Media agency PHD gears up to game on

  • PHD to deploy new strategy and collaboration system based on game principles in 2013
  • Aims to allow its 2,500 employees worldwide to 'tap into the PHD mind' and innovate

Media agency PHD gears up to game onPHD, a media agency under the Omnicom Media Group, is set to launch a new global operating system based on the principles of gamification, in 2013.
Gamification refers to the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts in order to engage users and solve problems.
Mark Holden, worldwide strategy and planning director of PHD, said the new system is the agency’s attempt to allow everyone within the network to be able to “tap into the PHD mind.”
“We have so many brilliant thinkers across the world, now they can innovate across many other briefs and be celebrated for this. By January next year, anyone that joins PHD is also joining an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) [game].”
The system, called Source, has been constructed with the objective of fostering high-levels of collaboration, PHD said in a statement. 
It functions as a strategy framework and, at the same time, a live-collaboration engine that allows PHD’s 2,500 employees to work together in real-time, effectively functioning as what’s known as an MMO game.
For example, employees will be able to see how they are performing on a real-time global leaderboard, with points awarded for idea generation and sharing.
Audrey Chong, general manager of PHD Malaysia, added that Source will allow the agency to unlock the full potential of its network for the benefit of local clients. “It will connect all our planners into PHD's collective intelligence in real time. This ability will translate to amazing ideas and activations for our partners and clients."
Media agency PHD gears up to game onAndreas Vogiatzakis (pic), chief operating officer of Omnicom Media Group Malaysia, said that the platform goes beyond being a tool or an operating system.
“It is a game changer that will elevate the planning principles to a brand new level ... . It allows PHD Malaysia to plug into a global intelligence pool, ideate, design and implement campaigns that feed on the expertise of more than 2,500 smart planners around the globe. That is massively amazing and cutting edge."

According to PHD, the system has been developed over the last two years and has been built based on marketing theory drawn from three key areas:

  • The latest insights that have emerged from the social sciences – particularly the recent studies into Behavioral Economics and, with this, Choice Architecture;
  • The most commercially applicable insights that have emerged from cognitive neuroscience – particularly studies into Neuromarketing and insights from PHD’s own fMRI research; and
  • The paradigm-shifting learnings that have emerged from marketing meta-analysis – particularly the insights uncovered by The Ehrenberg Bass Institute.
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