Bias Bingo: Blending Branding and Learning

by cv harquail on November 4, 2009

I love it when basic business science can be applied to important causes. So, I was excited when my favorite FemaleScienceProfessor pointed me towards a clever website designed to teach about gender bias: The Gender Bias Learning Project.

The Gender Bias Learning Project is a great demonstration of how basic web skills, clever marketing skills, and thoughtful branding can be used for higher causes.

The Gender Bias Learning Project is a full-featured website with games, videos, interactive quizzes, clear graphics and a built in sense of irony.

The game and overall site developed from a collaboration between BayCreative and the Center for WorkLifeLaw at UCHastings. BayCreative, Inc., a full-service marketing agency, is “a nimble, results-oriented firm”. From the looks of the game and the overall site, BayCreative really delivers on their firm’s brand promise.

Gender Bias Bingo | The Intersection | Discover Magazine_1257362503755.jpeg

Engaging Learning

We all know that gender bias isn’t “funny” and that most feminists anti-gender-bias advocates are dour and humorless. That’s why the idea of turning learning about bias into a game is the first great application of branding expertise: If it has to be nutritious, make it delicious.

Although some parts of the site are serious, and some elements are ever-so-slightly dorky, overall the website is ‘light’ enough that it is pretty engaging. I watched some of the videos and I played spent my latte break testing my knowledge with the pop quiz “Sure, I Get It!”

(11 for 11, I’ll have you know. And even though I did teach Women’s Studies, I learned some new things about gender bias.)

What’s great about Bias Bingo

The standout element of the website is the game, Bias Bingo. Bias Bingo will look familiar to anyone who’s gamed played games of  irony-plus-insight. (Examples of this game genre include The ASA bingo game for sociologists, White Liberal Bingo, and Phat: The Game of White Appropriation).

But, Bias Bingo is a little bit special. Bias Bingo has two built-in advanced learning levels:

(1) Bias Bingo collects data about people’s actual experiences with gender bias, which can be shared with others. And,

(2) Bias Bingo makes you look for real-life examples– you know, the kind of examples that demonstrate that something like ‘gender bias in academe’ actually exists.

Beyond basic branding

There’s even an actual prize at the end of the game.

If you can make it through the buzz kill that is generated by writing out examples of your own experience of bias (no easy feat, I assure you), you can win a free T shirt! The T-shirt announces to all your skill at the game of Bias Bingo.

And, in another brilliant, brand-extending move, the T-shirt creates a brand community. Wearing the T-shirt makes you a brand advocate. It creates community interaction by inviting people to ask you about your experience with Bias Bingo and to play the game themselves.

Clever marketing. I hope it goes viral.

Create the missing tagline

However, there is one piece missing to this marketing strategy… Bias Bingo has no tag line. The game needs a pithy, polysemous, memorable phrase to complete its branding portfolio.

Let’s make “Create the missing tagline” the next Bias Learning Game  ….  I’ll start first with a tagline idea:

“Sexism. The problem that now has a game.”

Your turn…  Add your suggestions in the comments, below, and I’ll send them off to the scholars at The Gender Bias Learning Project.

See Also:
New Game Plays on Women’s Experience of Bias in Academe
by Robin Wilson
in The Chronicle of Higher Ed
Bias Bingo! at FemaleScienceProfessor
Gender Bias Bingo at Discover

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