I am excited to kick off Friday’s Fresh Meat after a short hiatus..
Yesterday we travelled to Oxford University to follow a dialogue between Prof Richard Dawkins and The Archbishop of Canterbury which was quite interesting. At times the conversation actually become a dialogue, as promised, instead of the speakers simply pushing their own messages. The event on “The nature of human beings and the question of their ultimate origin” was structured around four main topics; “The origin of human beings”, “The origin of the human species”, “The origin of life” and “The origin of the universe”. Because of this the 1.5h did not feel even nearly long enough, and many times the speakers had to move on to a different theme as soon as the conversation got interesting. The Archbishop did well I thought, injecting some surprising humour into his addresses; when Dawkins stated that the Pope took a more literal interpretation to the origin of the human species, The Archbishop said “I’ll ask him sometime”, again causing laughter. Dawkins’ statement and self definition as a 6.9 agnostic (on a scale of 1-7) caused stir in the audience, and now in the press. All and all they were quite diplomatic, and I wish they had conversed for longer, even if many of the philosophy and physics terms and concepts were sometimes completely over my head. The Telegraph reported on the dialogue today with the headline: “Richard Dawkins: “I can’t be sure God does not exist” .
The word gamification is enough to make some grown men dry heave; it’s bandied about as a knee jerk answer to ‘how should we bring this to life?’ Just as there shouldn’t always be an app for that, games and engagement strategies need to hit certain markers to have relevance and ring true for a brand.
An internet flame war has erupted over Sebastian Deterding’s strong critique of Gabe Zichermann’s book Gamification by Design in which Deterding accuses Zichermann of peddling cod-science and misrepresenting the fundamentals. Why should we care? Well, Zichermann proclaims himself to be the expert in gamification and his scope of influence is pretty wide, and while Deterding’s argument is overly long, the basics of it are straightforward and pretty important:
John Kearon from the creative research agency Brain Juicer wrote in Issue 28 of Contagious about the importance of advertising making a connection with the System 1 thinking part of our brains (which represents intuitive, unconscious, emotional mental processing, and is separate to the System 2 part – the analytical, cognitive ‘higher order’ thinking), with testing showing that these unthinking emotional connections are stronger and more resonant than their ‘clever thinking’ counterparts.
David Brennan writes in his paper Influence Through Storytelling, “Neuroscience shows how a powerful narrative stimulates emotions, engagement and long-term memory encoding of the message, enabling sub-conscious influence.”
The topic of narrative and storytelling has been central to many discussions in our planning department this week; without a narrative strand running through a campaign and brand strategy, what is there for people to lock onto? Continue Reading →
For the first time ever in depth data on smart phone penetration, usage, behavior, advertising and commerce is available for FREE for EVERYONE. And it’s really fun to use… You can filter the information easily, and create snazzy graphs. Thank you Google!
How many of you will read this post whilst being bored waiting for the bus…