Prom Week is now available on Facebook

I’ve blogged about the game Prom Week a few times before because the idea of making social interactions into a playable experience is a revolutionary idea. Especially when thinking about interactive storytelling and what that means for marketing in a post linear world.

Anyways, it’s now available to play on Facebook. 

Delve into all the adolescent angst, drama, and scheming of the week before a high school prom in this online game, which uses a sophisticated artificial intelligence system to enable players to shape the social lives of 18 hapless high school students. Find dates for them, break up and make up, forge new friendships, make enemies — it’s up to you to determine whether the Prom will be a magical wonderland of disco ball lights or a nightmare of existential crises!

Play it now!!!

Advertising through avatar-manipulation

Advertising through avatar-manipulation | Mind Hacks:

We’ve demonstrated that if a participant sees his avatar wearing a certain brand of clothing, he is more likely to recall and prefer that brand. In other words, if one observes his avatar as a product endorser (the ultimate form of targeted advertising), he is more likely to embrace the product. There is a fairly large literature in psychology on the “self-referencing” effect, which demonstrates that messages that connect with the receiver?s identity tend to be more effective than generic messages (e.g. Rogers et al., 1977)

I ran into this after following a trail of hyperlinks the other day. Interesting to think that we’ve not been equpped by evolution to handle seeing ourselves, as we evolved without mirrors or photos. 

Though I wonder if this avatar effect is more or less the same thing as seeing an aspirational character as a product endorser.  

Authenticity in Entertainment

A few years back there was heavy discourse amongst advertising strategy blogging types about the importance of authenticity when it comes to brands. I bought it for the most part, but in order to do so I’ve had to continually rationalize why authenticity would be so important to get people to buy into brands in a time when mainstream entertainment is increasingly so inauthentic. Manufactured. Crafted from focus groups. Even reality TV is full of (sh)it. 

Which is why I’m so glad I sat down and watched the Grammy’s for the first time in who knows how many years. It was cathartic for me to see Foo Fighters win with an album recorded in analog in Dave’s garage, and how great was it to watch Adele sweep the whole show? It doesn’t get much more authentic than that. Her music, her voice, was the show. No need for choreography and explosions and whatever it was that Niki Minaj did. 

Just talent and simplicity. 

Though that might just make me old and out of touch with the world. 


YouTube killed the Superbowl Star

There’s been a lot of talk about the disappointing showing of this year’s Superbowl Ads. As Dr. Boches opined:

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t run into anyone in the advertising or marketing business who wasn’t hugely disappointed with the commercials that ran last Sunday. It made all of advertising seem tired, old and in need of a serious makeover.

There’s no doubt that there are multiple factors at work here. But I have a theory about what one of them might be.

The Big Game used to be our only outlet for over the top, sensational videos … the things that have defined a traditionally great Superbowl spot. Then came YouTube and it’s millions of videos featuring people doing extraordinary things, mindblowing things, bizarre Japanese game show things and cats flushing toilets. Everyday. All year. Without the constraints that come along with airing something on television. Once someone has seen Two Girls and a Cup (do not Google this…not safe for consumption by anyone), putting monkeys in a business suit is going to seem a little less exciting.  

I think The Dude said it best when he asked: How ya gonna keep them down on the farm once they’ve seen Karl Hungus?