Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Crowd Analysis

Web 2.0

The term web 2.0 gained currency after the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2001 (, 2011). According to O’Reilly (2005) many people concluded that the web was overhyped, when in fact bubbles and consequent shakeouts appear to be a common feature of all technological revolutions. However, it was believed that the crash signalled the end of the first phase of the Internet and more exciting stuff was yet to come, they called this new phase web 2.0 (, 2011). Web 2.0 is the term used to describe a variety of web sites and applications that allow anyone to create and share online information or material they have created (, 2008). A key element of web 2.0 is that it allows people to create, share, collaborate and communicate (, 2008). This can be referred to as participatory culture as respected industry scholar Henry Jenkins explains it as a world where everyone participates, where we take media in our own hands and where we have the capacity to produce media (, 2013). From this, a defining feature of participatory culture is the level of social involvement and interaction (Larabie, 2011). Web 2.0 plays an important role in today’s society as it has made it easy for people to create content, publish and communicate their work to the world. There exist a multitude of web 2.0 technologies that facilitate social media and user-generated-content (UGC) (Dooley et al, 2012). Firstly, social media are the web-based discussions between users, which include sharing opinions, experiences and knowledge (Dooley et al, 2012). Secondly, UGC is content created online by a web 2.0 user instead of the traditional journalists and reporters (Khan, 2013). Other categories of web 2.0 technologies are sites such as, blogs, wikis, social networking and file sharing, which allows users to interact, participate, express themselves and build communities online. The phase of web 2.0 has truly turned online users to contributors instead of meagre viewers (, 2010). This increased user interaction and participation gives rise to data that can be converted into collective intelligence (Alag, 2009). This indicates a need to understand what collective intelligence is.

Collective Intelligence

The French philosopher Pierre Levy originally coined the term collective intelligence in 1994 to describe the impact of Internet technologies on the cultural production and consumption of knowledge (Cameron, 2012). Jenkins (2008) defines collective intelligence as “the kind of knowledge and understanding that emerges from large groups of people”. By this definition, collective intelligence has existed for a very long time. Families, companies, countries and armies are all groups of individuals doing things collectively that, at least sometimes, seem intelligent (Malone et al, 2009). Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, Google and Yahoo are all modern day examples of collective intelligence and how large groups of people can work together electronically in remarkably effective ways. According to Tapscott and Williams, in order for collective intelligence to take shape, and thereby drive civilization, a mass collaboration system containing four principles needs to exist (Beer, 2011).

Firstly, there must be openness as in the case of Twitter and Faebook, where people learn about one another and share experiences (Garza, 2010). Secondly, there must be peering where users are free to modify and change documents, as done with Wikipedia (Garza, 2010). Thirdly, there must be sharing of information, which Google and Yahoo have allowed (Garza, 2010). Finally, there must be the ability to act globally where individuals and companies are able to communicate across boarders
(Warren & Finch, 2010). Given the immense global growth of online activity and its increasing importance, few companies can risk not playing in this new channel (Hazan, 2013). The Internet has indeed been an advantage for companies to gather user data to improve their decision-making and successfully divine market desires and create exactly what is needed to satisfy consumers. The industry of collecting, aggregating and brokering personal data is known as database marketing (Marwick, 2014). Database markerketing is a systematic approach to the gathering, consolidating and processing of consumer data that is maintained in a company’s database (Rouse, 2007). This data is being used for companies to learn more about customers activity online, select target markets and deliver more specialised offerings for customers (Rouse, 2007). Understanding the target audience is key to success for companies thus, it is crucial to analyse the collective actions, feedback of people, finding patterns and trends in order to aid understanding and guide actions (Makhija, 2013). Accordingly, companies and change makers are using collective intelligence to analyse opinions, behaviours, identify patterns, trends and recommend actions or inspire change (Makhija, 2013).

