The Warc Blog

Pokémon GO shows where gamification is going wrong

Posted by: Guest blog

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This guest post is written by Timo Tuominen, senior software consultant at digital innovation consultancy Futurice.

Sectors ranging from banking to retail are drawing lessons from the success of Pokémon GO, a global media and marketing phenomenon. Closer to home, this location-based, augmented reality mobile game provides four clear learnings for the burgeoning gamification app and pure gaming sectors.

26 July 2016, 17:02
The Next Rembrandt

Posted by: Joseph Clift, Product Manager, Warc

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It's one of the most-awarded - and most talked-about - campaigns of this year's Cannes Lions. 'The Next Rembrandt', a project for Dutch bank ING from JWT Amsterdam, used a great insight, machine learning and 3D printing to make an all-new painting from the 17th century old master, Rembrandt van Rijn.

And the work picked up two Grands Prix at the Palais des Festivals last month.

21 July 2016, 17:17
The science of using science - IJMR Editor's blog

Posted by: Peter Mouncey, Editor-In-Chief, IJMR

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This is the title of a new discussion paper recently published by The Alliance for Useful Evidence. The principle underlying the paper is that simply providing access to evidence does not mean that it will be used.

Think of all the hundreds of scientific journals regularly publishing peer reviewed papers, plus other sources of quality research, all clamouring for attention. How do authors create the optimum conditions for their piece of evidence to be included on a shortlist that is being complied either by other researchers, policy makers or anyone seeking to ensure that they can produce a cogently argued, evidence-based input to improve the quality of a decision?

21 July 2016, 11:05
Point of view: Stop problem solving

Posted by: Gareth Kay, Co-founder, Chapter

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We take great pride as an industry in our ability to solve problems. It's how we tend to frame our capabilities to clients. It's how we describe what we do to our non-industry friends. It's how we award (and reward) ourselves across strategy and creative awards.

Yet, when you think about it, problem solving is a horrible way to think about what any of us do. It is reactive. It firmly places us in a pigeonhole as a contractor, with all the issues of commoditisation of which we are too well aware. It limits our influence and potential in the world and in our clients' organisations. It focuses on our superpower of distillation rather than our other, arguably more valuable, superpower: the commercial value we create through expansive, imaginative thinking that can lead not just to more effective solutions but to new opportunities for our clients. We need to stop taking briefs at face value. Far too often we accept the same old briefs - raise awareness, change perception, etc. - at face value. We solve the same problems - problems that far too often have far too little potential impact on the real commercial problem. The first job to be done on any assignment is to look for the best problem to solve. I'd argue that our value truly lies in being problem finders, not problem solvers. So, how do we get better at problem finding?

21 July 2016, 09:41
Blood, sweat and brands

Posted by: Guest blog

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This guest post is written by Maria Vardy, Brand Comms MD at Jaywing

Successful brands are harder working brands

19 July 2016, 15:45
Emotion, Metaphor and Brexit

Posted by: David Penn, Managing Director, Conquest

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"Avoid politics and religion" is normally good advice when talking to clients or colleagues, but in the fall-out from the EU referendum, I feel impelled to break that rule. Yet, despite a rash of resignations and three party leadership contests, it's not the political effect that most interests me; it's actually the impact on our culture and values.

I've written extensively about the importance of emotion in both marketing and political campaigning, and one obvious conclusion about the Brexit victory is that, once again, emotion came up trumps. Much has been made of the (emotional) negativity of Remain's 'Project Fear' strategy, but less of the emotional appeal of the Leave campaign – built largely around Nigel Farage's rallying cry, "We want our country back".

18 July 2016, 14:34
Social Prize shortlist: HSBC, Halifax, Emirates NBD, and Mastercard

Posted by: Lucy Aitken, Case Study Editor, Warc

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Four out of the 30 shortlisted papers for this year's Warc Prize for Social Strategy were from financial services brands. For a sector renowned for uninspiring advertising, that's a pretty good result. Perhaps what's more surprising is that the four campaigns could not be more different, incorporating an insight-driven database, a content-rich campaign designed to simplify finance, a push for student accounts and a nudge to get thinking about your retirement years.

HSBC's 'The People You Will Meet At Uni WIll Shape Your Life', through We Are Social in London, targeted new undergraduates with a novel approach. It didn't involve a free railcard (the incentive offered by rival Santander) or more money on their overdraft or a good old-fashioned cash incentive (always welcome). Instead, it focused on the more emotional aspects of being a student, the fact that those years will pave the way for your adult life, not just in terms of what you study but in terms of your friends and peers the influence they will wield. While we were talking through the papers the other day, one judge mentioned he was involved with fundraising efforts at an American university and said: 'This tapped into a very powerful theme. I know how many people would say that their time at university changed their lives.' Business-wise, a different judge commented on how it 'pushed people down the funnel with different executions', while another saw potential as a long-term positioning for HSBC in trying to win favour with a student crowd. And if a bank manages to hook in an undergraduate, that's a huge win in the long-term, potentially leading to higher value transactions like mortgages and pensions.

11 July 2016, 16:51
Looking back at Ernest Dichter

Posted by: Malcolm White, Co-founder, Krow Communications

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If I were to suggest that almost every conversation you have about brands is influenced by the thinking of a Viennese psychologist, you'd probably think I was talking about Sigmund Freud. You'd be almost right, but not quite. Actually, I'm referring to the man who was sometimes known as the 'Sigmund Freud of the supermarket age' - a certain Ernest Dichter.

Ernest Dichter was one of the many extraordinary individuals who escaped Nazi Germany and went on to change postwar culture. Arriving in America in 1938, Dichter became part of what was known as the Motivation Research movement, which flourished in the 1940s and 1950s. The research techniques Dichter pioneered, and we are so familiar with today - including focus groups and depths - were developed to understand why people were attracted to certain products and lifestyle choices.

07 July 2016, 15:36

Posted by: Sam Peña-Taylor, Editorial Assistant, Warc

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Welsh people don't often get much to cheer about. And yet we do - often. It's a small country, but a noisy one.

When it comes to football, there has been precious little to shout about since 1958, when a certain Pelé put a hole in our hopes in the knockout stage. Prior to that, the team's campaign had been consistent, though far from glorious. Three low-scoring draws resulted in a play-off against Hungary, fresh from thrashing Mexico 4-0 just two days earlier. A narrow victory saw us through, but not for long.

06 July 2016, 15:39
Distinctiveness - a sinister advantage for brands

Posted by: Richard Shotton, Deputy Head of Evidence, Manning Gottlieb OMD

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After England's early exit from the Euros, patriotic sports fans have turned their attention to Wimbledon. Britain still have strong representation in the form of the Murray brothers.

While Andy gets most of the attention, it's actually Jamie who has the higher ranking: currently doubles world number 1. Perhaps part of his strength is due to a natural advantage. He's left-handed.

05 July 2016, 15:03

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