Let the games begin

Have you ever raced to answer a question on Facebook? Ever booked a flight just to keep that little plane in your frequent flyer profile flying? Or perhaps you were one of the many Australian households that collected those mini plastic grocery items?

Guilty? So are we! It’s all part of playing the game, or the gamification of life as it’s become.

People love a little friendly competition, which is why gamification has become a common part of marketing, loyalty programs, employee engagement and many more aspects of modern business.

So what is gamification?

While you might assume that gamification is a recent trend, it was actually stems from the community building and coupon-focused advertising created by 1950s Mad Men Howard Luck Gossage.

Gamification is the act of employing lessons from your favourite games (well, game theory in general) to non-game related endeavours.

Whether you’re seeking to improve productivity in your organisation, increase community engagement or change behaviours, think about how you can apply lessons from your favourite game. Monopoly? Guess Who?

Here are some simple ideas to start playing today:

  1. Ask questions of your social media community and feed their desire to be part of the solution
  2. Introduce a rewards component into your next internal communications campaign
  3. Leave breadcrumbs for readers of your e-newsletter or website to find and collect
  4. Add a little game to your next brainstorming session … it’s the perfect idea generator
  5. Add a quiz to your next communications piece, to engage and test people’s understanding.

Let the fun begin!

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

PS. Even Bill & Melinda love games!

Kyle’s big fat advertising challenge

appleheadphones by ezekiel23
appleheadphones by ezekiel23 source: stock.xchng

Hopefully the executives at Sydney’s 2DayFM have taken down some notes from Jenny Craig about managing their eating habits during a Sandilands-fuelled crisis. They should probably keep them handy in the year ahead.


This week, Jenny (previously known as Jenny Craig) threw the company’s support behind the Kyle & Jackie O Show, then 24 hours later withdrew their sponsorship amid massive public outcry. The brand’s international Facebook page was overwhelmed by comments from Australian contributors.

Let’s face it, someone was always going to make the first move and sponsor the show in the wake of Kyle’s latest outburst, so let’s give Jenny a break. However, it’s still a big issue for the brand, which says they didn’t know how Australians felt about Kyle.

The Jenny sponsorship & un-sponsorship is the latest in a series of debacles facing the infamous Australian radio show. Two years ago, Sandilands said Magda Szubanski, coincidently a former Jenny Craig spokesperson, would lose more weight in a concentration camp. At the time, Kyle was temporarily taken off the air. (Thank god, we all thought!! But alas, it did not last.)

Eighteen months later and Kyle made headlines again when he described a News Limited journalist as a “fat slag” and threatened to hunt her down after she wrote a negative story about his TV show.

Does anyone else see the running theme? Doesn’t it sound like a case of the pot calling the kettle black? Kyle should take a long hard look in the mirror before he opens his mouth again.

In the lead up to Christmas, Holden was among a number of sponsors to pull their advertising from the show. This followed a petition signed by 32,530 people calling for sponsors to drop the show.

Yesterday was the show’s first day back after the summer ratings break. I bet many fingers were crossed hoping people had forgotten the incident and were ready for more of the inane humour, but the folks on Twitter and Facebook were never going to let that happen.

Jenny’s first response was to stay the course and tackle it head on. But within hours it was obvious that this approach wasn’t going to work, and they made the decision to pull the advertising and tell their customers they had listened.

The company released this statement:

“One thing about Jenny Craig is that we listen. We listen, we understand and we make an enormous effort to walk in the shoes of others. We badly misjudged public perception of Kyle Sandilands. We have taken what has been said seriously. Mel B has happily been part of the 2DAY FM Breakfast show for the better part of last year. Our intention was to support our ambassador in her broader media role. We feel sorry we have offended so many people, underestimated the sentiment against Kyle and are clearly upset that we made such a mistake. We have instructed 2DAY FM that our advertising is to be discontinued on the Kyle & Jackie O show, and the rest of their schedule immediately.”

The pull of the Kyle & Jackie O’s large audience was one reason to try and ride out the storm. Part of Jenny’s initial approach was a Twitter hashtag #tellkylewhattyouthink calling for questions and comments to Kyle. A good attempt at turning an issue around, but it failed to gain traction and didn’t give Kyle the opportunity to confess to his sins and move on.

The radio network is continuing to support Kyle, even though it looks like he’s lost the show more than $10m. Can Kyle and Jackie O weather another storm? Will listeners continue to switch stations? Which advertiser will be brave or stupid enough to sponsor the show in the wake of Jenny’s departure?

All of these questions and more will be answered as the year unfolds.


Jack & the c word crew

There’s nothing like Au-stray-li-yah

Tourism Australia launched their new campaign this week to a mixed reaction. Some say the ad shows Australia and its people at their best with a catchy tune, while others argue that it’s embarrassing and bogan with a poorly chosen song. The song itself may come under scrutiny from Disney as the melody bears similarities to the Mickey Mouse Club song. So much for getting an advertisement with longevity if that’s the case.

Tourism ads are more widely criticised than the Olympic uniforms for our sports stars. At the c word, we just wish they would opt for a more simple approach with a classic tune.

The visual images for the current ad are quite beautiful and diverse. However the song… that’s another story. Let’s take the approach that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

Looking back at the 1984 Hoges campaign was a nice little trek down memory lane. What worked about this ad is its simplicity and its star appeal. Remember Paul Hogan was pretty big in the States thanks to Crocodile Dundee. Yes, the language is a little naff but it made me giggle. Do you remember this gem?

It appears organisations like Qantas and even Network Nine (back when they were still the one) do a better job of showcasing Australia without the cringe factor. The Qantas “I Still Call Australia Home” ads are timeless – great song, great visuals, ridiculously simple concept. We all know what they look like so no need for a reminder here.

One ad that stuck in our memories was a 1999 Network Nine promotion using Gangajang’s “Sounds of Then (This is Australia)”. The simplicity of the concept and longevity of the song doesn’t really date the clip. Only thing that does is the Nine talent – spot Don Burke, Kerri-Anne and good ole Ray Martin.

What do you think of this one?

Wonder how long the latest campaign will last before they try another? When Tourism Australia does attempt another campaign, please use a classic song. We have great music in this country. Let’s use it.

So what song would you choose to represent Australia?


the c word

M&M’s flips out in 3D ads

With movies like Avatar and Alice in Wonderland giving audiences a 3D experience like never before, it wasn’t going to be long before advertisers followed suit.

TorchMedia has teamed up with Starcom MediaVest to produce a campaign for Mars’ M&M’s called ‘Bare All’. The campaign began late last month and has been rolled out  in Westfield Shopping Centres across NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

The posters have been printed “two-flip” using different images and animation. When you view the poster from one angle, you can see the Red, Yellow, Blue, Green and Orange M&M’s. Yet when you view it from another angle, the M&M’s appear ‘naked’ and you finally see the call to action “Search for the naked M&M’s”. The promotion invites viewers to buy a promotional ‘Bare All’ pack, and find ‘naked’ uncoated M&M’s inside to win $20,000.

Well, we’re tempted to head on down to Southland to check them out, after all we are all fans of Crispy M&M’s in the office. In fact, the c word team are craving M&M’s right now. Doh! *facepalm* Don’t worry though! We’ll be strong and resist.

Have you seen the 3D posters? If so, what do you think of the campaign?

A little gripe we do have is with the website for the campaign. Who is going to wait 90 seconds for the page to load just to view videos (yes, we did time it with our stopwatch but left soon after). C’mon guys – you can do better than that.

Have fun searching for the naked M&M’s.

the c word