Iris and Groovy Gecko Declare the Legitimacy of “Live”



Iris and Groovy Gecko dissected the Barclaycard “Start Today” campaign to demonstrate the next frontier of Facebook Live: interactive games and engagement.

Can Facebook Live help you hold on to your New Years’ resolutions?

Iris and Groovy Gecko tested the hypothesis in conjunction with Barclaycard’s “Start Today” campaign, and in the process came away with a number of learnings about the use of live video- specifically Facebook Live.

Once known for bursting watermelons with rubber bands, the platform has evolved into a sophisticated tool to solicit not just audience views, but meaningful audience interaction. Iris’s Executive Director Digby Lewis and Groovy Gecko’s Jake Ward didn’t just tell attendees of “The Next Generation Game” how the process worked, however.

As the name of the session would imply, they showed it—by dedicating the second half of the session to demonstrating a live game that could be played in the room and on their respective Facebook pages.

“A Universal Idea We Could Tap Into”

The universality of New Years’ resolutions presented an opportunity for Barclaycard. Hoping to drive home the idea of trying something you’ve never tried before, the campaign enlisted mom, presenter, and blogger Giovanna Fletcher to be the face of Start Today. The campaign spanned multiple platforms, but Fletcher was the face of Facebook Live. She tried something new each day of January: flower arranging, cycling, cake decorating, dancing, and much more.

“Talent can be coached, things can be scripted, things can be written. But when you’re doing things on a day by day by day basis, there isn’t time for that. Further, the pair found that not scripting the encounters had an added benefit: allowing viewers to play a part in “scripting” the videos.

Engagement with the Experience

It’s not enough to just create a show and ask people to watch. A key point that contributed to the campaign’s success on Facebook Live was its interactivity. Viewers tuning in could vote at multiple points to change the course of the challenge onscreen. They transformed from being just viewers, to determiners of Fletcher’s fate. This active influence on the “show’ and its outcome were engaging, and let to increased participation. “This was about giving the audience power,” Lewis confirmed.

Viewers also have the power to increase views and engagement numbers. With Live broadcasts once a week, Lewis and Ward took advantage of the rest of the week to spread out promotional efforts across platforms. They noted that this process is even more successful when done in collaboration; Ward shared an example of leveraging the many platforms of the Professional Footballers’ Association allowed views on the Facebook Live broadcast of their annual awards to spike. Similarly, Public Health England boosted views by 200,000 when their broadcast was boosted by Hello! Magazine.

Make It Measurable and Meaningful

Even as they acknowledged the power that Facebook Live can have, Lewis and Ward cautioned against using it just to use it: “Crucially, this can have a measurable positive impact on your business. But if your entry into the space is anything that doesn’t have the ability to have a measurable impact on your business, you shouldn’t be doing it.” With that caution in place, they want you to explore all it can do for you and your business. “The tool is there, waiting for you to use it. It’s there, it’s working, and it’s about how we use it in a more creative way.”

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