The Fit Bit Game

I don’t usually showcase ads in my blog posts. And, every now and then a great one comes along that inspires comment.

The Ideas Marketing Game

The Ideas Marketing framework has eight elements. The first is your manifesto. It’s your big idea. And, it’s usually a broad statement of what you want to have happen in the world.

The second element is your ‘game’. Alternatively you might use the words: campaign, project, mission, outcome or result. I like ‘game’ because it suggests an element of fun and play. Essentially, this is where you translate your big idea (your manifesto) into a specific outcome so that you can take action to fulfill it.

The Essential Elements of a Good Game

A good game has a few essential elements:

  • It defines how you win
  • It defines how you score
  • It defines how you play
  • It has an end point

Fit Big GameFit Bit

Fit Bit provide a range of wearable devices that can:

  • Measure your heart rate
  • The number of steps you take
  • The quantity and quality of your sleep
  • The number of calories you’ve burned, plus
  • You can sync it with your phone and laptop to provide a wonderful analysis of your activity levels over time.

They’ve effectively replaced the watch as a wearable device. And, the big difference is that they measure you and your activity – all part of the Quantified Self movement (Wikipedia).

[Tweet “Fit bit – A great example of a game from @fitbit #greatpartnership #ideasmarketing”]

Watch Their Ad

Watch the ‘Get FitForFood with Joel McHale and Fitbit’ Ad and then we’ll point to some interesting things.

The Fit Bit Ad Story

This ad features Joel McHale (Wikipedia), an American comedian and actor. And it tells a great story that leads him from sloth to action.

It builds on a theme created in earlier ads. Cleverly, the first 15 seconds of this ad shows McHale watching the earlier ad. Joel then starts poking fun at this ad by adopting the theme in a new and quirky way.

He even steals his neighbour’s mail, which presents a surprising twist to the story. Again, cleverly, Fit Bit points to the all-to-common experience of well-intentioned Christmas gifts lying idle. They turn lost opportunity into something wonderful. Instead of it all being ‘about you’, they shift the game to the good you can do for others. I think this is a stroke of genius because it’s a psychological reframe that might just spark a few more people to exercise.

The Fit Bit Game

And, this is where the game comes in…

Having your own Fit Bit tracker is a game in itself. It’s great for your personal achievement. However, for the days when you don’t want to exercise for yourself, you might just do it for someone else. This doubles the warm and cuddly feeling from exercising: I feel good because I’m exercising and I’m feeling even better because I’m making a difference to others. Brilliant!

Fit Bit have partnered with Feeding America. They are a non-profit organization that feeds over 46 million people through food banks, soup kitchens and pantries.

The game Fit Bit have created is as follows:

  • How you win – a race to a billion calories
  • How you score – for every calorie you burn, Fit Bit will donate an equivalent in meals to those who need them
  • It defines how you play – simply be in action, track your motion and Fit Bit will take care of the rest
  • It has an end point – once a billion calories is reached the game may end or be reinvented with a new goal.

As an added bonus, the game has a simple and sexy strapline: Fit for Food: Burn More, Give More

And, notice that the goal is not to sell one million Fit Bits. It’s bigger and more inclusive than that. Plus it follows the point made by John Kay’s in his brilliant book Obliquity that we achieve our goals indirectly.

Whilst you don’t need to partner with a non-profit to create a game, this example shows what possible.


COMMENT: What games are you playing? And, how can you structure your current projects so they’re more like a game?

PS: I don’t own a Fit Bit and whilst they look like fun I don’t plan on buying one any time soon.


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