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Your LIVExam 2021: display your three stones of knowledge

Under the present dire circumstances, here is a confirmation of the exam format announced in the first lecture, identical in format to the preceding years for both the June 2021 and August 2021 sessions. These Instructions for the oral exam conducted online by webcall on TEAMs will still apply strictly — every student taking the exam must have read and understood these guidelines and apply them during the whole exam.

June 28 update for the second session: the same rules, contents, format and tasks as the June exam will apply to the August exam — students who have succeeded a certification can keep their marks for that part of the exam or even improve them by taking another additional certificate that will replace their weakest marks for the certificates; students who have only taken one certificate (instead of two) or who have not taken any, can take respectively one or two certificates under the same rules as for the first session. To benefit from this, you must let me know by mail before July 31, and communicate the result(s) with the appropriate proof before August 16.

July 4 update: You can now register for the August exam here. Write your name in a free time slot.

May 5 update: Here is the complete list of concepts:!AkOFBhZJw3Ylw3jKXt2B0hWNq8CH?e=AsHuW3

April 24 update: exam roster available at the bottom of this post


The exam bears on all the different facets of the course, i.e. the contents shared during each lecture based on the weekly slide decks and on the oral explanations in the lectures on TEAMs, recorded in your personal notes. This is completed by a few elements of personal homework:

the videos embedded in the slides and to watch again on the course Youtube channel to ensure complete understanding and make notes.

the chapters from three written sources: Shoshana Zuboff’s book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Carissa Véliz’s Privacy is Power and Nir Eyal’s Hooked : they inspire my critical analysis of algorithmic advertising, data hoarding and addictive technologies embedded in social media.

five quizzes to you to test your knowledge.

the different online platforms, sites or services I invited you to test all along the course, which I called your toolbox.

your own research based on the course.

Your study must develop a solid understanding not only of these contents. It will also focus on the concepts that structure the course, and even more on the links between the different parts and their concepts. Do not base your study on the list below, which is only intended as a testing tool after you have done your study, not as a study basis.


The evaluation itself will be oral by videoconference on TEAMs. It will be based on three concepts from the course. You’ll draw three cards at random from a list including (1) core concepts (2) supporting concepts (3) illustrating concepts.

Here is the definitive complete list of concepts for the exam, broken down into three categories:

(1) core concepts

(2) supporting concepts

(3) illustrating concepts!AkOFBhZJw3Ylw3jKXt2B0hWNq8CH?e=AsHuW3

I insist: these concepts are a testing tool, not a learning device. Do **not** start your study from the list as that would turn the course into a flat linear one-dimensional world, bringing you to lose sight of the essential: digital, and reality in general, is multi-dimensional, systematic… networked! Do you understand me?


Your aim will be to show you have clearly understood these concepts and how they relate to the evolution of marketing communication as we have analysed it in the course. In a nutshell, this evolution has taken us from:

(1) interruptive/ top-down/ one-way/ outbound advertising


(2) permission/ bottom-up/ two-way/ inbound advertising


(3) networked/ collaborative/ social/ participatory/ connected communication

to reach a stage that is

(4) data-driven by algorithms, where algorithms are progressively taking over many aspects of marketing communication.

Each concept should be a door that opens up the global conceptual context it belongs to.

Additionally, your optional certifications with Hubspot Academy, Google Garage or Skillshop will prove very useful to extend your knowledge (I‘ll publish the results soon after the last deadline, April 30 at midnight here) , and for those with a taste for even more, there is the information shared on Twitter with the #LIVErtising hashtag and on the LIVEshare page on Medium.

In a nutshell, your task will be to:

  • define those concepts
  • put them in their adequate conceptual context and develop that conceptual network
  • show how they connect with associated concepts
  • detail how they help us understand the evolution and specific digital dimension of marketing that the course focuses on

Make sure no language problem blurs your message — here is some revision work which may boost your mastery of some basic aspects of the language. I strongly encourage you to work through this regularly starting immediately.

This exam format is far more open than if you got three question about the course: it’s both easier and also more difficult. It gives you more possibilities: no danger of feeling stuck in a question you do not understand or remember — there is no single or expected answer, as long as it is relevant, information-rich, coherent and shows that you have understood the context. But is also gives you more responsibility: the need to build your own answer with all the bits and pieces of the course in order to provide a relevant reply that makes sense. In this respect the structure of your answer will be important.

Now, if you still have the feeling that your job consists of studying (possibly by heart) the definitions of a list of concepts, stop here and read the above explanations again, until you get rid of that feeling, because it is wrong!

I understand you may want to ask me questions about some of the above concepts. I invite you to submit all your questions as a comment at the bottom of this post. This will enable me to answer publicly and help you all. You’ll also find a Q&A from students preparing the LIVExam in 2019 and 2020.


July 4 update: You can now register for the August exam here. Write your name in a free time slot.

Meanwhile, let us take the opportunity to reconsider what is really important in life: health, love and friendship, healthy food, mutual help and humanity. Hoping this will inspire us more, again, later, as soon as we can share them again …




LIVErtising essentials every LIVErtising student needs to cover

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