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Bonfires, Sid Meier, Ice Cube & The Wire
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Bonfires, Sid Meier, Ice Cube & The Wire

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It's all in the game - A presentation from Measurement Camp in December 2009

It's all in the game - A presentation from Measurement Camp in December 2009


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  • Measurement Camp is a fantastic initiative hosted by Will McInnes of Nixon McInnes... it brings together a diverse group of folks interested in the effectiveness & proof of social projects in media, pr etc etc
  • given it’s such a diverse mix of folk, I thought I’d take an eclectic, diverse tour through the subject matter
  • First of all, the principle from the IPA Social project I was part of earlier this year; if advertising is a firework, then social media and other social projects are more like bonfires
  • Advertising is big, showy, flash, and sometimes jaw droppingly wondrous
  • The thing about advertising is that it has, as a discipline, been around so long that there are many establish patterns, departments, agencies, schools of thought... it’s embedded in almost every company’s practice. So everyone is doing it
  • But what goes up must come down... advertising campaigns burn brightly, but die quickly. Whcih makes continually grabbing people’s attention with fireworks a costly business.
  • On the bright side, it does make advertising fireworks extremely easy to measure
  • there’s a fixed start, and a fixed end (when you stop paying for it, advertising goes away. And because you’re paying in fixed amounts, there’s a pre-defined size of the firework; you know how big the bang will be.
  • social projects are completely different. totally, utterly different. as different as setting off fireworks and building bonfires are.
  • It is such a different discipline that all the skills you need to do it well are very different from creating noisy advertising fireworks... and measuring the effects are different too.
  • Building social bonfires takes time...
  • ...and you have to take time to get better at building them too
  • Unlike advertising, you don’t get that quick fix of ‘popularity’ straight away... social projects start small, and can stay small and a bit lonely for a while...
  • But then people gather
  • ...and start helping out; because that’s what happens at social bonfires... people take turns helping out, gathering materials to feed the fire, sharing the experience of building something together
  • this way, bonfires get bigger... over time, with perseverance, patience, and openness
  • but it does make them hard to measure, particularly when you compare it to measuring advertising fireworks
  • there is no real ‘pre’... and you don’t actually want there to be a ‘post’... and no-one has any idea at the beginning how big it’s going to be.

    We need to think differently about how we decide what’s good or not.
  • We need to take some inspiration from this man
  • Now, that Nike SB video is part of a bonfire itself... a very niche section of Nike’s range, and full of interesting, compelling content that will appeal greatly to that niche who understand all the nuances held within.
  • but that’s not why I’m interested in the song; the song sets out all the little things that, on one particular day, have contributed to making it a good day. Pager blowin’ up, being drunk and not throwing up, and not having to use an AK.
  • but that’s not why I’m interested in the song; the song sets out all the little things that, on one particular day, have contributed to making it a good day. Pager blowin’ up, being drunk and not throwing up, and not having to use an AK.
  • but that’s not why I’m interested in the song; the song sets out all the little things that, on one particular day, have contributed to making it a good day. Pager blowin’ up, being drunk and not throwing up, and not having to use an AK.
  • the little things, taken one day at a time, make up a good day.
  • And as Omar Little said in The Wire, it’s how to live... just one day at a time. Some days are good, some are bad. And you try and do the best you can to have a better day.
  • And as Omar Little said in The Wire, it’s how to live... just one day at a time. Some days are good, some are bad. And you try and do the best you can to have a better day.
  • And as Omar Little said in The Wire, it’s how to live... just one day at a time. Some days are good, some are bad. And you try and do the best you can to have a better day.
  • And as Omar Little said in The Wire, it’s how to live... just one day at a time. Some days are good, some are bad. And you try and do the best you can to have a better day.
  • And as Omar Little said in The Wire, it’s how to live... just one day at a time. Some days are good, some are bad. And you try and do the best you can to have a better day.
  • And as Omar Little said in The Wire, it’s how to live... just one day at a time. Some days are good, some are bad. And you try and do the best you can to have a better day.
  • And as Omar Little said in The Wire, it’s how to live... just one day at a time. Some days are good, some are bad. And you try and do the best you can to have a better day.
  • And as Omar Little said in The Wire, it’s how to live... just one day at a time. Some days are good, some are bad. And you try and do the best you can to have a better day.
  • And as Omar Little said in The Wire, it’s how to live... just one day at a time. Some days are good, some are bad. And you try and do the best you can to have a better day.
  • And as Omar Little said in The Wire, it’s how to live... just one day at a time. Some days are good, some are bad. And you try and do the best you can to have a better day.
  • And as Omar Little said in The Wire, it’s how to live... just one day at a time. Some days are good, some are bad. And you try and do the best you can to have a better day.
  • And as Omar Little said in The Wire, it’s how to live... just one day at a time. Some days are good, some are bad. And you try and do the best you can to have a better day.
  • If you subscribe to that philosophy, then the goal for creating effective social bonfires is a very simple; just make today better than yesterday, however best you see fit.
  • which is all very well... but how? living on a day to day basis in fine if you’re Omar Little, but what if you work in marketing?
  • Transcript

