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#9: Social Live Experiences: Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement

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This is the ninth report from our upcoming People's Insights Annual Report titled “Now & Next: Future of Engagement”, also available as a Kindle eBook and soon as an interactive iPad app. The report …

This is the ninth report from our upcoming People's Insights Annual Report titled “Now & Next: Future of Engagement”, also available as a Kindle eBook and soon as an interactive iPad app. The report will highlight the ten most important frontiers that will define the future of engagement for marketers, entrepreneurs and changemakers: Crowdfunding, Behavior Change Games, Collaborative Social Innovation, Grassroots Change Movements, Co-creation Communities, Social Curation, Transmedia Storytelling, Collective Intelligence, Social Live Experiences and Collaborative Consumption.

In each of these reports, we start by describing why they are important, how they work, and how brands might benefit from them; we then examine web platforms and brand programs that point to the future (that is already here); then finish by identifying some of the most important features of that future, with our recommendations on how to benefit from them.

Do subscribe to our email newsletter to receive an invite to download a free copy of the interactive iPad app.

Find out more: http://peopleslab.mslgroup.com/peoplesinsights/future-of-engagement/
Get the Kindle eBook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D8ZZMDY

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  • 1. 9. SOCIAL LIVEEXPERIENCESPeoples Insights Annual ReportNow & Next:Future of Engagement
  • 2. We are delighted to share that we will bepublishing the People’s Insights AnnualReport titled “Now & Next: Future ofEngagement” as an interactive iPad app. Thereport will highlight the ten most importantfrontiers that will define the future ofengagement for marketers, entrepreneursand change makers: Crowdfunding, BehaviorChange Games, Collaborative SocialInnovation, Grassroots Change Movements,Co-creation Communities, Social Curation,Transmedia Storytelling, CollectiveIntelligence, Social Live Experiences and theSharing Economy.Throughout 2012, 100+ planners onMSLGROUP’s Insights Network have beentracking inspiring web platforms and brandprograms at the intersection of social data,citizenship, crowdsourcing and storytelling.Every week, we pick up one project andcurate the conversations around it — on theMSLGROUP Insights Network itself but alsoon the broader social web — into a weeklyinsights report. Every quarter, we compilethese insights, along with original researchand insights from the MSLGROUP globalnetwork, into the People’s Insights QuarterlyMagazine. Now, we have synthesized theinsights from our year-long endeavor in futurescanning as foresights into the future ofengagement.We believe, like William Gibson that, “thefuture is already here; it’s just not very evenlydistributed.” So, innovative web platformsin the areas of social data, citizenship,crowdsourcing and storytelling point towardsinteresting possibilities for brand programsthat leverage similar models to engagepeople. In turn, the web platforms and brandprograms of today give us clues to the futureof engagement tomorrow.In our reports on the ten frontiers that willdefine the future of engagement, we start bydescribing why they are important, how theywork, and how brands might benefit fromthem; we then examine web platforms andbrand programs that point to the future(that is already here); then finish by identifyingsome of the most important features of thatfuture, with our recommendations on how tobenefit from them.For the next ten weeks, we will publishthese reports one by one, then present themtogether, in context, as an interactive iPad app.Do subscribe to our email newsletter to receiveeach report and also an invite to download afree copy of the interactive iPad app.People’s Insights Annual Report
