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  • Game Change

    When researchers first began to explore how people could become so utterly immersed in virtualworld computer games, they were mystified. How is it that people put more effort into these games than they put into their day jobs and personal relationships? Why, when they’re playing, are they content to work so hard for so long without pay?

    Were these gamers, having misspent their youth in darkened rooms, now just wired differently? Were we seeing the evolution of a Millennial step-change in human psychology?

    The insights emerging from this research have profound implications, not just for the world of work, but for aspects of a nascent “engagement economy.”

    And notions of “gamification” – the implementation of highly engaging game mechanics, loyalty programmes and behavioural economics, to drive user engagement – lie at the very heart of the matter.

    As we build a new digital economy, it’s almost inevitable that we’ll all have more leisure time – and “gamified” platforms will help us use that time beneficially.

    Game Change explores some of the truly revolutionary initiatives we’ve seen in this field. It unpicks the compelling mechanisms in play and offers insights on putting theory into practice.

    So, game on.

  • Overthrow: 10 ways to tell a challenger story (published in 2012)

    Anyone interested in challengers is interested in compression: how do you make a story utterly compelling in a very short space of time? And one of the reasons that the concept of the ‘challenger brand’ has caught on, you might argue, is that it itself does just that: within just two words you surely have all the ingredients of an engaging story – conflict, a protagonist and an adversary, an anticipation of a future event whose outcome is uncertain, the new order looking to overthrow the establishment. It’s all there.
    Except that it isn’t. Not really. Because for all that people talk about challenger brands more than they ever did, all too often it is a clich├ęd and superficial view that persists in what that challenger narrative actually is: either ‘little brand explicitly calling out big brand’ (think Avis or Ryanair) or ‘turn every category rule on its head’ (think the young Red Bull or Grameen Bank).
    But if we look at a new generation of challengers from the last ten years, do they really all fall into one of those two different approaches? Al Jazeera, for example, or Airbnb. Audi, kulula, Zappos, and One Laptop Per Child – there’s a range of challenger narratives out there, each being powerfully told. But they’re not as simplistic as ‘David vs Goliath’.
    It’s time to learn from this new challenger generation, and put on the table a more evolved model of what it means to be a challenger. So what if we were to group all the different challengers from the last ten years into the ten most common challenger approaches they represent? What if we were to identify for each of them what, not whom, they were challenging, and how they were doing it? What if we interviewed ten shining examples to get an insight on what it really meant to live in that narrative? What if we could unpack the media implications for each?

    Good idea, we thought. Let's do it.

    This book is available to buy on Amazon.

  • 2016: Beyond the Horizon (published in 2011)

    "PHD details how a social approach to technology will drastically alter institutions from
    government to gaming, from media to marketing," says Facebook’s David Fischer

    Over the last five years we have seen the most dramatic changes to the world of communications, which has led to changes to the very fabric of society.

    Right now, one in every two people within the developed world is connected-up through social networks, with an increasing amount accessing via the mobile. This is resulting in a quickening in the speed at which information, and therefore influence, is moving.

    And with this, it is changing the actual physics of how marketing works. And this rate of change is accelerating. The biggest driver of this accelerating change is technology, which in turn is driven by us.

    This book explores what is actually driving us and therefore what is driving technological development.
    This paradigm is then used to predict what sort of technological developments we should expect to see in the next five years across the three areas of infrastructure, interface and internet.

    The book explores the likely developments within areas such as connected TVs, markerless augmented reality, enhanced voice-recognition, Natural User Interface (NUI) and NFC (Near Field Communication).

    From this the book paints a picture of society and the marketing and advertising industry in 2016.

  • 2014: PHD on the future of the media agency (Published in 2009)

    Welcome to the future. 2014 is our point of view on what the future will look like for media agencies. Our industry is experiencing a period of amazing change, and the pace of this change is likely to increase dramatically over the next five years. The primary driver of this evolution is technology, and the effect it has on communication opportunities. We have arrived at many of our predictions by analysing how technology is likely to change over the next five years and how this will affect the media landscape. Technology that “blurs” traditional boundaries will be most influential. We have identified five “blurs”: TV and online; mobile phones and the PC; entertainment and advertising; the consumer and publisher; and online and real experiences. For each of these we explain how the merging of these traditional boundaries will affect how a media agency operates. Download PDF

  • Fluid: Harnessing the Rising Speed of Influence (Published in 2010)

    This book focuses on how the media landscape is changing and how it affects marketers. Throughout the book we look at and analyse the breaking down of social barriers and the implications of this, we identify and explain the most important barriers that are being pushed aside and show how it is the speed at which information moves & influences opinion and behaviour that is resulting in the most change. We talk candidly about how marketers and agencies have to adapt to react most effectively to the new Fluid world and how we believe brands should tackle these challenges.

    Click here to launch Fluid in a new page. You will need Flash Player to view the document.