Collective Intelligence in Advertising

The Internet’s increasing importance to the advertising industry is its unique role as a gold mine of customer intelligence (
Hazan, 2013). In a short amount of time, the Internet has moved from an occasional tool to one of the principal ways to communicate, enterntain ourselves and do work (Nilsen, 2013). Consumers spend hours every day on the Internet and leaving behind large amounts of information about who they are and what they seek (Hazan, 2013). According to Hazan (2013) consumers daily Internet journey expose their online interest, the content of their communications and the purchases they make. While these consumer actions are similar to what goes on in the “real” world, on the Internet this vast amount of information consumers leave behind can be collected, recorded and analysed (Hazan, 2013). With the collective intelligence aspect of web 2.0 it has become crucial in the field of advertising to gather consumer data as it provides timely, actionable information about customers, allows for better targeting and personalise content successfully (Bruckhaus, 2010). This can be referred to as online behavioural advertising (OBA), which describes a broad set of activities companies engage in to collect information about consumer’s online activity (, n.d). This in turn translates into great opportunities for advertisers as they have the chance to dig into this pool of user-generated content, find relevant information for their products/services, improve their creativity and innovation capabilities and turn it into corporate intelligence to develop their operations or find new ideas to move forward (Steve, 2012). There is no doubt that new technologies, devices and media consumption patterns are altering the trajectory of the advertising industry’s growth and expansion (O’Halloran et al, 2010).

Consumer Engagement and Advertising

The proliferation of platforms, technologies and media channels has given rise to a hyper-connected consumer (Carraway, 2013). The flow of information about a company is almost entirely in the hands of the consumer (Montgomery, 2008). As consumers today have access to a wide variety of outlets for product information, including traditional media and new media (Monga & John, 2008). These outlets have provided firms with new opportunities for advertising companies to promote their products and services, nevertheless it have made it more difficult to restrict negative publicity about their product and services (Monga & John, 2008). For instance, if a company offers a bad quality product or service the likelihood for a consumer to light up with indignation on social networking sites is high, which can result in bad reputation (Montgomery, 2008). However, the smartest companies are embracing this openness and involve the consumer as never before (Montgomery, 2008). McDonald’s new campaign ‘our food, your questions’ is a great example of how a company is involving consumers as never before. The campaign is aimed to encourage customers to have a hones online conversation with McDonald’s through a social platform in order to dispel the myths surrounding its food (Ricki, 2013). The image below represents some of the questions that are being asked and McDonald’s answer every food questions.


McDonald’s is trying to be more transparent by allowing consumers to find out where its food comes from and how it is made (Harris, 2012). Consumers asked everything from calorie counts of certain menu items to why McDonald’s burgers and fries do not rot when left out for a long period of time (Harris, 2012). However, users have to log in with Facebook in order to authenticate the question. The chief marketing officer at McDonald’s stated that “the program exceeded all our expectations and we have learned from customer feedback that this is an important opportunity for us to continue and evolve the dialogue with our customers” (Harris, 2012). The campaign truly reflects how a company effectively use web 2.0 by introducing a social platform where consumers could post their questions about the company’s food (, 2012). In response, users received personalised replies in text, photos and video formats (, 2012). The campaign received an impressive 5,000 questions and over 2 million interactions, with users averaging nearly five minutes engaging with the site, which exceeds the engagement times of Google+ (, 2012). These findings are in agreement with Nayyar’s (2013) findings, which found that when companies collaborate with consumers companies have a greater chance to increase the level of the engagement. In today’s society, advertising agencies have numerous opportunities to engage audiences with rich formats across channels, such as Facebook and Twitter. Grey Poupon a brand of Dijon mustard is another great example of how a brand successfully engaged users by creating a campaign on Facebook called ‘society of good taste’ (, 2014). This society is a private club committed to only have applicants with the most discerning tastes and those whose applications are denied will have their ‘Like’ rescinded (, 2014). The 'society of good taste' campaign can be seen in the video below.