  • 3. 3What are Social Live Experiences?Organizations blend technology,community and location tocreate immersive experiencesthat blur the boundariesbetween online and offline.As a result, people are seamlessly transitioningbetween online and offline events andconnections, and organizations are creating real-time experiences that merge, even transcend,the physical and the virtual.Consider the proliferation of location basedsocial networks beyond Foursquare (video).Some entrepreneurs are using social networkAPIs to build location-based mashups (Sonar,Banjo (video), Highlight) and augmented realityapps (Google Glass (video), Across Air (video),Nokia City Lens (video)) that connect peopleand experiences around locations, often byhighlighting “people and experiences near you”.Others are creating niche location-based real-time social networks around sharing rides (Waze(video)), public transport (Moovit (video)), runs(MapMyRun (video)), and dishes (FoodSpotting(video)), or completing challenges (SCVNGR(video)). These location-based social networks,Social live experiences blend technology,community and location to create immersiveexperiences that blur the boundaries betweenonline and offline.The rise of social live experiences can beattributed to three broad trends. First, peopleare constantly live-streaming their experiencesby posting updates, photos, videos and check-ins through location-aware smart phones andtablets, creating a dynamic stream of location-based content. Second, social networks areintegrating online and offline experiencesthrough features like single-click check-in andlocation-tagged content sharing on multiplenetworks (for instance: Instagram to Flickr,Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare).Third, social networks are opening up their APIs,including social graph and location data, sothat others can build applications that connectpeople around locations.Source: pochacco20 on Flickr
  • 4. Click to watch: Google GlassClick to watch: SXSW GoClick to watch: Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestraalong with the ubiquity of location data in popularsocial networks like Facebook and Twitter, havemade it possible for organizations to createseamless social live experiences at scale.The most visible examples of such experiencesare large political, entertainment or sportsevents. Even as journalists and spectators atthe venue share first-hand experiences withtheir networks through location-tagged statusupdates, check-ins, blog posts, photos, videos,and live-streams (UStream, Live Stream, Vyclone,Google Hangouts), a larger group of peoplejoin the conversations by sharing, commentingon, remixing and curating this content (Storify(video)), checking in to live television broadcasts(GetGlue, GoMiso, Viggle), and contributingoriginal analysis and opinions on blogs and videoblogs. While all major public events, all over theworld, are becoming live social experiences ontheir own, event organizers, social networks andmedia organizations are increasingly creatingsocial curation platforms to act as hubs thatconnect people and content around such events(IHeartRadio’s Twitter Tracker, Grammy Live,CNN/ Facebook U.S. Presidential Inauguration,OccupyStreams).Conference and expo organizers are alsousing social media to transform events intolive social experiences, amplify their impactbeyond the venue, and connect attendees tocreate a community. Some organizers are evencreating custom mobile apps to help eventattendees network, share content and stay intouch (SXSW Social / SXSW Go (video), MobileWorld Conference, BlogWorld & New MediaExpo, Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum,Amazon re:invent, Guardian Changing MediaSummit, NY Craft Beer Week). Other organizersare creating private networks to live-stream theevent to extend their reach to a wider communityof subscribers (TED Live).Finally, public spaces are using technology,including QR codes, to enhance the experiencefor visitors by adding a virtual layer. NewYork’s Central Park transformed the park intoan interactive game board for its World Parkcampaign with QR code clues and content allover the park. Sweden’s Gothenburg city createda Tram Sightseeing App (video) to help visitorsget a geo-tagged guided tour at the price of atram ticket. Several museums and institutions inAmsterdam use the Museum App to create QRcode enabled interactive guided tours of culturallocations in the city. New Delhi’s TurquoiseCottage bar used QR code admittance stampsto share time-sensitive updates with patronsthroughout their Christmas Eve celebrations.The Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra createda unique concert with musicians spread all overthe city, and the music being synced in real timeonline. However, many of these initiatives haven’tfully integrated social sharing and communitybuilding into the experience yet.Some of these initiatives have had significantscale. For instance, 2 million Facebook statusupdates were published onCNN.com/live duringthe U.S. Presidential Inauguration in 2009and 3 million photos have been uploaded toFoodspotting. The scale and success of theseinitiatives show that the boundaries betweenonline and offline experiences have blurredbeyond recognition and all experiences are likelyto become both social and live.
