[L/M NET] Tom Fishburne > gamification

(L/M NET: the blogged experience & expertise of some of the best minds in Innovation, Brand Engagement, Communication Agility:



Gamification is the latest shiny new object for marketers. It’s the practice of adding game dynamics into your campaigns in order to drive participation and engagement.

Badges, points, leader boards, and titles like “mayor” are no longer relegated to Foursquare or Farmville. They are popping up everywhere in marketing campaigns, rewarding consumers for all types of desired behavior.

While the promise is high, most marketing applications I’ve seen have been very superficial, as if gameplay can magically make a non-engaging brand engaging. And as if valueless rewards will somehow be perceived as valuable.

Games designer Sebastian Deterding wrote,

“Gamification proponents consider game elements to be a kind of monosodium glutamate you can just add to any interface, application or service to give it a kick, to make it more fun, motivating, and engagement … Games are not fun because they’re games, but when they are well-designed”

Sebastian expanded these insights in a talk at last year’s Playful conference: “Pawned. Gamification and its Discontents”. Before you try to “gamify” your marketing, his presentation is a good primer to read.

(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post. I’ll pick one comment at 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)


(ralf says: Why shouldn't marketers replicate their mistakes from facebook? Why shouldn't they fill new skins with old wine? That is what they always do – instead of broadening their minds and horizons – eg.)

Tom is cartoonist and founder of Marketoonist, helping organizations communicate with cartoons. He draws from 16yrs of marketing, most recently as Marketing VP at method. He speaks about innovation, creativity, and marketing, using cartoons to visualize. @tomfishburne