    • 1. It’s all in the game... fireworks, bonfires, ice cube, the wire... and sid meier john v willshire, head of innovation @phd measurement camp - december 2009
    • 2. an eclectic tour through measuring social projects
    • 3. If advertising is a firework, then social media is a bonfire
    • 4. Advertising is like fireworks http://www.flickr.com/photos/stage88/3228637838/sizes/o/
    • 5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/71502646@N00/1309409634/ sizes/l/ Fireworks are attention grabbing beacons on steroids
    • 6. Good ones make you go ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ ooooh aaaaah http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisjones/60562951/sizes/l/
    • 7. It’s so easy… EVERYONE is doing it http://www.flickr.com/photos/arnar/340888701/sizes/o/
    • 8. Fireworks burn very brightly, but die very quickly. http://www.flickr.com/photos/barbarasworld/1308507724/
    • 9. effect which makes fireworks really easy to measure time 9
    • 10. effect predefined size pre post time 10
    • 11. social media is a bonfire http://www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/2755425049/sizes/l/
    • 12. Very different discipline
    • 13. Building bonfires takes time… http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarcasmette/3805363440/sizes/
    • 14. …and it takes time to get good at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbhalper/3013369399/ building
    • 15. It might be a bit lonely at first http://www.flickr.com/photos/inajeep/265544195/sizes/l/
    • 16. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kumo_no_ue/3197957095/ sizes/o/ Then a few friends gather round
    • 17. Then, wonderfully… …your friends start helping out http://www.flickr.com/photos/israluv/147458000/sizes/o/
    • 18. more friends, more wood, bigger fire, more friends... http://www.flickr.com/photos/mstreb/617462120/sizes/l/
    • 19. effect so how do you measure bonfires? time 19
    • 20. effect predefined size? post? pre? time 20
    • 21. effect predefined size? post? pre? we need to think differently time 20
    • 22. we need to think like ice cube
    • 23. “today was a good day” (run vt) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBWRfhBlX24
    • 24. The Nike SB bonfire
    • 25. Was it a good day? http://www.flickr.com/photos/chickenbone/2125243181/sizes/o/in/set-72157594286653785/
    • 26. identifying the things that make a good day
    • 27. identifying the things that make a good day
    • 28. effect “today was a good day” time 26
    • 29. Today was a good day. Because it was better than yesterday. 27
    • 30. effect time 28
    • 31. effect “one day at a time” Omar Little, The Wire time 28
    • 32. The goal with social bonfires is ‘better than yesterday’ 29
    • 33. How do we live with ‘better than yesterday’? We should think like Sid Meier
    • 34. Sid designs long run strategy games... ...broken down into very short term turns
    • 35. In Sid’s games, you play ‘one turn at a time’ But you have the overall vision & strategy ‘in mind’
    • 36. we need to think like this in modern companies
    • 37. a big overall vision, and fast, turn based achievements
    • 38. effect “It’s all in the game” a daily marketing metric game time 35
    • 39. if you collect & create the right inputs... 36
    • 40. if you collect & create the right inputs... ...players will work out the best way to ‘win’ 36
    • 41. stick by day by turn by stick day turn
    • 42. It’s all in the game thank you john v willshire head of innovation phd http://feedingthepuppy.typepad.com / @willsh

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