The society of good taste campaign will screen all applicants user profile first to see if they were ‘good enough’ to be fans of the brand (, 2014). Grey Poupon took a more reserved approach, as it was not about the quantity of ‘Likes’ but the quality (, 2014). Those users who want to become a fan of Grey Poupon’s Facebook page will have to apply for membership and users would be scored based on number of friends, check-ins and their use of grammar (, 2014). Access was granted only to the top users who were given exclusive content and rewards. Consequently, those who were not deemed to be worthy has their ‘Likes’ rescinded and were asked to work on improving their profiles before applying again (, 2014). Whether or not people actually care enough about mustard to jump through hoops to ‘Like’ it, it helped to show how creativity can work phenomenal for a campaign and secure Grey Poupon coverage in the likes of the New York Times (, 2014). The brand truly demonstrated the potential there is to be innovative with social media technology. As seen in the examples above it is indeed important for companies to be creative and take advantage of web 2.0 technologies in order to keep its competitive edge and harness consumer data of those who have visited the website to build new and useful advertising strategies. This is evident according to a recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), who found that consumer data is the next frontier for innovation, competitive advantage and productivity (Hemsley, 2014).

Risk and opportunities for collective intelligence

With the growing impact of the Internet there is no doubt that it has been more of an advantage for the advertising industry as it gives them extraordinary power to collect, store and analyse user data. In other words, companies are now able to learn a great deal about web surfers who visit their websites. Using tracking devices known as “cookies”, companies are able to track purchases and gather personal data (, 2014). This vast amount of intelligence is being used to improve targeting efforts at individual consumer or group of consumers (, 2014). However, consumers are increasingly aware that businesses use the growing volume of individual data they leave behind for corporate gain. Thus, a concern about privacy and data security is growing phenomenal (Overby, 2013). Companies are looking at web 2.0 applications for several reasons, one being that social networking sites is an easy way for individuals to share information about themselves (Herold, 2008). However, this information can also expose consumers to privacy issues including spam, data tracking and malware (, 2013). Indeed, it is plausible to argue that it is a marketing strategy to give the consumer what he or she wants thus the consumer is just being targeted because he or she has already shown interest in the product or service. Yet other evidence suggests that there is no privacy statement that the information is used for targeted advertising (Jegatheesan, n.d). According to Jegatheesan (n.d) it is the right of the users to know how the information collected is used and how securely it is handled. In the example of McDonalds and Grey Poupon it seems clear that both companies required users to log into their Facebook account if users wanted to take part in their campaign. This big data of user profiles can be brought together and analysed to discern pattern and make better decisions for future strategies (McGuire, Manyika & Chul, 2012). A recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), shows how is has become economically relevant for companies to gather mass volume of data and use it for insights (McGuire, Manyika & Chul, 2012). Big data can indeed help to build new growth opportunities and completely new categories of companies, such as those that collect and analyse industry data (McGuire, Manyika & Chul, 2012). A vital competency for data-driven companies in the future will be the ability to create compelling value propositions for consumers. Thus, collective intelligence is truly beneficial for the advertising industry as it allows them to understand user behaviour, which can result in a way of providing a better value and user experience for consumers, as the content is more personalised. Consequently, collective intelligence will therefore become a very important part of any web project (, 2013).


Alokparna Basu Monga and Deborah Roedder John. (2008). When does negative brand publicity hurt? The moderating influence of analytic versus holistic thinking. Retrieved from:

Azeem Khan. (2013). User-Generated-Content is here to stay. Retrieved from:

Beer, L. A. (2011). Tracing the roots of globalization and business principles. [New York, N.Y.] (222 East 46th Street, New York, NY 10017): Business Expert Press.

