« The hate of expectation: Why we judge next more harshly than now, and why we need to stop | Main | Get Up's 'It's Time' Ad gets on TV: How grass-roots movements are reversing the broadcast < conversation model »

Wednesday, 23 November 2011



While I'd personally like to see more marketing take on a "lean forward" mentality, I think it's only likely to be effective if used sparingly.

People only have so much time, being the main consideration.

And statements like this:
that games now come with encyclopedias may be news enough for some readers, but the fact that Assassin's Creed does (in fact there's an audio CD and a short movie in the Animus too) bears testament to just how evolved some game worlds now are.
lead me to believe that you've only recently started paying attention to the videogame industry (but hey, maybe this is a bad assumption and we just play different games.) This packaging of extra content with limited or special edition sets is far, far from something that happens "these days" - it's been happening for at least the last 10 years, I'm not that hesitant to say "decades" at this point.

Which I guess is an aside from the main thrust, which is that people simply do not have the time to invest in lean-forward experiences on the same level that they do with lean-back experiences. They're too complex. Watching all the nerd tweets about the recent release of Assassins Creed, Skyrim, and MW3 has been like watching first time investors trying to figure out where to put their nest-egg.

Sure, you'll get greater engagement out of those who do choose to invest their time with you, but the drop-off will be significant, and if you're dependent on getting your message across via immersion then you'll lose a massive chunk of audience and the cost vs effectiveness starts to become a problem.

You're right that there are a lot of pages in the game-making manual that can, and should be applied to engagement design and planning, absolutely right, and not in a lame "we'll just gamify it with badges, k?" kind of way. There's also a lot of unexplored potential in partnering with gaming companies and game IP.

It just feels like you're implying that it should become the new, dominant form of advertising (perhaps I'm misunderstanding), and I'm not sure I agree.

chris stephenson

hey there Tali3sin

first up thanks for the comments - really appreciated...

fortunately I'm not new to gaming - from Wonder Boy through Lara, Galaxy and ICO I've happily gamed my way through the last couple of decades ... I simply wanted to use AC:R Animus Edition to demonstrate the extent to which transmedia theory is now being played out in games

but to the main point, whilst I agree that immersion won't be the solution for every brand in every situation, I do believe that its easier and more effective to craft passive communications from an immersive place, than it is take passive comms to an immersive place.

my point was that the default is all to often passive. we can't add participation or pass-along designs and ambitions in at the end - they have to be 'baked-in' to our strategies and plans from the start.

I wrote a while back about the need for schedules to accommodate the super-users and the passive massive...

I think this is as relevant here. I'm not arguing for consistent and continuous immersive experiences - that would get exhausting for everyone. but I do think we have to make starting from an immersive place the new norm ...

thanks so much again for the feedback and comments - genuinely appreciated

The comments to this entry are closed.

enjoy the ride

  • from scarcity to abundance; more stuff in more places; and rapidly evolving media business and consumption patterns. how much fun is this?

Keep Going

Tools & Further Info

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

Photo Albums