact on uptake of the reading scheme with 6 children whoundertook the scheme directly attributing this to finding out about it from the computers ontheir registration cards. However given that the overall uptake was 1047, this represents just0.6% of people who took part did so because of this method of promoting it.Traditional methods of promotion included administering the scheme, managing schoolvisits to 8 schools, organising 35 events in libraries, and distributing posters and materials tolibraries. It is however difficult to be sure about how far these methods can be exactlyattributed to the feedback options available to children on their registration cards. There isno way of telling exactly whether a child who indicated they found out from “staff “ meantextra promotional staffing or operational staffing (not counted). In addition the cost ofmaterials is an extra resource on top of the staff costs.To compare return on investment between the two methods, some adjustments were madeto the raw data for traditional methods. Firstly the cost of traditional promotional materialswas converted to an equivalent cost in staff terms. Then three separate figures werecreated as benchmarks: unweighted impact, weighted impact upper limit, and weightedimpact lower limitUnweighted impact assumed that all impact except the option “computer” was attributedpurely from the traditional promotional staffing input (non-operational) involved. Thelimitation on this was that potentially significant factors such as word of mouth, having doneit last year, and operational staff alerting children are discounted. No allowance for cost ofmaterials was included.Weighted impact lower limit assumed that all impact was attributed to traditional activityexcept that from the options “computer”, “staff” and “posters”. This was on the assumptionthat “staff” meant operational staff. “library” was included as being for promotions in theLibrary and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 14
  • 15. library. Posters were put up by operational staff. In addition an equivalent staff resourceweighting was added for the cost of materials.Weighted impact upper limit made the same assumptions as weighted impact lower limit butit was also assumed “from staff” meant promotional staff rather than operational staff.As well as creating three possible figures for comparison, a separate factor to be comparedwas the extent of which the input resource was dependent upon the scale of operation. Forthe cartoons the work to create and distribute the content was a single task that was thesame no matter how many times the resource was used. For traditional methods, this wastrue for administration, but for running events, and providing materials, the resource inputincreases as the size of promotion increasesLibrary and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 15
  • 16. The following table is a comparison of the cartoon promotion against the traditional methods based upon the overall findings in this study witha scaling factor to indicate the effect of scale of promotion on return on investment impact return independent dependent total method % independent on investment input input input games 0.35 17 0 17 100.00% traditional 2.91 232 126 358 64.80% unweighted impact traditional 1.8 232 230 462 50.22% weighted impact upper limit traditional 1.13 232 230 462 50.22% weighted impact lower limitThis table shows the effect of economy of scale as the scale of promotion increases promotion size (multiples of sample) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 games 0.35 0.71 1.06 1.41 1.76 2.12 2.47 2.82 3.18 3.53 3.88 4.24 4.59 4.94 5.29 5.65 6.00 6.35 6.71 7.06 7.41 7.76 8.12 8.47 8.82 traditional (unadjusted) 2.91 4.30 5.12 5.66 6.04 6.32 6.54 6.72 6.86 6.98 7.08 7.16 7.24 7.30 7.36 7.41 7.45 7.50 7.53 7.57 7.60 7.62 7.65 7.67 7.70 traditional (adjusted 1.80 2.41 2.71 2.89 3.01 3.10 3.17 3.22 3.26 3.29 3.32 3.34 3.36 3.38 3.39 3.41 3.42 3.43 3.44 3.45 3.46 3.46 3.47 3.48 3.48 higher) traditional (adjusted 1.13 1.51 1.70 1.82 1.89 1.95 1.99 2.02 2.04 2.07 2.08 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.15 2.16 2.16 2.17 2.17 2.18 2.18 2.19 lower)Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 16
  • 17. Impact return on investment relation to audience size 10.00 9.00 8.00 Return on investment (impact per unit input) 7.00 6.00 games traditional (unadjusted) 5.00 traditional (adjusted higher) traditional (adjusted low er) 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 audience sam ple scaling factorThis analysis shows that for the scale independent model of a single piece of work distributed to as wide an audience as possible the returnon investment (cartoon method) overtakes that of models where input is dependent on extra work (traditional methods).Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 17
  • 18. Using figures in this in this study increasing the promotion size by between 5 and 9 times would indicate that the cartoon method would be asefficient as traditional methods. Even with no weighting the efficiency will still be overtaken at a scaling of around 22.Assumptions made about attribution of impact of promotional methods to input Method indicated Assumption School A proportion of staff time could be directly attributable to staff time indicated as 8 school visits were conducted – could range from 0 to 352. Library (not attributed) Not attributed as most likely to be operational staff or posters put up by them. Library (staff) Not attributed to project staff time as this likely to mean told by operational staff Library (computer) Directly attributed to cartoon trailer production input, as no other promotion of the scheme appeared on the computers Library (poster) Not attributed to project staff input as provided by separate operational staffingAssumptions made about relation of input to scale of audience Method indicated Assumption Administration, co-ordinating ordering of packs, receipting are assumed to be independent of scale of Reading Voyage operation. traditional staff resource Materials, and staff resources needed for running events are assumed to be dependent of scale of operation In this analysis, promotional activity subsumed within general operational staff time is not included. Cartoon trailer resource Creation of media content is a one off piece of work and independent of scale of operationLibrary and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 18
