Playful: Tom Ewing and Brain Juice

Live Blogged – mistakes are mine

Used to play D&D. Played in club at school. One day, the players weren’t feeling it. Was not sure how to get them in..but got them to get under the desks and play there, a bit closer to live role playing. Is now a market researcher. In Pokemon2 you have the possibility to become a market researcher – is this the only game that does? You only learn the essence of your career when you see one in a video game and in Pokemon2, the essence is a piechart.

Surveys are quite boring. You are entering an artificial world, you do have to make decisions, and you hope there is a way out, so some similarity to games. And now market research is starting to include gamification, and using this has made research slightly less boring. Introduces new ways of interacting. The researchers say it helps get better results. Another thing that online surveys can do is grant you magical powers…or rather super memory! So you suddenly, when you are taking them, know everytime in last 12 months you drank orange juice :_) But obviously we don’t have those memories, or can predict what we will do. At Brain Juice, we look at how people make decisions and do things. So we ask if asking people questions does actually reflect what they do and what decisions are made.

The research says we have 2 different decision making systems We have fast thinking, based on emotion and experience. the other is more considered and cognitive. The latter is what we use when we know we are thinking. But we tend to use the faster way to make decisions. We are not thinking machines, we are feeling. We think less than we think we think.

So to tap into this, as a market researcher, they went back to look at games. How can this help. If you can simulate the environments when people make decisions, do you get better research. The first attempt was based on Monopoly…looking at mops (they called it Mopopoly. You had to pay with confessions about household stuff. It did not really work too well, because they are bad designers.

They tried another one. The client problem, was that the brand was not doing well compared to competitors. It was better sales, but research results said their brand was better. They did not know why. Looking at packaging, it was all logical, BUT the competitor had a big baby animal. So when shopping, system 1, the emotional system, made more decisions in shelf rather than logical in research. They did a test, when they provided distractions, When unrestricted time, then the logical choice. provided restrictions, distractions, then quick decision made

Is currently working on online focus groups, putting in game types into these temp communities. what gets people talking and discussing. They look at things like Chinese whispers. How does a brand/marketing idea get mutated as it’s told to each other. What changes.

In summary, there is often not much thinking behind the decisions. It’s the contest of the action that happens, not the thinking behind it

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