  • 5. 5How do Social Live Experienceswork?Social live experiences are spread over a vast andvaried territory which has overlaps with other frontiersof engagement we have covered before, includingsocial curation, collective intelligence and transmediastorytelling. However, all social live experienceplatforms and programs have three commoncharacteristics: a hybrid physical-virtual experience,real-time tracking plus social sharing, and valuecreation through the physical-virtual interplay.Social live experiences are often set in a specificphysical space, like a park, museum, stadium,hotel, restaurant, or store, but they can also takeplace out in the streets. Sometimes, the primaryaim is to engage the people present at the venue,or in a specific city (SXSW Go); sometimes,a secondary aim is to use social mediaamplification to attract more people at the venue(Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra); sometimes,especially with large broadcast events, the aim isprimarily to use social media to amplify the on-site experience to engage audiences who are notphysically present (Grammy Live).Real-time tracking and social sharing are integralelements in social live experiences. People cando real-time tracking automatically throughlocation-aware smart phones (Waze) and sensor-enabled devices (Nike Fuel Band), or manuallythrough social media updates and check-ins(FoodSpotting). These data streams and updatesare then aggregated and displayed on maps(IHeartRadio’s Twitter Tracker) and, sometimes,streams (Storify) to enable social sharing. Socialsharing is usually manual, enabled by socialsign-ins, one-click sharing and linked socialaccounts, but it can also happen automatically,by automatic posting of runs or rides on socialnetworks (Nike Fuel Band), or automatic alerts onpeople and experiences near you (Highlight).Finally, social live experiences are so compellingbecause they create unique value throughthe interplay between the physical and thevirtual. Sometimes, this value lies in increasedintelligence about our own behavior (NikeFuel Band), our own network, our city (Waze)or country (CNN/ Facebook U.S. PresidentialInauguration), or the entire world (FoodSpotting).Sometimes, this value lies in serendipitousdiscovery of people (Highlight) and experiences(SXSW Go) near us. Sometimes, this value lies inmore meaningful connections with friends in ournetwork (Google Glass), or strangers who sharesimilar interests (OccupyStreams).Social Live Experiences for BrandsThe easiest way for brands to create live socialexperiences is to make it easy for people whoare already participating in offline brand eventsto share their experiences on social media. Manybrands are already using sophisticated social,mobile and geo-local technologies to creatememorable experiences, then creating viralvideos based on these experiences (T-MobileAngry Birds Live; Mercedes Key To Viano). Somebrands are designing these experiences so thatsharing the experience with friends is intrinsicto enjoying the experience itself. For instance,Unilever created the Share Happy interactivevending machines that uses facial recognitiontechnology to measure smiles, rewards bigsmiles with free ice cream, and encouragesusers to share their smiles on Facebook. Goertzcreated an interactive virtual shoe fitting displaythat enabled users to try out any shoe from thecatalog and share photos with their Facebookfriends to ask for their opinions. Coca-Cola usedRFID enabled wristbands to encourage teenagevisitors at a Coca Cola theme park to seamlesslytag and share photos on Facebook. Anthon Bergused iPads in store to give away free chocolateto people who committed to do small acts ofgenerosity for friends and family members.Click to watch: Coca-Cola VillageSome live social experiences go from online tooffline back to online. Some brands are trackingonline conversations to find opportunitiesto engage in real-time, real-life random actsof kindness, which encourage the delightedrecipients to talk about the experience online,creating valuable word of mouth. For instance,Orbit White in Israel gifted chewing gum hampersto people who checked in at cafes. KLM inAmsterdam surprised travelers who shared anupdate or check-in about their KLM flight withrelevant gifts, based on their previous updates.Kleenex in Israel gifted a Kleenex Kit to peoplewho shared a status update on Facebook aboutbeing sick. Kotex in Israel gifted a craft item to
  • 6. Click to watch: Nike GridClick to watch: KLM Surprisewomen influencers based on the items they hadpreviously pinned on their own Pinterest boards.Other brands have created activations that peoplekick start through online actions or submissions,but result in a compelling experience in aphysical space. Coca-Cola reimagined theiriconic Hilltop ad for the networked age byenabling people to share a coke with a strangerthrough their mobile phones, then capturing thereceivers’ surprise as they received the Coke atspecially designed vending machines all overthe world. Ariel created a game where onlineinfluencers used a Facebook app to shoot paintat white designer clothes in a physical exhibitat Stockholm airport, then cleaned the clothesand gifted them to the influencers. Nike andLivestrong created a “chalkbot” that printedmessages received from supporters on socialmedia on streets all along the Tour de Franceroute. C&A in Brazil asked fans to like clotheson their Facebook page, then displayed the likecount on hangers inside the stores to help femaleshoppers make better shopping decisions.Many brands are also creating elaboratetechnology-enabled games, reality showsand treasure hunts that engage people bothonline and offline. Playground in Swedenasked shoppers at the hiking equipment storeto support one of three fitness enthusiasts ina competition to stay awake for the longesttime, and returned the money to the winner’ssupporters. Mini Gateway created an iPhoneapp to invite Stockholm residents to catch andkeep a virtual Mini, to win a real Mini Gateway.Jimmy Choo asked fans in New York to track itsFoursquare check-ins to be the first to claim apair of trainers at the check-in locations. Levi’sasked fans in Australia and New Zealand totrack Twitter updates to be the first to claim apair of Levi’s at the checked in locations. Nikeinvited London Nike+ users to claim a street byunlocking codes at phone booths and winningpoints by running through specific routes.Samsung rewarded fans for recording their walks,runs or rides during the London Olympics onthe Samsung Hope Relay app by contributing tocharities.Click to watch: Ariel Fashion ShootClick to watch: Volkswagen SmileageFinally, the most progressive brands arecreating devices and smart phone applicationsthat enable consumers to use their productsin a more meaningful way, by enhancing theproduct experience through sensor-enabledvirtual self-tracking and community-sharing. Forinstance, Nike FuelBand (video) enables peopleto track their activities and workouts on the Nike+community to analyze their own progress andcompare or share their activity levels with theirnetwork. Volkswagen Smileage (video) enabledVolkswagen owners to track their drives, recordmemorable moments and share them with theirnetworks. Stella Artois created an augmentedreality bar guide to help people find and sharebars that serve the brand.
