Skip to main content

Gamified Cause Marketing and Half the Sky

Half the Sky started out as a book about the shocking oppression and exploitation of women… especially in the developing world… from New York Times reporters Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, then it became a multi-part special on PBS and now it’s a Facebook game produced by Games for Change and designed by Frima Studio.

I didn’t think that the PBS special captured the pathos of the book, in part because the way into the TV show was mediated by Hollywood stars; Eve Mendes, Meg Ryan, Olivia Wilde, Diane Lane. The actors could only react to the horrors they saw and heard about and I didn’t think it often worked. I got the sense the actors were sort of helicoptered in, reacted while the cameras rolled and then went back home, sincerely moved perhaps, but not fully able to transfer their heartache to me. It felt forced.

Kristof and WuDunn, by contrast, with just their notepads, have seen firsthand all the horrors depicted in the book, not recounted for the cameras and the actors. As a result, the book seemed much more authentic.  

The game is mediated by a character named Radhika, a mother of two, who starts in India and then makes her way to Kenya, Vietnam and Afghanistan, before landing in the United States.

Along the way she engages in difficult conversations and situations, oftentimes with other women, but also with oppressive men, and you as the player choose how she reacts. Sprinkled throughout are smaller games that help Radhika achieve her goals.

Will this work better than did the PBS series? I'll let you know after I've had more chance to play it.

Zynga, Intel and others funded the games development. Sponsors like Johnson and Johnson and the Pearson Foundation provided funds that get unlocked during the course of play and are provided to specific nonprofits and NGOs.

I like gamified cause marketing a lot and I think it’s a big part of the future of cause marketing. But I hope that the sponsors provide guaranteed funding at some level and then let play of the game trigger the remainder.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.


Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

KFC Concept Restaurant Gives a Nod to Cause Marketing for Local Causes

KFC, a unit of Yum Brands, is testing a new quick-serve restaurant version of the fried chicken outlet and among the changes is that its cause marketing efforts will be much more local, according to Anne Fuller, senior director of development for KFC eleven.

The KFC eleven test store is in Louisville, Kentucky, KFC’s headquarters. When it opens August 5, 2013, it will feature rice bowls, flatbreads, salads, KFC original recipe chicken among other items, plus sides. A second test location is set to open in Louisville before year’s end. The 11 in KFC eleven is a salute to the 11 herbs and spices in their original recipe chicken.

The trade-dress for the test store includes lamp lighting, digital signage with community news, and artwork from local artists.

Why step into the quick serve space? Fuller answered a reporter from QSRweb.com this way: “People love KFC but it's not a frequent choice for many guests for some reason. We wanted to create a broad and balanced menu that could mayb…