Gamify your resolutions!

gamifyWith almost two weeks into the new year… how are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? OK, it’s probably not a nice question to ask, … if you are (to be honest with you) anything like me, you many may have abandoned them by now, not quite started yet – or are starting to serious struggle to find the motivation. If you are happily motivated – then this post isn’t for you – but if not, or you are struggling, maybe some tools used in social media marketing can help you a bit on the way…  Continue reading

MaM: My Stuff – Tavarataivas

Not obviously featuring marketing, Finnish movie My Stuff (Tavarataivas) is nevertheless worth mentioning in this series. The movie is reminiscent of a reverse-Super Size me in some ways: basically an experiment of how much “stuff” a person actually needs.

Film maker Petri Luukkainen bases the film on his concern that his existence becomes increasingly defined by his possessions (and thus the products he consumes). In this documentary cum self-finding mission he thus embarks on an experiment to find out how much stuff he actually needs. Continue reading

MaM: Czech Dream – Ceský sen

czech-dreamKicking off a new series of posts about Movies about Marketing, Consumption and related topics is this review of  the 2004 movie Czech Dream (Ceský sen) from the Czech Republic.

Ceský sen is a documentary about one of the biggest marketing stunts ever pulled: In 2003, two students from the Czech Film Academy and directors of the film devised a plan to market a new hypermarket – and make a film about how the marketing strategy unfolded. Of course, there is a catch to their idea: The advertised hypermarket, called “Czech Dream”, is actually nothing more than a meadow with a giant canvas – rather than the market filled with cheap goods and a dream-like shopping experience. Continue reading

Social Media Marketing – available now!

Social Media Marketing - Theories and ApplicationsMy new book, Social Media Marketing – Theories and Applications, is now officially available from your favourite book seller – including on your e-reader of choice…

As you might expect, the book isn’t another book showing you how to create yet another Facebook page by clicking here there and everywhere. Rather, the aim is to critically reflect how social media has become such a powerful force, where we are in terms of research explaining the phenomena associated with it – and in how far we can use existing theories to explain and guide future marketing campaigns using this dynamic environment.

The book is trying to approach social social media from four different “directions”: the actors, the platforms, the content and the context.

In the first part, actors, the book looks at consumer behaviour and marketer actions in a social media context – and how the two interact. The second part, platforms, takes a look at the development and merging of different platforms – and their social relevance and components. Having examined the why and where social media interactions occur, the third part of the book aims to bring together core concepts that make content “work” or successful on social media especially for social media marketers: This part debates persuasiveness, engagement – and the all important word of mouth, both on- and off-line. In the final part, the book focuses on the wider context of social media: From how to critically approach the data deluge that social media (and other online media!) produce when trying to measure the success of campaigns to ethical implications for marketers and researchers.

Throughout the book I have incorporated a number of examples from around the world: China, Canada, Sweden and Singapore are just some of the countries from which you can find examples of successful (and not so successful!) campaigns in the book. And the examples range from commercial campaigns run by multinational companies, such as American Express or Unilever, to non-commercial uses of social media (with examples from charities, human rights organisations and social marketing).

To find out more about the book, please head over to for more information, and even a sample chapter!
Or you can buy it directly from Sage – or check out Wikipedia – or ISBNs for some more sources. And if you are in London: there appears to be one copy available from Foyles in Charing Cross (check here)!

Happy Holidays…

xmasThere is no denying it any longer: Christmas is moving digital. From sending out wiggly elf cards  to catching up with your favourite Christmas specials on iPlayer: we are moving the celebrations online and extending them to all our contacts on Whatsapp or our followers on Twitter.

Even marketing success becomes virtual. Take a look at how the success of the various christmas adverts is measured: The Telegraph asks if the most successful Christmas ad is Sainsbury’s Christmas jumper ad – based on the times it has been viewed on YouTube.[1] Metro claimed that John Lewis’s advert lost the top spot based on Twitter reactions[2] – and Business Insider debates how Facebook is stealing the video-show from YouTube, and what that means for Christmas advertising[3]. Continue reading

AcWriMo or NaNoWriMo

writingOh it’s almost November, and the big decision of the week is AcWriMo or NaNoWriMo? (I’m sparing everyone the view of Stephan in Movember for the time being…)

Both are really exciting initiatives: NaNoWriMo is the National (or International?) Novel Writing Month, aiming to get people to focus on writing a novel in 30 days. The other is the academic equivalent, AcWriMo, which is a little more flexible in its terms, but also tries to get participants to write a paper, a proposal or a revise something that has been hiding in the back of the closet for too long….

Both adhere to the same principles:  they are gamifying  the writing experience, and are turning this essentially solitary activity into a social activity shared amongst friends, coauthors and strangers working on similar projects.  Both require setting a target, and rely on public accountability of participants to show that they are meeting their targets.

NaNoWriMo  is more technically advanced, and uses lots of gamification ideas on its website: For example, it has badges for successful completion of milestones, forums, virtual support circles, prep talks. AcWriMo is less technically advanced, and relies heavily on twitter hashtags and shared Google documents for support and accountability. Of course, AcWriMo is also much smaller then NaNoWriMo and is run entirely by other academics who presumably have many other things to do than build extensive websites and support tools.

Nevertheless, both seem popular with me and my colleagues.  The academic version appears to be a good way to get over the start of the semester, and all the work and stress that goes with it, and to get serious about writing for the rest of the year. So I can see, how it is a really attractive option for people wanting to kickstart their academic writing “with a bit of help from their friends”.

NaNoWriMo on the other side if the fantastic opportunity to take a break from concentrating only on academic writing, and to focus or refocus on writing as a fun and entertaining way to communicate. So both are really good option to get you into a writing routine, or to remind you why writing can and should be a lot of fun – rather than something that academics have to do for a living.

I still haven’t made up my mind which one to join this year, but let me know which one is your favourite. Whichever one it is:  good luck with your writing!

PaperShip: Easy annotation tool integrating with Mendeley/Zotero

For a while I have been struggling with the lack of an integrated reading, annotating and referencing tool for Mac, PC – and iPad. But it seems I might have found a solution at last in the form of an iOS application called PaperShip – which works together with Mendeley and Zotero. Continue reading

Hello New Term!

IMG_2621Looks like there is no denying it any longer… for me, this week is the start of the new term again: that means heading out to Hong Kong for September to run three inductions for our new students there  - followed by three block courses in Marketing Communications & Branding.

Teaching six or eight hours a day in a foreign climate isn’t exactly child-play, especially when combined with a healthy dose of jet lag. Nevertheless, Continue reading

Articles I Should have Written….

As we are approaching the end of summer quickly, here is a quick reminder of an article that was waiting to be written … but sadly seems to have been written in 1973 (and published a year later).  Oh well…


Hope your summer was more productive!

(Full reference: Upper, D. (1974). The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of “writer’s block”Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 7(3), 497–497.)