  • 7. 7Social Live Experiences case studiesThroughout the year, we have tracked the conversations around a number of social live experiences andbranded programs in our weekly insights reports and quarterly magazines; here are a few highlights.Branded program: Anthon Berg Generous StoreRead the full case study on our blog or on SlideshareSource: Facebook.com/AnthonBergIn February 2012, chocolatier Anthon Bergset up a one-day pop up store in downtownCopenhagen, Denmark and invited people topay for chocolate with good deeds, like "Servebreakfast in bed to your loved one,’ and ‘Helpclean your friend’s house.’ To hold people totheir promises, Anthon Berg staff providediPads at check out and asked people to log on toFacebook and pledge the good deed on a friend’sFacebook wall.Within 24 hours of the pop-up store event,150,000 feeds were posted on the Anthon BergFacebook page. This included the pledgespeople made while ‘purchasing’ the chocolatesat the store, and follow up posts after they hadcarried out the good deeds, like this one:Source: youtu.beClick to watch: Generous StoreWith the Generous Store, Anthon Berg was ableto increase its social reach and reinforce its brandpromise - “You can never be too generous.” As LanaMarkovic, a blogger at Branding Magazine, noted:“Is there a better way of getting customers’attention than by giving them free chocolates andat the same time getting them to make someoneelse happy? With this campaign, the Danishchocolatier managed to reinforce its leadingstatement – by inspiring people to be moregenerous the company has created a happiersociety, and the brand’s popularity has beenreestablished.”A video that documents the activation hasreceived 118,000 views on YouTube.
  • 8. Source: projectrebrief.com/cokeClick to watch: Project Re: Brief – Coca-ColaBranded program: Hilltop Re-imagined for Coca-ColaRead the full case study on our blog or on SlideshareIn 2011, Google partnered with Coca-Cola to re-create the iconic 1971 Hilltop TV commercial fora digital era, enabling people to “buy the world aCoke” in real time, using their mobile phones andGoogle technologies.Mashable’s Todd Wasserman explains the process:“Using the mobile app, a consumer in New Yorkcould buy a Coke for someone in Buenos Aires.In addition, that consumer could watch a videousing Google Maps and Street View to see thecan traveling across the globe. After the recipientgets the Coke from one of the custom vendingmachines, the sender can watch a video of theperson’s surprised reaction and perhaps get athank-you note, if the recipient chooses to do so.Later, the sender can pass on the video to friendson Facebook, Twitter or Google+.”People could initiate the activation via a mobileapp and interactive display ads on YouTube.Marketer Amanda Jennison commented thatthe campaign delivers on Coca-Cola’s brandpromise of Open Happiness and inspires peopleto become brand advocates:“Not only does this get fans involved through amobile app, it also creates the mindset of wantingto share the happiness that a Coke evokes to acomplete stranger. At Bates Creative, that’s whywe think Coca-Cola is a brand that gets It. It’s allabout inspiring your audience to become anactive member for your brand.”Google’s Jim Lecinski believes: the campaigndemonstrates the creative potential of the digitalmedium for marketers:
  • 9. 9We expect all public or semi-public spaces likeparks, stadiums, museums, and event venuesto build the infrastructure — including Wi-Ficonnectivity, NFC or QR code stations, live-streaming equipment and sensor networks— to enable social live experiences. Event appplatforms like QuickMobile (video), EventMobi(video), CrowdCompass(video), Guidebook(video), DoubleDutch (video), Grupio, ConferenceCompass (video) and MuseumApp alreadyenable event organizers to create custom smartphone apps. We expect them to increasinglybecome specialized around niches likeconferences, music festivals, and public spaces.We expect organizations and brands to usethese tools to design delightful