Brad Carraway. (2013). Brands must find meaningful entry points to engage consumers. Retrieved from: (2013). Consumer Privacy Issues. Retrieved from:

Christine Larabie. (2011). Participatory culture and the Hidden Cost of Sharing. Retrieved from: (2013). Henry Jenkins on Participatory Culture and Media Education (Big Thinkers Series). Retrieved from:

Eric Bonabeau. (2009). Decisions 2.0: The power of collective intelligence. Retrieved from:

Eric Hazan. (2013). Leveraging big data to optimize digital marketing. Retrieved from:

Emily O’Halloran et al. (2010). Thinking strategically about the interactive advertising industry. Retrieved from:

George Garza. (2010). Modern Day Examples of Collective Intelligence. Retrieved from: (2014). Privacy and Security Concerns. Retrieved from:

Henry Jenkins. (2008). Sharing notes about collective intelligence. Retrieved from: (2010). Advantages and Disadvantages of Web 2.0 Technologies. Retrieved from: (2012). Speaking of Honesty – Social Chatter Surrounding McDonald’s “our food, your questions” campaign. Retrieved from:

Jennifer Allyson Dooley et al. (2012). Web 2.0 Adoption and User Characteristics. Retrieved from:

Montgomery, G. (2008). Collective Intelligence - Campaign, 19. Retrieved from

Max Nilsen. (2013). These Charts show what we’re not doing because we’re online all the time. Retrieved from:

Margaret Rouse. (2007). Database Marketing. Retrieved from:

Nidhi Makhija. (2013) Collective Intelligence: Ten frontiers for the future of engagement. Retrieved from: (2013). Understanding Collective Intelligence: Are two heads better than one?. Retrieved from:

Rebecca Herold. (2008). Web 2.0 Privacy and Security Considerations. Retrieved from:

Ricki. (2013). Aussies interrogates McDonald’s through ‘our food, your questions’ initiative via DDB Sydney. Retrieved from:

Rebecca Harris. (2012). McDonald’s Canada Launches Integrated Ad Campaign around “Our food, your questions”. Retrieved from:

Sowmyan Jegatheesan. (n.d). Cookies – Invading our privacy for marketing, advertising and security issues. Retreived from: 

Satnam Alag. (2009). Collective Intelligence in Action. Retrieved from:
Steve. (2012). Social Media Collective Intelligence. Retrieved from:

Sarita Nayyar. (2013). Engaging Tomorrows Consumers. Retrieved from:

Steve Hemsley. (2014). Big data: Embracing the elephant in the room. Retrieved from:

Saxon Cameron. (2012). Collective Intelligence in Games: Application and Relevance. Retrieved from:

Susan K. Warren and Tammy Finch. (2010). Is Collective Intelligence the new Age Norm?. Retreved from:

Stephanie Overby. (2013). Its take and give for marketing in todays digital world. Retrieved from:

Thomas W. Malone et al. (2009). Harnessing Crowds: Mapping the Genome of Collective Intelligence. Retrieved from:

Tim O’Reilly. (2005). What is Web 2.0. Retrieved from:

Tilmann Bruckhaus. (2010). Collective Intelligence In Marketing. Retrieved from: (n.d). What is online behavioural advertising?. Retrieved from: (2012). Over 2 million interactions served on “our food your questions”. Retrieved from: (2014).10 more Facebook campaigns to inspire your business. Retrieved from:

Tim McGuire, James Manyika and Michael Chul. (2012). Why big data is the new competitive advantage. Retrieved from: (2008). Wikis, Blogs & Web 2.0 Technology. Retrieved from: (2011). A History Of Web 2.0. Retrieved from:

Friday, 6 April 2012

Week 12 - Digital Divide

Digital Divide

This case study will be focusing on the digital divide and the issues surrounding it both from a global and a social perspective.

The concept of digital divide refers to the gap between those who benefit from digital technology and those who do not (Van Dijk, 2006, p. 1). People who are born in a developed country could never imagine a life without email, Facebook, Twitter, Mac or Internet. However for millions of people technology has never started. According to Rogers (2001) a digital divide exists in the USA and among European nations. The gap has been viewed by comparing The U.S with developing continents such as Latin America, Africa and Asia. Carr (2007) explained the digital divide by saying that wealthy nations are heavily equipped with information and communication technologies, while developing nations are left behind.

