Edelman DERT Trend Report - Aug '11


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The August edition of the DERT (Digital Entertainment, Rights & Technology) team's trend report, giving a snapshot of the hottest consumer, technology, brand and entertainment trends.

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Edelman DERT Trend Report - Aug '11

  2. 2. Once upon a time, playing a game was a social experience in its simplest form. Then technology got in the way so you didn’t necessarily need your friends there too. Fast forward a bit and ‘social gaming’ is the buzz-phrase of choice. But is social gaming actually very social? In many cases no, the games just might live on a social network. Things are about to come full circle again though with a new generation of games.<br />The Sims Social is a soon to be launched Facebook version of the 100m selling game that lets players bring their Facebook friends into the gameplay. So where other ‘social games’ may let players share updates and content, Sims Social will leverage online relationships as part of the gaming experience. Marrying the ‘social’ with gaming brings exciting opportunities; it also could bring a potential minefield of social faux pas as you bring your online friends into your virtual world.<br />THEEXPERIENCE<br />Meanwhile Flickr is beta-testing a new multiplayer social game, Glitch. Set in the minds of giants in a surreal world and tied directly into Facebook, friends work together to ‘solve the mystery of their environment’. The trend for social gaming is about to get a whole lot more sociable. <br />
  3. 3. Using social media for social good is on the rise. In the last week we have seen how hashtags on Twitter have been used to organise clean ups across London following the rioting. On Facebook, groups sprung up immediately to show support for communities and the emergency services. The organisation of large groups of people through twitter is nothing new, however the impact was more obvious than before. The resulting action by members of the public went as far to make the front page of the New York Post. <br />Twestival is one of the original uses of social media for social good, connecting communities offline on a single day to highlight a great cause and have a fun event. Since 2009, volunteers have raised $1.75 million for over 275 nonprofits. <br />THEBEHAVIOUR<br />Currently in Beta testing, Blue Dot is another example of social media “doing good”. A citizen owned social currency, Blue Dot is a way of thanking people for their time, effort and money given to help others. In essence, you do something good (a donation or spending time with a charity) and you receive virtual blue dot which you can redeem for movies, books, games, virtual goods and money off vouchers to use for yourself. <br />
  4. 4. When it comes to brand extensions, for every Pirates of the Caribbean (which started life as a theme park ride), there’s a long list of failures. But a successful ‘extension’ across formats or platforms can be a powerful thing.<br />So although the term ‘transmedia storytelling’ has been around since ‘03, it’s now that we’re starting to see the real examples of this as the true evolution of the brand extension. <br />From the sublime: Pottermore.com is a creative community for Harry Potter fans, offering a direct relationship to the storyteller & a chance to participate & extend the story. Cleverly, it’s also the only portal for purchasing Potter e-books. <br />THEFRANCHISE<br />To the ridiculous: Having already announced a film, Angry Birds is now embarking on the launch of a cook book & collection of educational books. Taking the brand off on a total tangent that speaks more of extending revenues than narratives. <br />So what makes a successful extension? Narrative & quality. There needs to be a good enough story to extend, & a quality & relevance of product which aligns with the starting point. <br />
  5. 5. SoundCloud is a fast growing platform focused around, you guessed it, sound. For musicians, this enables them to collaborate, promote & distribute their music. Originally based in Stockholm before moving to Berlin, it quickly began to overtake MySpace as the channel of choice for musicians and now has around 5 million users. <br />The platform enables the distribution of music through widgets and apps - users place the widget on their own websites, profile or blog then SoundCloud will tweet when every new track is uploaded. <br />A waveform of the audio file is created which then allows timed comments by other users on specific points of the track or to comment on certain areas of, say, an interview. An iPhone app also allows users to create and upload sounds on the move. Using the API developers can also integrate SoundCloud into ANY application.<br />Giving it further kudos, the platform has a celeb following, Ashton Kutcher(he uploads poems) not only uses it but has invested in the site while Moby, the Arctic Monkeys and John Legend are all fans. <br />THEPLATFORM<br />
  6. 6. ‘Liking’ a brand on Facebook is one thing, but what’s now becoming important is that you actually like them beyond that gesture. And so comes the term Likeonomics. <br />Rohit Bhargavais the inventor of the term and Professor of Global Marketing at Georgetown University. He states: “We all want to do business with people we like and choose products that we have a personal affinity with.”<br />There are numerous facets to the theory of Likenomics but in essence it’s about brands going beyond good products or services and into the realms of brand personality. A topical example would be M&S, offering up sandwiches to those helping clean up after the London riots – a simple gesture but one which warms the heart. <br />THEFEELING<br />Lush is perhaps one of the original brands to get this, sticking strongly to its ethical stance to make it a very likeable proposition. <br />It can range from a big global gesture to a local restaurant donating money to charity if you choose a specific dish. Such examples show how people develop actual fondness for a brand, beyond clicking a 'like' button on Facebook. Although the power of popularity in the world of social media can't be ignored, developing an actual emotional connection with a brand can mean much more.<br />
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