[FRC Blog] Five for FIRST

Posted on the FRC Blog, 10/15/15: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/blog-five-for-first

Five for FIRST

**Blog Date: **Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 15:38

Hello teams!

I hope most of you have had a chance to see the 2016 FRC Season Teaser released last night with the help of our friends at GameSense. If not, you can find it here. The GameSense crew and their guests seemed to be having a good time with the teaser, and I’ll tell you the *FIRST *staff who watched the show was having a good time watching the community have a good time.

As we have said before, one of the purposes of presenting the teaser in the way we did was to help get the attention of people outside the tent – those who are not already participating in *FIRST *or FRC. We recognize this teaser will not appeal to every individual outside the tent. However, with the funky mixture of high and low tech imagery in the teaser, the popularity of the medieval theme in general in our culture currently, and the popularity of stories of group quests or adventures throughout history, we think we have a chance at attracting the attention of folks whose ears may not automatically perk up when the phrase ‘robotics competition’ is uttered.

We are asking that you help make *FIRST *loud by sharing the teaser with five of your friends who know little or nothing about *FIRST *but should know more. You know that cousin in the other state who plays Clash of Clans every day, but hasn’t yet joined her FRC team? She could be one. Or that technology-minded co-worker with a child the right age. Or that person who thrives on competition. Or that thoughtful, quiet acquaintance who loves fantasy literature and the theater. We will never be able to predict with certainty who will get interested in FRC, but no one can be interested if they don’t know about it. You can be an instrument of a profound change in their lives by simply sending an email or creating a Facebook post.

Once again, here’s the link to the YouTube video for the teaser. You may want to consider mentioning to your friends, to help orient them, that this is a teaser for the 2016 season and that the game itself isn’t revealed until January. A great piece to accompany this video is the relatively new ”What is FRC?” video released in January, which you can find here. This a nice four minute introduction to what this whole FRC thing is about. Think about the teaser as the smell of cinnamon rolls intentionally directed into the walkway outside the restaurant. It’s designed to get an individual to the counter and take a look at the menu (the “What is FRC” video) even if they have never heard of cinnamon rolls before. Next step? Get them involved! The teaser landing page is designed for people new to *FIRST *to get involved in their own way.

Will you do five for FIRST? You can make a difference!



Oh great. We go from tackling in 2014 to building in 2015. Will we need to bulldoze what someone else builds in 2016? Time to add some armor plating, battle-bots style :smiley:

Pretty sweet video though.

Did someone say “quest”?

Teaser would have been much more effective (at least with the people I know) if it had focused on the competitive aspect with legitimate competition footage. This teaser would resonate with people at your local board game store, but not somewhere like my office.

For an organization that says it wants to emulate the sports model to get people excited, they are doing a seemingly great job of not appealing to the mass of sports fans. For what appears to be two years in a row they are going with games that are not sports related at all. #cutmorenets

If I’m gonna share anything, it would be the roboleague video as the emotion in that video would resonate with anyone who has won/lost a sporting event.

Showing competition video from a previous game as a teaser for the upcoming game isn’t really a teaser. It’s a promotional video.

True, but this seems more of a promotional video than teaser to me.

The video did absolutely nothing to get me excited about the upcoming year.

I watched it with my wife and she thought it was pointless and even said that if she didn’t know about FIRST this video would have done absolutely nothing to get her interested in it (and her interests are where they say they are looking to break into in this blog post).

Are the goals of a teaser and a promotional video different?

I am for sure going to show the Roboleague video FIRST (get it) to those colleagues of mine that know nothing of FIRST, I will then explain the teaser and show them the teaser video. That way not only do they get a little FIRST knowledge but also interested and guessing what this years game is.

A promotional video would be more promoting FIRST in general, the teaser is for something specific.

Would you want to see a teaser for a movie that had absolutely nothting to do with the movie but was just promoting the studio that made the movie?

Might be semantics, but I believe FIRST was trying more to tease the general public, not us. The video to me has the opposite effect.

If you want Cinnabon attraction by teasing the “smell*” of FIRST, the passion of competition is the best way to do it in my opinion. Ending that video with the Stronghold picture would have been plenty of teaser for those in FRC.


  • Any reference to Skunkworks was unintended…

I’m not saying to show exclusively competition video, I’m sure we can all agree there are more ways than showing a corny animation to create a teaser.

But if I watched this teaser knowing nothing about FIRST, I would think FIRST Stronghold is a robot video game set in the middle ages. Does it get me excited enough to visit the website and learn what FIRST actually is? Absolutely not. The same way Game of War or Clash of Clans commercials didn’t get me to visit the app store.

If FIRST wants to get people outside the tent excited about the coming season, they are going to have to show the excitement of the competition. This teaser gets the campers in the tent excited about the game, but utterly fails to engage people outside the tent. They would also do well to pay for mainstream media advertising as opposed to this social media approach they are taking.

Ever since the video released the significance of the number five subtly lingered in my mind. Today, with the newest blog post, I have to post my thoughts.

The initial thing that got me thinking was the flag in the FIRST Stronghold logo. It consists of two red stripes surrounded by three blue stripes. The logo for a game has obvious significance, so I don’t think this detail should be ignored.

Many people are speculating that one team would be defensive and another would be offensive, so perhaps these teams are not both 3 team alliances. I think there will be three blue offense teams and two red defense teams.

History shows that defending territory is easier than conquering, so unequal alliances would even the score a little. Plus, offense appeals to fans more than defense.

Today’s FRC Blog post is Five for FIRST. Coincidence?

It’s a possibility, but the likelihood of FIRST designing a game with one of its mechanics based on one side having a numbers advantage over the other doesn’t seem like something they would do.

I’m not completely on top of my FIRST history, but I can’t think of any years where one side was stacked more than the other in terms of number.

I mean, it’s been 4v0 before. (Also 6v0 in some instances in 2010 but that’s a whole different story)

But isn’t OP talking about 3v2? 3 Offense vs. 2 Defense?

We need five threads for this.

Perhaps this has a better smell…:0) enjoy!!

I don’t think I could disagree with you more.

There are too many facets to FRC to assume that showing exciting competition video is the only way to get people excited. Frank stated specifically in this blog that the goal of the teaser was to attract “the attention of folks whose ears may not automatically perk up when the phrase ‘robotics competition’ is uttered.”

This video is literally not targeted at the people that already enjoy the thrill of competition.

“Mainstream media” is a whole other can of worms…

I agree Ty. Pretty much every promotional video that FIRST has done has the same stuff in it. This was something different.

Medieval theme stuff is definitely only for nerds, because you know, Game of Thrones was only popular in the nerd crowd. Same with the Lord of the Rings movies or the Hobbit movies. Only nerds went to go see those.