According to Benhabrim (2009) the notion has been hard to conduct a framework on as many researchers have developed several definitions and solutions concerning the digital divide. However, the digital divide includes two concepts. The first one includes the gap between developed and industrial countries, second is the divide between access and utilization of ITC across definable groups within a nation
(Catherine Carey, 2008). This case study will focus on both of the concepts and identify solutions, which might contribute, minimizing the digital gap.

The picture bellow shows the information and communication technology penetration around the world

The graph above shows the computer penetration rates are very low in most of the countries in the world. The global divide is an issue in the world today, however the digital gap is not an issue in all parts of the world, but countries such as Middle East, Asia and Africa is highly effected by it. According to Carr (2007) developing nations have the lowest rates of usage, but also the most rapid rates of growth. This hinders developing countries to gain knowledge and access vital information.

The Global divide- a problematic issue to solve

The rapid growth of information technology has indeed, influenced the operation systems within the public sector as technologies introduce convenience in communication methods. Additionally, the Internet is an inimitable form of Information and communication technologies due to its efficiency and expediency. Computers have become more widespread in the industrial world, and not every country in the world has equal access to digital resources and infrastructure (Globalization, 2012).

Scholars have suggested several concepts, which can contribute to solve the unequal lifestyle differences between developing and industrial countries (ICT Diffusion Index, 2005). The issue, is difficult to solve, as Internet connectivity is almost non-existent in several areas of developing countries, and the places where Internet connectivity exists; the service is mediocre compared to the services existing in the industrial world (ICT Diffusion Index, 2005).

The gap leaves developing countries behind, as they are inadequate to gain capital to construct Internet connectivity. Building on this fact, the incompetence of constructing ITC, persist developing countries to compete globally from an economic perspective, enduring their GDP lower than industrial countries. This hinders the population to access information for career development, leaving their living standard and knowledge subordinate than the industrial countries (ICT Diffusion Index, 2005).

Social divide
The gap between the ability of accessing digital information technologies does not only exist across different continents and countries but also within the nations (Globalization, 2012). Furthermore, the divide has been argued excessively as researches do not agree on the growth or decline of the concept (Moorhead, 2004). Building on this, Benhabrim (2009) states that the concept of the digital divide first emerged in the United States due to the differences among users based upon factors such as race, gender and income. Moreover, Benhabrim (2009, p. 13) states that the gap can be explained by technology “haves and have-nots”. It is important to note that even though industrial countries has the opportunity to access information communication technologies, certain groups within a nation do not know how to utilize it (ICT Diffusion Index, 2005). According to Selwyn, Gorard & Williams (2001) it is clear that certain social groups are facing segregation from educational opportunity, as they do not have both the ability and skills to access technology. For example, some researchers such as Van Dijk and Hacker (2003) explain that the digital divide can be based upon elements such as motivation to access ITC, skills and utilization. Therefore, certain policies supports learning programs aiming to provide IT centers at Schools in order to minimize the gap, overcoming the digital divide within a nation (Selwyn, Gorard & Williams, 2001).

Regardless of the disagreement of what factors, contributing to the digital divide in a country, several studies has been conducted. Moreover, most of them include data with factors such as socio-economic status, gender, age, geographic location and Internet access and utilization (Moorhead, 2004). There has been numerous of solutions identified in order to minimize the gap and stabilize the inequalities between technology “haves and haves-nots”. For the developing countries some of the solutions include enhancing business opportunities and economic progress, democracy, access to knowledge, education and digital solidarity; which means that the industrial countries help the developed ones with ITC contributions (Benhabrim, 2009). For the domestic digital divide, solutions such as increasing education structure, changing policies, institutional changes, incorporate reliable wide-band infrastructure throughout the nation and a digitally literate workforce (ICT Diffusion Index, 2005).

