POP

CULTURE

02

You can start gamifying your own world. You change your surroundings so you can have fun doing whatever you have to do. Simply forge a link between the gaming universe and the real world.

JORGE COSTA

ESports, an industry often ignored. Yet this world is enormous and brands need to start taking this target group seriously. Now is the time to develop a strategy to maximise your opportunities. Because eSports is about more than just gaming – it is an opportunity for us all!

SARAH MESSMER


‘STREAMERS, CASTERS, CONTENT CREATORS, ESPORTS ATHLETES -
THESE ARE OUR NEW CELEBRITIES.’ 

Pop-culture is not about curing diseases or toppling nations, it’s about trends that will pave the way for future generations. While even the trendiest among us struggle to keep up to speed, the wild world of pop culture is not one to be afraid of - it's one to embrace.

Think yoga is all about downward-facing dogs and warrior poses? Well, yes. But it’s also about being an activist. You read that correctly. The modern yogi should help influence politics and morale.

STEWART GILCHRIST


GAMIFY YOUR WORLD

JORGE ACOSTA

THE OCTALYSIS FRAMEWORK

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA

HELP IS ON THE WAY

DEFEAT THE UNDEFEATED

ALL CORE DRIVES ARE INTERCONNECTED

CHANGING YOUR SURROUNDINGS


THE RISE OF eSPORTS,
AND HOW TO GRASP THE OPPORTUNITIES

SARAH MESSMER

AUDIENCE

ATTENTION

AUTHENTICITY

GRAB THE BULL BY ITS HORNS

02

CULTURE

POP

Pop-culture is not about curing diseases or toppling nations, it’s about trends that will pave the way for future generations. While even the trendiest among us struggle to keep up to speed, the wild world of pop culture is not one to be afraid of - it's one to embrace.

You can start gamifying your own world. You change your surroundings so you can have fun doing whatever you have to do. Simply forge a link between the gaming universe and the real world.

JORGE COSTA

ESports, an industry often ignored. Yet this world is enormous and brands need to start taking this target group seriously. Now is the time to develop a strategy to maximise your opportunities. Because eSports is about more than just gaming – it is an opportunity for us all!

SARAH MESSMER


‘STREAMERS, CASTERS, CONTENT CREATORS, ESPORTS ATHLETES -
THESE ARE OUR NEW CELEBRITIES.’ 

STEWART GILCHRIST

Think yoga is all about downward-facing dogs and warrior poses? Well, yes. But it’s also about being an activist. You read that correctly. The modern yogi should help influence politics and morale.

JORGE ACOSTA


GAMIFY YOUR WORLD

We play games because it’s easy and fun. Gaming can even help us learn new skills without us realising it. So did you know you could gamify your world and change your surroundings to ultimately have fun doing whatever you have to do? In order to do that, you simply use the complete Gamification framework: Octalysis Framework. This structure encompasses eight core drives which explain why games are fun for humans and what motivates us to take action. But rather than bore you with a long list, let me explain this using a video game.

THE OCTALYSIS FRAMEWORK

One of my favourite video games of all time is “The Legend of Zelda” from 1986. In case you’ve never heard of it, it takes place in a kingdom, in the land of Hyrule. The Prince of Darkness has stolen the Triforce of Power, bestowing him with great strength. To prevent him from getting the Triforce of Wisdom, Princess Zelda splits it into eight parts and spreads them through the darkest and most secret dungeons of Hyrule before she is kidnapped by Ganon. Upon hearing this story, a boy named Link takes it upon himself to save the Princess by reassembling the Triforce of Wisdom, with which he can defeat Ganon.

Our hero, Link, is starting a quest bigger than himself which is to save both the Princess and his kingdom from the evil Ganon. Which brings us to our first core drive: epic meaning and calling. When someone believes they have been chosen to do a specific task or are doing something greater than themselves. This is a positive motivator and makes you feel strong and powerful. For example, that’s why people buy fair trade products.

