Engagement Currency

We were talking about alternative [read: cheap] ways to build engagement recently. Something tangible, that you can see, feel or hold physically. Like stickers, for example, they’re easy and silly – but what kind? And also, what type of community would they address?

The English definition of ‘currency’ (outside of its obvious monetary connotations) is ‘The fact or quality of being generally accepted or in use‘. Keeping this in mind (and given the universal habit tagging of all things technologically vital and important), laptop stickers could therefore be construed as a currency of the blogging community

If that’s so, then why not make some of those? Good ones mind. Not just your logo on a white background.

Something interesting.
Something better.
Something that will spark a conversation.

A social object, if you will.

This thought process is not new, we used to talk about this kind of community currency back in my SpinVox days: what was it about a certain place or a group of people that would always get them talking and, better yet, what wouldn’t.

A recent video from Heineken was what got me thinking about this again (and what prompted the tweet above, too). Have a look, we’ll regroup on the other side –

Right. Let’s deconstruct this for a second. First off, as I asked the team at 1000heads last week; is this cool?

The general consensus was no, it isn’t. It’s a good video, yes. But using technology for technology’s sake is never a sound strategy for success and alas, that’s exactly what’s going on here.

“Why is this Heineken? Where is their connection?” were other recurring questions. You could argue that the new brand message of ‘open your world’ underpins this whole activity somehow, but you have to look quite hard to see it. And anyway, that much at least is besides the point.

Could this have been done better by taking a closer look at the reality of a festival currency?

Festival currency: what it isn’t

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Before we get into what and what does not work around QR codes, let’s first establish that I genuinely do buy the idea that they act as a conversation starter. That’s great in fact. Any excuse to start talking to a new person at large social events is welcome. Well done.

However, as anyone who’s ever been to a festival will tell you, the genuine currency of the modern day festival-goer is communication. To stay in touch, you need that most precious of camping-based premiums: mobile phone battery life.

There is a whole other blog post to come about how the success of the next generation mobile hardware manufacturer depends on this particular aspect of their devices (and breathe), but that’s not for today. Today is about realising that festival-goers aren’t going to spend precious battery life on QR code snapping, especially when it’s the only thing keeping them connected.

Heineken could learn from Orange here.

Back to those QR codes, hands up who’s got a phone that can scan a QR code out of the box? OK, next question: hands up who’s got a phone that can scan a QR code out of the box that you know about? See what I mean. Shocking.

QR codes are great, but there’s still such a large education piece to be done before anything like this creates any real traction [note: the video proudly points out that 5000 ‘U-Codes’ were printed, not how many were actually scanned].

Taking all of the above into account, it’s clear that the modern day festival goer needs to remain connected, visible and contactable.

Festival currency: what it could be

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Flags. This isn’t my idea, first off. Scroggles planted this particular seed when we were working with MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation a few years back. At a festival, if the currency isn’t anything mobile-related (or at least, related to draining mobile power) what else is there?

FLAGS.

Think about it.

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Print your own message on a [Heineken-branded] flag and suddenly you have something that you can wave to find your friends, stand near or under as a meeting point and ultimately, personalise as much as you like within your own artistic boundaries.

No messing about with esoteric QR codes, no imposing your brand onto that super-valuable phone battery; just simple, visible and useful branding.

Flags, as currency for festival goers.
Laptop stickers, as currency for bloggers.

There’s more here. I’m sure of it.

What’s your engagement currency?

 

 

[Big thanks to both James Mayes and Gia Cavalli in the construction of this post]

MIR: The Mobile Geek of Glastonbury: “Please Hold”

A ditty, while I write the main review…

So off I went to Glastonbury; all my gadgets in tow.
With all the kit I was packing, I had a confident glow.

And yet something seemed to be nagging, this voice inside my head.
It wouldn?t stop, nor would it cease… and this is what is said:

?Your gadgets will be no good to you, your phones will not stay dry.
Your software will all be useless when your batteries up and die.

Solar chargers cannot work in rain and your wind-up is a joke;
Your DC-8 will desert you mate, trust me it will choke.?

And so with these words I did depart, my head hung up in woe
Would my gadgets last me? I really did not know.

So dear readers the time has come, which ones were the best?
Which one passed and which ones failed.. this glastonbury test…

Write up coming soon…

Falling a bit behind…

Thanks to the complete and utter uselessness of some of the ‘essential’ gadgets I took away with me to Glastonbury this year, the blogging has fallen somewhat short!
I shall endeavour to catch up forthwith…

– Glastonbury, from the ground up –

In the meantime…

If gadgets are your thing – take a look at this post that I wrote for Mobile Industry Review last Wednesday, (in the car, en route to the festival to be precise), outlining just a few of the technological wonders that I was packing in my rucksack…

When Saturday Comes

Morning all, it’s 930am down here in ‘sunny’ Glastonbury. I’m yet to venture outside the tent but I’m assured it’s actually ‘not that bad’… But hey! You can’t come to Glastonbury and moan about the weather! It’s all part of the fun 🙂

So, here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve seen so far:

  • Vampire Weekend
  • The Tings Tings
  • Lupe Fiasco
  • Fun Lovin’ Criminals
  • Xavier Rudd
  • Kings of Leon

In that order..

Vampire weekend were fun. First dance of the day that was. The Ting Tings took AGES to setup and started half hour late so we only stayed a little while as we wanted to get back for Lupe Fiasco (political as hell but good with it). The Fun Lovin’ Criminals were damn cool, as expected and as for Xavier Rudd?
Well let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised…
And I WILL be buying his album when I get back.

Then, at long last, it was time for Kings of Leon…

They. Were. Amazing.

Similarly to Arcade Fire last year, these guys have completely made my festival..
Rock.

Vampire Weekend, (NOT The Wombats)

Greetings from Glastonbury!

We’ve just been to see the awesome Vampire Weekend (although for some reason I refer to them as The Wombats in the second video below), and They were actually very good!

Then onto dancing at ‘Guilty Pleasures’ – 70s tunes – and later?

Fratellis, Editors and THE KINGS OF LEON!

Yay for Vampire Weekend!


I love Glastonbury 🙂

More Photos from Me!

My mate Dean and I brushing our teeth.

A daily ritutal.
Next, this photo of Glastonbury really doesn’t communicate the overwhelming sprawl of the place.

Cloudy weather, which made a change. Most of the time it was either rain or shine.
Rarely anywhere in-between.
This next one is of me and my bamboo.

And then finally… This very random front-end of a plane.

Which made up a long bar… With 50’s music and dancing.. Lots of fun!
And it’s only Thursday!