To conclude, the digital divide is an issue from both an international and domestic perspective. As solutions have been suggested, some scholars have recognized that the digital gap will continue to grow as people who first adopted technologies, will continue to adopt new ones (Benhabrim, 2009). Furthermore, this is commonly known as the ‘stratification model’, which indicates that the gap will continue to grow due to the diverse diffusion rates, both globally and within a country (Benhabrim, 2009). Furthermore, other scholars developed the ‘Technological dualism principle’, which basically explains that the digital divide has existed since the industrial age (Benhabrim, 2009). This principle indicates that the gap between different countries is manifested in the industrial age, as innovation has always existed in industrial countries. Therefore, these countries will continuously be superior compared to the developing countries (Benhabrim, 2009). Regardless of the different theories developed based upon the notion of the digital divide, the gap exists and the issue is hard to solve. The gap growing excessively as technology and ITC is developed and adopted in a rapid pace.


Benhabrim, A. (2009). Reconsidering the Digital Divide: A look at technology innovation in Developing countries. iSChannel. (4), 1. Pp 12-15.

Catherine Carey. ”Economics of selling online”, November 1, 2008, Retrieved from:

Deborah, C.  (2007, July). the global digital divide. Contexts, 6(3), 58.  Retrieved April 1, 2012, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1311120731).

 Everett M. Rogers (2001), Digital Divide,
Convergence, p. 1, DOI: 10.1177/135485650100700406

Jan A.G.M. van Dijk, (2006), Digital divide research, achievements and shortcomings, p. 1.

Moorhead, P. (2004). A Profile of the Digital Divide. Retrieved from:

Selwyn, N., Gorard, S & Williams, S. (2001). Digital Divide or Digital Opportunity? The role of technology in overcoming social exclusion in the U.S Education. Corwin Press Inc. (15) 2 pp. 258- 277.

The Digital Divide Report (2005). ICT Diffusion Index. United Nations Net York and Geneva 2006.

The Global Digital Divide (2012). Retrieved from:

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Week 10

Media richness and Gamification

Convergence of technological devices has made an impact on traditional media channels as they only allow individuals to consume it passively. On the contrary, convergence of technological devices enriches traditional media channels, which has made it possible for individuals to consume media channels through interactivity. Additionally, rich media allows the marketing and advertising industry to communicate information virtually, resulting in direct product experience (Klein, R. L. 2001).

Communicating a message through ‘rich’ media

As media platforms are developing, individuals can choose different platforms in order to convey and communicate messages. Moreover, the question is which channel should be utilized in order to communicate a specific message? Dennis & Valacich (1999) answered this question with the ‘Media Richness theory’. The theory explains how certain media channels are superior transmitting information. As complex information might be open to several interpretations misleading consumers, richer media is preferred to utilize in order to convey a complex message (Dennis & Valacich, 1991). Furthermore, utilizing richer medium reduces uncertainty and misinterpretation of the conveyed information.

A good example of how rich medium can be utilized is in advertising. The luxury brand Chanel created an interactive online advertisement where the message is delivered through an engaging flash banner.

This video exhibits how convergence of technological devices has developed new trends in the marketing and advertising industry which is relevant in today’s society in order to attract consumers. According to Hallowell (1996) customer relationships is an important factor to the marketing and advertising industry as it build customer loyalty and results in profitability. Furthermore, as brand loyalty and the purchase decision have gone through an evolution, many marketing and advertising agencies has incorporated new strategies, adopting technological trends in order to meet new generation consumers (The Amma Group, 2008). As today’s generation is savvy and sceptical to passive advertisement, which is broadcasted to them, engagement is a key factor in order to attract an audience (The Amma Group, 2008).  Not only do consumers seek engagement, but also expect it due to technology (The Amma Group, 2008). The notion of technology, Internet and consumer engagement leads to another concept, which the advertisement and marketing industry has adopted. 

incorporates the mechanics of gaming to non-gaming activities in order to engage consumers to participate in some activity, content, campaign and community (Bunchball, 2010). Gamification can be integrated in marketing and advertising campaigns and communities online as they allow individuals to engage and participate with the brand or product. Furthermore, gamification creates an engaging user experience, establishing long lasting relationships (Bunchball, 2010). As long lasting relationships are substantial for the advertising and marketing industry, several agencies has incorporated gamification as a form for strategy in order to attract a superior audience.
As gamification can drive virtually several forms of participation, the concept of ‘virtuality’ is significant to explain. Flew (2008) explains virtuality as a feature of new media which facilitates computer-mediated communication (CMC) which is dispersed in time and space and can be used as a communication tool, globally. Consumers utilize multiple channels in order to communicate with other individuals; some of these channels are found in virtual space. These communication platforms are called virtual communities such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter and Second Life.