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA

When Link starts his journey, he is alone and carrying only a shield to protect him. He needs help, and in the land of Hyrule, help comes from the “Old Men”. They provide him with gear, like his first wooden sword. He uses the sword to fight the army of Ganon. As he continues travels in search of the missing Triforce pieces, his enemies become smarter and stronger. He continues to improve his training to be able to master a powerful Magical Sword.

This entire journey can be linked back to three extrinsic core drives:

HELP IS ON THE WAY


  • Core Drive #2: Development and accomplishment   
  • Core Drive #4: Ownership and possession 
  • Core Drive #6: Scarcity and impatience  

These are all motivators which push you to obtain something or reach your goal. In this case, that would be the Magical Sword. Your character already has a sword, yet you want a better one because it’s rare, out of reach, but also more powerful. In order to get this sword, you have to train and develop yourself. But, of course, you can apply these core drives to your own life goals or your work.

The path that lies ahead of Link is full of mysteries and unpredictable enemies. So becoming a master warrior will help him to further his adventure. After a lot of training, Link feels confident enough to take on Ganon and reassembles the Triforce of Wisdom to fight him. The battle begins and unfortunately, the enemy is not easily defeated. A variety of strategies are needed and the key was a silver arrow aimed at Ganon. Thus, the Prince of Darkness is defeated and Princess Zelda is rescued which restores peace to the kingdom and brings Link’s journey to an end.

This epic battle and our character’s perseverance can be linked back to a few more intrinsic core drives:

DEFEAT THE UNDEFEATED


  • Core Drive #3: Empowerment of creativity and feedback
  • Core Drive #7: Unpredictability and curiosity

  • Core Drive #8: Loss and avoidance

This epic battle and our character’s perseverance can be linked back to a few more intrinsic core drives:

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Core drive number seven is the feeling you have when you’re unsure as to what is going to follow. This explains why you keep watching a movie or play a video game, to find out what’s going to happen next! When you are close to the end of a project or goal and things are not turning out as well as you’d wished, the eighth core drive will keep you motivated. Because you’re not a quitter and this negative motivator pushes you to keep going.

All of these core drives can be sorted into two categories, the first is the two symbolic regions of the brain. The left side of your brain, the one associated with logic, analytical thought and ownership connects to core drives number 2, 4 and 6 because these rely on extrinsic motivation. You feel motivated to obtain something out of reach. The right side of your brains which is known to be more about creativity, self-expression and social dynamics relates to core drives number 3, 5 and 7. These are mostly associated with intrinsic motivation since you don’t need a goal or a reward to be creative, hang out with friends or feel the suspense of unpredictability. The activity itself is rewarding on its own.

ALL CORE DRIVES ARE INTERCONNECTED

You can also divide them into positive and negative motivators, also known as the white hat vs. black hat techniques. Positive motivators include numbers 1,2 and 3 which let you express your creativity, make you feel successful through skill mastery and give you a higher sense of meaning, making you feel powerful. On the other hand, when you are always doing something because you don’t know what will happen next, or because you’re struggling to attain things you can’t have, that is based on negative motivators which are numbers 6, 7 and 8. These experiences will leave behind bad memories even if you were motivated. However, it’s important to mention that negative core drives don’t necessarily mean they are bad. These motivators can be used for productive and healthy results, just think about the moments you decide to go to the gym and eat healthier or habits you have in the morning to force yourself out of bed and not hit the snooze button.

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Now that you know how to identify the core drives that will get you or someone else to do something, think about the following question: What are your passions and what gives you energy? Now, try to change your surroundings in a way that you can combine your motivations and have fun doing so. For example, think about the one habit or task you have to do on a daily basis and try to find a way to make it fun based on your passions. Gamify your own world and have fun doing so!

