German Retreat For ‘Wolfenstein’

Activision has voluntarily recalled Wolfenstein from Germany after swastikas were discovered. The Nazi symbol is considered offensive and any displays are forbidden in Germany. Unfortunately for Activision, swastikas somehow made it into the localized version of the game. For Wolfenstein, critically panned and blamed for developer layoffs, it’s another jolt from a bumpy road traveled since its release.


SMS Call To Action Proves Much More Effective Than Web In One TV Campaign

A Chicago TV campaign alternated between web and SMS prompts for viewer response, and texting won hands down. The campaign promoting a contest for Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium aired two versions of their ad. One asked viewers to enter through a web site, the other by sending a text. The SMS option generated 325 percent more entries.

One of the marketers behind the ads sums it up by citing the immediacy and proximity of a mobile phone versus a computer for most people sitting in front of a TV. The surprising part could be the staggering delta here between the effectiveness of one method over the other, especially considering both were communicated through the same exact ads.

Read more at Ad Age.

Ad Age Analyses The Change To Twitter’s Terms Of Service

Editor Simon Dumenco digs up the caveats in the microblog site’s new terms of service. His translation of the legalese seems to counter some of the good PR the new terms have been getting. He calls the service a vampire in his headline. That couldn’t have come from the press materials.

Simon in-fact points out that some of the press and user goodwill is misguided by a desire to want Twitter to thrive. Citing why people may be misreading the terms, he points out a couple instances where folksy verbiage that reassures users is followed by more descriptive legal language that really spells things out. He says at the end of the day Twitter, like Facebook, can do whatever they want with what you upload.

Read his analysis at Ad Age.

Marketers Launching Clever Web Apps Should Be Aware Of Patent Claims

Patent owners are starting to take notice of how marketers might be infringing on their methods and apparatus. Reporting for Adweek, Brian Morrissey writes how companies and marketers may not realize that some of the most basic online service and interface methods are under patent. Some companies have discovered it the hard way.

The growing problem seems to stem from two directions. Patent owners had paid sporadic attention to how companies are using apps and interface methods for marketing. Not anymore, according to the article. Meanwhile marketers are using more software to help run all the creative apps and online toys they create for their digital campaigns. Among the anecdotes and advice in Morrisey’s piece is one gem, that marketing agencies build patent liability caps into their contracts.

Vitamin Water Parodies Infomercials With Steve Nash And 50 Cent

The video promoting Vitamin Water s flavorcreator Facebook campaign is a mash-up of bad infomercials and late-night ads. Featuring NBA star Steve Nash and rapper 50 Cent, the video mostly relies on Nash’s surprising grasp of deadpan comedy, what BrandFreak blogger Elena Glowatz nails by calling out as a too soon Bill Mays parody.

Besides the video, Vitamin Water’s flavorcreator concept has merit. The heavily celebrity and sports star endorsed line has associated flavors and drink colors with personalities before, and now lets consumers do the same. Watch the clip and read more at BrandFreak.

Comcast Spots For Fancast Go For The Funny Bone

On the heels of Hulu’s humorous Alec Baldwin spots, Comcast is promoting their web TV service with another funny premise. Anyone who ever missed a favorite show and had to rely on a friend, or in the case of these spots complete strangers, to recap can relate.

Ad Age features three of the spots and breaks down the campaign, calling it a direct assault on Hulu. Read and watch at Ad Age. 

Leak Through Sega Of America Press Site Spills Sega And Sony Beans

A document uncovered by game forum NeoGaf leaked out information on upcoming plans and products for Sega and Sony. Among details culled from the file are dates for the PS3 motion controller and the possibility of Dreamcast games sold through PS Network. This [a]listdaily post s opinion is that if the leak undermines the latter, we’ve all suffered for it.

Read more at Gamasutra.

NY Times Toying With Twitter Searches

Adweek reports that NY Times is looking to help improve Twitter searches. The paper feels it can do a better job of digging through the mountainous volume of Twitter posts by enabling topic and category searches. Surprising data mentioned in the story pins visitors to the Times Facebook page as predominantly female with 80 percent younger than 35.

Read more at Adweek.