On September 2, The Guardian featured a study co-authored by HI founder, John S. Johnson, in a story about how a documentary was a key driver for a political movement. The report describes the study’s analysis of not only social media but also mass media following the release of HBO’s documentary Gasland. The full article is available here.
On September 22, Filmmaker Magazine published a digital column featuring Deputy Director Debika Shome’s IFP Media Week Presentation. The author, Katie Carman-Lehach, describes HI’s vision for data-driven story-telling and the excitement surrounding the sneak peak of ImpactSpace. The article, “How do you measure your film’s impact? Debika Shome of The Harmony Insitute Explains,” is available here.
On May 13, HI was featured in a Wired magazine article, detailing the events of DIY Days. The author, Michael Andersen, described his personal experience with the immersive narrative, My Sky is Falling. He also outlined the final keynote presentation at DIY Days, including HI’s discussion of the technology, analysis methods, and interactive design techniques utilized in data-driven storytelling. To date, the article has over 140 shares on social media.
MTV partnered with HI in 2011 to conduct a study of the network’s original film, (DIS)connected, which was the central piece of media in a multi-year campaign to reduce cyberbullying. HI conducted original research in order to study the impact of this film on its target audience. One of the study’s findings was that “(Dis)connected was very effective at increasing comprehension about digital abuse with 82% of viewers reporting that digital abuse was a more serious problem than they previously thought after seeing the film.” The study was also featured in a Fast Company article, in which representatives from both HI and MTV discussed the findings and implications for upcoming campaigns. As the first partnership between the two firms, the report demonstrates the ways in which MTV was able to make an impact with their audience beyond standard viewership metrics.To read more, see our case study.
On January 11, HI Executive Director, John Johnson, was featured as an expert for GOOD’s Wish for the Future series. He discussed the power of new evaluation tools and the necessity for impact measurement for both filmmakers and funders. The article proved to be provocative, generating engaged and passionate comments from both sides of the debate over the use of data in evaluating social issue films.The Wish for the Future series is curated by Reboot Stories, and features leaders in the field of storytelling and social good. Read more here.
HI’s latest research study was the subject of a feature in Fast Company‘s Co.Create. Writer Neal Ungerlieder detailed HI’s innovative research design that links neural data to discussion of the popular AMC series The Walking Dead on social networks.Ungerleider explained the rigorous hand-coding scheme that HI researchers used to code tweets and how researchers connected this data to EEG readings. The article highlights the phenomenon of “ghost engagement”—when audiences are highly engaged but don’t reveal it online or in group settings. One of the major insights from the study, ghost engagement” has important consequences for advertising and understanding how entertainment affects audiences.
HI board member Jonah Peretti (top left) made the cover of this week’s Ad Age as a member of the “Digital A-List.” The profile details the recent success of Buzzfeed, one of the web’s most innovative social news sites. Peretti’s approach to digital advertising tailors campaigns to encourage viral sharing on social networks.Peretti has helped guide HI’s vision through his digital expertise. As a board member, he provides guidance and support for HI’s mission of measuring the influence of entertainment.
HI’s Waiting for “Superman” evaluation received attention from the New York Times ‘Arts Beat’ blog on September 13, 2011. Michael Cieply, who covered this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, wrote, “Peter Broderick, the [How Films Can Change the World panel] moderator, said a Harmony Institute study of the education-reform film ‘Waiting for Superman’ identified ‘extensive press coverage’ as having amplified the message of the movie…”Click here for the full post.
On July 7, 2011, film consultant and writer Peter Broderick released a bulletin titled “Special Report: How Films Can Change the World,” which showcases evaluations of An Inconvenient Truth, The End of the Line, and Waiting for “Superman.”Through these three unique reports, Broderick presents researchers who are proving that both the financial and social impact of films can be measured. This innovative concept holds promise for filmmakers, non-profits, and advocates who seek new audiences for their messages.HI’s Waiting for “Superman” evaluation is described as a “substantial study analyz[ing] the impact of [the film] on viewers’ perceptions and attitudes.” Broderick describes how HI’s “strikingly designed” highlights report reveals the importance of carefully depicted metaphors and strategic partnerships in changing perceptions and attitudes among viewers. Read Peter Broderick’s bulletin in-full here.
On July 25, 2010 the New York Times published “Adding Punch to Influence Public Opinion,” an article profiling the Harmony Institute (HI), and highlighting its inaugural publication, Net Neutrality For The Win. The article introduced HI’s mission to the general public, while offering insight into its unique methodology.“We’re breaking ground here,” HI Founder and Executive Director John S. Johnson told The Times. While Johnson maintains that it’s clear “persuasion is inseparable from entertainment,” HI is undertaking the real issue of “whether it works,” that is the application of behavioral science in the creation of entertainment.“If it is conscious and if it has rigor, it’s much more effective,” maintained Johnson.