Winner of the black pencil in this year D&AD awards, I have come across a few articles about the reward based campaign based currently in America which aims to present students with a mobile phone which they can then earn credit for through improved attendance, participation, homework and grades awarding them with airtime for their phone calls, texting, and music downloads. The idea came up by Droga5 was a response to a brief by the New York department asking ‘how do you brand achievement in the worst public schools in new York city’. The idea behind it is connecting with kids the same way that they connect with each other and to re invent the cell phone as a motivational tool.
Kids being the most fickle audience to pitch to the idea of the million phone seems to have the right attributes to inspire a desire to achieve, but how will this new scheme actually keep its initial buzz? The UKs response to the idea seems to be more negative, which I can completely understand as most youngster already own a mobile phone and with phone tariffs being so cheap how would this work to motivate them as an incentive to work harder, another problem that million may face is how to make the product cool whilst relating it to education. Initially I thought the campaign and the essence behind giving out free phones to encourage children to work harder was a great idea but upon thinking about it is bribery the best way forward when challenging youngsters to achieve it could easily be seen as setting the wrong example.