  • 19. Results for computer games passwords total total % who accesses accesses accessed old ascot cookham container datchet dedworth eton etonwick maidenhead sunninghill windsor of music extra extra windsor game content contentJul-05 289 45 15.6 10 2 1 9 1 1 1 7 1 2 10Aug-05 281 46 16.4 0 9 1 11 2 0 12 6 0 2 3 Total 570 91 16.0 10 11 2 20 3 1 13 13 1 4 13 tickets handed out 3 7 0 3 1 0 9 11 1 4 0 Indicated joined scheme 0 2 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 The total number of tickets handed out over the 2-month pilot was 39. Assumptions about methods used in computer password pilot Method Assumption/limitation Handing out tickets That each ticket was issued to a separate child (this cannot be guaranteed, as staff work shifts, but where known staff indicated this was the case) games downloads That the number of downloads is not necessarily the same as the number of users (this cannot be known) Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead MultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 19
  • 20. Analysis of results for computer game passwordsIt was clear that the incentive of obtaining extra content did measurably cause children inlibraries to act in the predicted way, by asking for the marketing material that was createdfor the promotion. Over the 2-month period, the game was accessed 570 times in total,and in 16% of these accesses, the player also accessed the extra content, which requiredthe password from the marketing ticket.The actual number of children who asked for the tickets was 39, and they accessed thecontent 91 times in total, and average of 2.33 times per child. Because as far as wasreported by staff, each ticket was issued to an individual child, this meant that the childwas keeping hold of the ticket between accesses.It is not possible to say if this meant that they took the ticket away with them, as they mayjust have played twice on the same visit, but it was possible that they took the ticket homeand brought it back in next time. This raises the intriguing possibility that the incentivecould be used to cause children to distribute the marketing material outside of the library,for example by passing onto their friends or a family memberThere were some anomalies in the results in that some libraries reported that no ticketswere handed out, yet the game download data showed that the passwords had beenused. This was never explained, although it was possible that staff had given out thepasswords without handing out the tickets.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 20
  • 21. ConclusionsSuccess against objectivesMarketing the summer Reading Voyage scheme to childrenThe cross-promotion of the reading scheme using cartoon trailers was successful indemonstrating a measurable impact upon uptake of the scheme. Although the modest,there was conclusive evidence from children’s direct feedback on their registration cardsthat this was how they found out about the Reading Voyage.Comparison of resources involved in marketing methodsAlthough the impact in absolute numbers appears very small relative to the traditionalevent based marketing methods used, by comparing impact per unit of staff input thedifference was much less, at about a quarter as effective as the event based promotions.In addition the data collected indicated that by scaling up the audience size of thepromotion by a factor of between 5 and 8, the efficiency of this method could be predictedto match that of traditional methods.This is a positive concept requiring further investigation, but some caution may beadvisable in these results, as the effectiveness of this scheme relied on a pre-existingcomputer game service already well used on library computers by children customers ofthe library. They were easy to identify and target, and this is likely to have been a factor inthe success of this pilot.Automatic data as an indication of predrescribed user behaviourThe data derived from the password-controlled game showed that customer behaviourthat had been predicted in advance had successfully been demonstrated to haveoccurred, and in a significant number of children.The incentives to gain extra content in the promotional game had caused approximately16% of all children who played the game to approach staff and ask for marketing material.In addition the data indicated that there was repeat use, and that this may have meant thatthe marketing material had been further distributed outside the libraries.Overall conclusionsComputer games are a complex and powerful medium. Although the scale and scope ofthis pilot is modest, various aspects of the medium’s significant potential have beenLibrary and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 21
  • 22. demonstrated. These include their ability to deliver movie-like content, the use of gameincentives to influence behaviour, and the use of game data to record activity in unobtrusiveways.The creation of multimedia content can be labour intensive, but once produced the contentcan be most effectively used by distributing to as many customers as possible. This modeloffers a scalable efficient vehicle for promotion.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 22
  • 23. Appendix A – Reading Voyage Vocal recording scripts for voiceoversCharacter Script Vocal notes on screen imageryNarrator Do you find the Summer Holidays… Prim, and formal textChild BORE-RING! Loud obnoxious textNarrator Do you need some… Prim, and formal textVoiceover ADVENTURE! IMPACT, Hollywood style textNarrator Or perhaps some.. Prim, and formal textVoiceover DANGER! IMPACT, Hollywood style bombSFX Loud explosion noise Immediately after previous explosion flashNarrator Or maybe you are in the mood for.. Prim, and formal textVoiceover LUUURVE! IMPACT, Hollywood style Heart + textNarrator Then you need some… Formal blankVoiceover Books! IMPACT, Hollywood style booksNarrator Go on a Voyage this summer and leave boredom behind Purring, smoooooth Boat sails through with… fading bookpileVoiceover The Reading Voyage Hollywood style - warm logoLibrary and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 23
  • 24. Narrator The Reading Voyage. Efficient, Official, Fade to image of boat professional with waving flag Escape with a book to adventure fun, or wherever you like to go. Not only do we have thousands of great reads, we’ll give you prizes too including, including fridge magnets, stickers and more. Starts July 16th at your local library…ask staff for detailsReferencesLEWIS, ANDREW. Review of Multi-Lib Phase One. Maidenhead: Library and InformationServices, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, 2005.LEWIS, ANDREW. Marketing Library Computers To Young Children Using Multimedia. In:New Review of Childrens Literature and Librarianship. vol 11(1) Routledge, April 2005.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 3 Pilot 1: Marketing reading using computer games Page 24