CHANGING YOUR SURROUNDINGS

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SARAH MESSMER

Esports, competitive video gaming watched by spectators, is big. It’s not only a sport, but it‌’s also the most popular – and profitable – form of entertainment today. An optimistic estimate places global revenues for eSports at 3.2 billion dollars by 2022. This means eSports could surpass the UEFA Champions League in terms of annual gross revenue. So, there is clearly an opportunity here, but many companies are not taking it. Why? Because many of us don’t take gaming seriously.


THE RISE
OF eSPORTS,
AND HOW TO GRASP THE OPPORTUNI-TIES

There’s a widespread myth that eSports is only popular among teens living in their parents' basements and that these people are introverted and isolated. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The eSports demographic ranges from 18 to 34 years old and encompasses 30% women and 70% men. These people are passionate, social and highly-engaged across various platforms. These people also have jobs and are eager to spend money on their passion. As shown by the 31 million dollar prizepool, one of the biggest eSport events of the year, where 95% of it has been crowdfunded by individual gamers through their in-game purchases. Thus, these fans are not afraid to take action and are more likely to notice, purchase, buy, and try brands that show support for their preferred league or player. So we need to start taking this target group seriously. Because eSports could allow brands to reach "the unreachables": valuable, digital, high-income, passionate young people who are less accessible through traditional sponsorships and media buys. 

So, how can you jump on this bandwagon and reach this audience? Companies could apply a Triple-A framework. In gaming, a Triple-A classification stands for ‘best in class’ games. Much like blockbuster movies, it costs a fortune to make a AAA game – just as it costs a fortune to make a new Marvel movie – but the anticipated returns make it worthwhile. Thus, by following a Triple-A framework, which stands for Audience, Attention and Authenticity, you can connect with your desired target group.

The eSports market is quite complex. There is a variety of game titles, platforms and fan interests. The biggest challenge for brands is to really understand these differences. So, first of all, it is crucial to understand your audience. For example, over 200 million viewers watched the League of Legend Championship final last year. That is more viewers than the Super Bowl. But when you exclude Chinese viewers, this number decreases to just under two million. However, if you successfully reach 10% of that two million that's still 200k motivated buyers. So it’s important to closely identify the cross-sections of your brand and your specific eSports audience.

AUDIENCE

Once you have identified your audience, the goal is to gain and retain their attention. Gamers care about brands that pay attention to them. This is an audience that really wants to connect - and play. So think of ways that help build the infrastructure of eSports and add value to the community rather than just trying to monetise the fan-base directly. For example, the telecommunication company UPC launched eSports.ch which, today, is the biggest news platform on eSports in Switzerland.
UPC also co-created its first broadband product for gamers with the Swiss eSports community and established partnerships with major brands that will lead to joint product bundles this fall. There is also Anzu, a startup that created a completely new advertising ecosystem where in-game ads can be booked in real-time. Ads are then integrated into the games as part of the gaming environment without interrupting the user experience. Long story short: standard media buys don’t work in this scenario. Your advertising content has to be very targeted and engaging.

ATTENTION

Last but not least, just as in traditional sports marketing, your brand should be highly relevant and authentic. Brands who falter on authenticity will get hurt immediately, as eSports fans are used to spreading their opinions digitally. So how can a company or brand stay authentic? Don’t simply go about and advertise on all platforms. Know your consumer, choose one clear message, make sure it fits your brand story and your audience, and broadcast it on the right channels. If you speak the same language as your target group and continuously do so this will build branding consistency and maintain consumer trust.

AUTHENTICITY

There is tremendous money to be made in all facets of this industry, and more money to be made every year. The growth of eSports is undeniable. Now is the time for brands to figure out their eSports strategy. You still have a chance to get in early and maximise your opportunities. The time is now when it is still cheaper to sponsor a professional eSports team than a classic sports team. The key is to find the right audience, get their attention in a clever way – show that you know them – and add something to their gaming experience, but do so in an authentic fashion. This world is not invisible anymore, enter it before everyone else does – and start the game.

GRAB THE BULL BY ITS HORNS