As gamification can take place in virtual space (Bunchball, 2010) listed several ways individuals can participate online: watching videos, creating content, sharing personal information, viewing photos, rating products, voting on content, taking quizzes and opting into email communication. Moreover, the result of gamification in virtual space has impacted the marketing and advertising industry as new opportunities to engage consumers has occurred.

Marketers and advertisers reach out their message in order to reach a specific target market based on demographics (The Amma Group, 2008). By incorporating technology and gamification online, agencies can select different mediums that are ‘richer’ than others in order to engage directly with consumers in virtual space.
Gamification through Iphone Applications
As IPhone is an significant tool to utilize for marketer and advertisers Starbucks decided to create an application for IPhone where customers can view their balance on the Starbucks card and track down the rewards by points through the IPhone. The video below demonstrates how the IPhone application can be utilized, engaging customers to activate purchase with rewards.

As a result of gamification, businesses can take control over the brand experience through interactive media channels, encouraging participation and sharing with friends (Bunchball, 2010). Furthermore, online activity can lead to product discovery, followed by continual engagement and interface to build brand relationships with the customer (The Amma Group, 2008).

To conclude, it is obvious that technological convergence had lead to a participative culture, which means that individuals are actively involved in activities online, creating and sharing content (Jenkins et al.,2009) As individuals has incorporated The World Wide Web as a part of a lifestyle, marketers and advertisers has to keep up with the market trends in order to sustain competitive advantage, increasing profits (Bunchball, 2010). Moreover, gamification borrows game mechanics, contributing to addictive user experiences. The game mechanics applied, satisfies human needs and wants. Bunchball (2010) made a figure, which explains how gamification mechanics gratify human needs and desires.

The goal of gamification is to engage with consumers and actively encourage them to participate (Bunchball, 2010). As this goal is relevant for the marketing and advertising industry, gamification should be incorporated in order to enhance brand, product or service.


Dennis R, A & Valacich, S,J. (1999). Rethinking Media Richness: Towards a theory of media Synchronicity. Hawaii International Conference of System Science.
Gamification 101: An Introduction to Use of Game Dynamics To Influence Behaviour (2010). BunchBall Inc.

Hallowell, R. (1996). The Relationships of satisfaction, customer loyalty and profitability: an empirical study. Harvard Business School. Boston, MA, USA.

Intergrated Lifestyle Marketing & Consumer Engagement. Sniper Marketing. The Amma Group. 2008).

Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, J, A., & Weigel, A. (2009). Confronting The Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21th Century. Building the Field of Digital Media and Learning.

Klein R, L. (2001). Creating Virtual Experiences In Computer Mediated Environments. Rice University. Houston, Texas.

Pasternack, T. (2010). Rich Media Ads. Adobe Developer Connection.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Week 6 - Transmedia Storytelling

Transmedia Storytelling

“The Shortest Distance Between Two People Is a Story” (Jeff Gomez, 2011, para 1).

The concept of Transmedia storytelling can be seen as a fictional property. There are several ways to describe this concept. Because the concept was introduced by Henry Jenkins (2003) his definition is highly relevant (Scolari, 2009). Jenkins described Transmedia as ”a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple deliver channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience” (Jenkins, 2010, para 2). Similarly, it can be described as a process where specific information of a story spreads over a range of different media platforms where distinctive elements emerge in multiple places. In a basic way, transmedia storytelling is a narrative story that develops throughout different forms of media such as cinema, television, video games and comic books (Scolari, 2009). Each medium contributes and enriches the story in different ways.
The picture below illustrates a mind map of transmedia storytelling. 