experiencesthat encourage attendees to share updates andphotos across their social networks, creatingword of mouth and increasing the reach of theprograms and events.Finally, many brands have already integrateddigital elements – like QR codes and touchscreens – into their retail experiences. We expectmore brands to transform their retail experiencesinto social live experiences, by encouragingshoppers to share messages or photos on theirfriends’ social networks to avail of discounts orshopping advice, bringing online reviews into thestore to help shoppers make better shoppingdecisions, and creating in-store activations thatpeople can participate in online.“We started to think about how Web ads canmove from being informative and transactionalto delighting and engaging, stirring the soul andbuilding a brand.”Project Re:Brief – Coca-Cola has receivedwidespread coverage and was awarded the inauguralMobile Lions Grand Prix at Cannes in 2012.The Future of Social LiveExperiencesWe believe that both location-aware smart-phones and sensor-enabled devices will becomeubiquitous in the near future, and almost allphysical events, experiences and spaces willbecome social live experiences.We expect that many location-based socialnetworks will add augmented reality featuresand many augmented reality apps will addsocial networking features, so the boundariesbetween the two will blur. We expect more nichelocation-based social networks and augmentedreality apps to emerge around niche interestsand activities like live music, street art, hiking,swimming, driving and cycling. We also expectbranded versions of these networks and apps,primarily by product brands that want to extendtheir experience (Volkswagen Smileage, Nike+),but also by brands who wish to be seen ascurators of popular culture (Stella Artois Le BarGuide).
  • 10. People’s Lab is MSLGROUP’s proprietarycrowdsourcing platform and approach thathelps organizations tap into people’s insights forinnovation, storytelling and change.The People’s Lab crowdsourcing platformhelps organizations build and nurture publicor private, web or mobile, hosted or whitelabel communities around four pre-configuredapplication areas: Expertise Request Network,Innovation Challenge Network, Research &Insights Network and Contest & ActivationNetwork. Our community and gaming featuresencourage people to share rich content, vote/comment on other people’s content andcollaborate to find innovative solutions.The People’s Lab crowdsourcing platformand approach forms the core of our distinctiveinsights and foresight approach, which consistsof four elements: organic conversation analysis,MSLGROUP’s own insight communities, client-specific insights communities, and ethnographicdeep dives into these communities. The People’sInsights Quarterly Magazines showcase ourcapability in crowdsourcing and analyzinginsights from conversations and communities.People’s Lab:CrowdsourcingInnovation & InsightsLearn more about us at:peopleslab.mslgroup.com | twitter.com/peopleslab
  • 11. MSLGROUP is Publicis Groupes strategiccommunications and engagement group,advisors in all aspects of communicationstrategy: from consumer PR to financialcommunications, from public affairs toreputation management and from crisiscommunications to event management.With more than 3,700 people, its offices span22 countries. Adding affiliates and partnersinto the equation, MSLGROUPs reachincreases to 4,000 employees in 83 countries.Today the largest PR and Engagementnetwork in Europe, Greater China and India, thegroup offers strategic planning and counsel,insight-guided thinking and big, compellingideas – followed by thorough execution.mslgroup.com | twitter.com/msl_groupWrite to us to start a conversation on the future of engagement.:Pascal Beucler,SVP & Chief Strategy Officer(pascal.beucler@mslgroup.com)Janelle Dixon,North America Head of Insights(janelle.dixon@mslgroup.com)Dominic Payling,Europe Head of Insights(dominic.payling@mslgroup.com)Gaurav Mishra,Asia Head of Insights(gaurav.mishra@mslgroup.com)