Thought leadership

Communications agency Words&Pictures has created a number of bespoke board games for clients to help tackle a diverse range of issues including communicating corporate strategy, vision and values, company initiatives, and even climate change.

Commented Andy Holt, creative director at Words&Pictures: “Traditional board games, with a modern corporate twist, can make all the difference when looking to bolster team-building, engage colleagues and encourage people to make the right kind of behavioural changes. We’ve been advocates of the game mechanic for some time and clients are finding that gaming can be both a fun and effective way to communicate complex information.”

The company has created games for easyJet’s internal communciations team to bring to life the customer experience, helping them understand every stage of the customer journey without leaving their seat.

For Provident Financial, the company’s leadership team were challenged to explore the customer experience through scenarios and issues then managers throughout the company played the game with their teams.

A James Bond themed game created for Anglian Water, called Liquid Assets, has helped the company engage school-children to better understand floods, droughts and the importance of saving water.

“Companies demand dynamic, innovative ways of delivering complex information to a diverse audience and we seem to have hit on something that helps contribute to solving a recurring corporate challenges,” said Andy. “Gamification is increasingly being taken up by corporate communicators as a way to engage employees and tackle complex communications issues.”

Alongside traditional ‘roll-up-your-sleeves’ board games, the company has also created on-line games in the form of downloadable apps. ‘iCOP’, a film noir crime game created for Northern Gas Networks, is aimed at University students to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. In the game, users become detectives, with the role of uncovering the cause of death in a student bedsit. The ‘silent killer’ proves not to be, as hinted, a knife-wielding maniac, or a gun toting hood, but rather the CO leakage from an old gas fire.  Since its launch iCOP has achieved 23,000 downloads and the game, together with its supporting campaign, has won praise from industry regulators.  

Andy concludes: “As these examples from corporate communications are demonstrating, perhaps now’s the time get those dusty old board games down from the corporate attic and put them to use in new settings. As employees can appear a little bored with some of the restrictions of digital gamification and communication, these team games are proving both fun, effective and engaging for employees and managers alike.”


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