“A Successful story is told in a deep, rich, fictional world that has defined the past, present, and the future” (Gomez, 2012, para 12).

The Harry Potter novels written by the Author J.K Rowling is a successful example of transmedia storytelling (Scolari, 2009). The story takes place in a world of wizards where Harry Potter and his friends fight the evil powers of the dark wizard Lord Voldemort (Grandpre, 2007). Jenkins (2007) clarifies that a transmedia story is based upon the fictional world, rather than the characters. Furthermore, in order to franchise the story into different media sectors, the franchise entry has to be “self-contained” to establish an independent utilization (Jenkins, 2007, para 10). Therefore, if the origin of the story was introduced as a novel and franchises into a movie, the movie has to introduce significant information of the novel for consumers to comprehend the movie without reading the novel in order to engage in the universe (Scolari, 2009).

Harry Potter has become successful in transmedia storytelling due to the narrative universe, which has franchised throughout seven novels, seven fiction films, several video games, e- books and a web page called ‘Pottermore’ (Usagi, 2011). This makes it possible for consumers to stream different media channels to gain information in order to enrich their understanding of the Harry Potter universe. This is what Jenkins (2007, para 3) explains as the “process of world-building”. Consumers and writers are interested in the possible knowledge out there, which can expand their understanding of a specific universe (Jenkins, 2007). There is not one medium, which consumers can utilize in order to obtain all the information needed to grasp the universe of Harry Potter (Jenkins, 2007).

The narrative novels of Harry Potter expanded successfully throughout media channels and merchandise, which has established several ways for multiple audience segments to enter the universe of Harry Potter (Jenkins, 2007). The video below presents a diverse range of brand extensions of the Harry Potter universe and an extreme example of how consumers can engage with the universe through various media channels and merchandise.

Transmedia and business opportunities
There is indeed a link between new technology, transmedia storytelling and new business opportunities in the media market, as consumers learn how to comprehend the flow of stories and become more encouraged to search for information from multiple media sources to gain more knowledge about the fictional worlds (Scolari, 2009). There are several benefits of transmedia storytelling. Scolari (2009) explains how companies in different business sectors can exploit their intellectual properties through different channels, which increases the financial aspects of the brand or the specific property. In the marketing world, media platforms can promote the story around a specific brand or product (Thompson, 2010). As a result, marketers can create an emotional connection and long-term engagement with the consumers by building the existing stories around a brand or product (Thompson, 2010).

“Everywhere we look, stories are breaking the limits imposed by print and film and video.” (JWT, 2011, p.5)

To conclude, content is turning transmedia therefore, companies in relevant industries such as the entertainment industry should take advantage of different media channels. Transmedia has provided growth in the integrated marketing sector where the goal is to utilize different channels to communicate different things and at the same time maintain the brand community in focus (JWT, 2011). The web has cultivated an active culture among consumers and fans, which makes the Web an important resource for the business industry. Transmedia involves components which actively engage consumers and audiences in the story (JWT, 2011). A good example of this is how Droga5 marketed the autobiography of the rapper and music producer “Jay- Z” (Hartman, 2011). The marketing campaign for the autobiography “Decoded” turned into a treasure hunt (Hartman, 2011). The book was written in order for the fans to decode eleven of Jay-Z’s songs to reveal details about the rappers personal life (Hartman, 2011).
The picture below is one of the advertising ventures by bing.  

The campaign utilized several media channels such as social media platforms, iPhone applications and billboards and in order to tell a story and at the same time, involve consumers and fans (Hartman, 2011). In addition to this, the audience could win two tickets to watch a Jay-Z concert anywhere in the world. The video below presents how the story of Jay-Z was distributed over several media channels. It is clearl that lines between the offline and online media platforms are blurring, as consumers make no difference between them (JWT, 2011).


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