Friday, 30 May 2008

Getting Remembered : Leveraging “Thermals”

A thermal is a rising column of hot air, that birds use to get higher up in the sky, harnessing nature's processes to get to their destination.

In today's information overload environment, I argue that leveraging hot trends/ activities/ events (societal "thermals") is critical to getting noticed and remembered.

An interesting example- the movie version of "Sex and the City" is being launched this week. Best-buy's electronic repair division- Geek squad, has identified that many men (brothers, boyfriends, office colleagues) are going to be "skewered" into seeing the film despite not being too interested.

So the geeks of Geek Squad have come up with this movie-theatre promotion, running in select movie theatres, to hand out "creative excuses" to get them out of this movie ( also handing out alongside- coupons entitling you to discounts on best-buy games/ gadgets/ etc that go along with that profile)

Interesting- gets noticed, and leverages a "big event" in a very interesting kind of way- our way to mimic how nature's thermals are leveraged.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

GTA IV- Leveraging Gaming!

Last week, I am sure the news would have hit you- the biggest grosser of them all has been Grand Theft Auto IV. This game grossed $310 MM on Day 1 alone and $500 Million in Week 1. This translates to over 6 Million copies of the game sold in the first week of launch (about $ 60 in the US/ £45 in the UK).

To put this into perspective the highest- opening day grossers in the film industry have been ( Spider-Man-3 ($ 60 MM); Pirates of the Caribbean- Dead Man's Chest ($56MM); Starwars- Episode III- Revenge of the Sith ($51MM) data available in this link ). By the way, the second biggest grosser across all entertainment categories was also a Game, Halo3.

So what? Well, Gaming is interactive, extremely involving, has a fanatic fan base, and is massively big, and people are willing to spend big money on this. And if you have been on either of the consoles' online part (millions congregate to play with each other in multiplayer mode such as the Xbox Live) which is very engaged and very communicative ( there are headsets, messenger sets etc that you can communicate with whilst playing), you can clearly see that there are entire communities that are hangin' out together. Not too many other channels have the combination of interest, buying power, energy , community and sheer stickiness… The gaming companies are big into this revenue by the way- buying the game is only part 1, you tend to get a lot of revenue thro upgrades, thro enhancements (physical and virtual) etc

So, what are the options?

  • The obvious one is to look at delivering messages thro Game based strategies- move over boring old brochures and leaflets, think games/ think interactive ways of delivering messages
  • The less obvious one is to look at gaming communities as a way to proliferate messages and awareness, particularly for products and services that these folks consume, or have influence power around.
  • The least obvious one is to see how gaming changes the context of social networking and see how these two trends can be brought together to create influence, which I would suspect will be work in progress for awhile (the Wii is credited with bringing a whole lot of folks into the "gaming" habit, and both Xbox 360 and the PS3 are doing a truckload of recruiting new gamers into the mix, and everyone is going online)
  • And perhaps I am sticking my neck out, it is not beyond the realms of comprehension for one to consider entire business models built around specific gaming communities…

What this has made me do is to get myself a game console (I got an Xbox 360 a few months ago) ,games , go online, play and absorb. For now, I am focused on building my gaming points and doing a lot of downloading… and yeah, I keep getting massacred in 5 seconds of entering any multiplay game-but I persevere on… and yes, you should try it too…