Nielsen TV Product Placement Rankings

Ad Age is featuring Nielsen IAG data looking at effective product placements in reality TV from September 14 to October 11, 2009.  The chart ranks top ten placements in reality TV shows, listing the show, the product placed and the type of placement.  Ranking is based on Nielsen’s recall score, which it describes as the percentage of TV viewers who can recall a placed product within 24 hours of exposure.  The recall index figures listed are Nielsen s scores indexed against the mean score for all placements within the genre.

Check out the list at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

Impact To GameStop From DLC Is Eight Years Out, Says Analyst

An analyst from Broadpoint AmTech says GameStop should look for the first big impact from digital distribution in 2017, but is upbeat about their near-term performance.  Reported by Industry Gamers, analyst Ben Schachter says his firm has initiated coverage of the game retailer with a buy rating and $33 per share target.

Schachter tells IG that the growth of digital content is still overcoming barriers, including broadband adoption and hard drive space on consoles.  He anticipates the current console cycle will run through 2014.  He also cites issues on both the retailer and consumer side of the industry as barriers to digital growth.  The importance of retail marketing to help sell games is often overlooked, he says.  And as a study by GameStop found, the game consumer still puts $10-20 additional value on physical packaged product.  Schachter sees games eventually impacted by factors similar to what the music industry has seen in its shift to digital, yet amidst that gloomy comparison stays positive on GameStop’s ability to continue profitability.

Read more at Industry Gamers {link no longer active}.

CNET Takes A Spin With XBL Social Media Tools

CNET took a spin with Facebook and Twitter on Xbox Live in advance of Microsoft’s official launch.  Microsoft hasn t set a launch date but says to expect rollout sometime in November.  In addition to the social media tools, the rollout includes, a music matching service, and InstantON, a tool that lets users immediately stream videos of content they’ve purchased to download.

In previewing the social media apps, CNET cites missing features that users accustomed to web versions might find glaring, such as uploading photos and clicking through on URLs.  Microsoft says their focus is on recreating the experiences as both befitting Xbox Live and the living room.

Read more at CNET.

Gamers Can Be Impulse Buyers, Says NPD

NPD released a study showing 40 percent of game consumers in Canada have made a game purchase on impulse in the past six months, reports  The research showed the average price of impulse buys was $27.19 compared to $42.97 for games people planned on purchasing.  Packaging was cited as an important factor in decision making by 40 percent of respondents, and 25 percent said they were affected by in-store demos.


Mod The World

Layar released their augmented reality app for iPhone with a feature included that lets users manipulate the information overlays.  Layar’s app overlays information on images viewed through the iPhone camera.  The data displayed is like marrying Google Streets with the regular map browser, where the destination points and other data from the map appears in a photo of that location.  The information displayed can include popular businesses or tourist destinations.  Layar describes the experience as “browsing the world.”

Kit Eaton at FastCompany writes that the app includes code that lets developers customize overlays with their own information.  Perhaps great for practical jokes, but what Layar has in mind is to see iPhone developers creating new apps and savvy users creating ARG mods.  Their open source thinking extends to their pricing model the app is free.

Read more at FastCompany {link no longer active}.

EA Brings Madden To Arcade

EA Sports is releasing Madden NFL Arcade for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, reports 1up.  The game is a pickup and play version of the publisher s pro football franchise, with all 32 NFL teams intact.  In the interest of casual play the game eliminates the pesky things that weigh down American football, such as penalties, field goals, and probably a lot of linesmen.  The arcade version is a 5-on-5 match on a 60-yard field.

The move follows EA’s release of 3 on 3 NHL Arcade, a similarly stripped down version of its professional hockey franchise for XBL and PSN.

Read more at 1up {link no longer active}.

Free-To-Play Games Coming To iPhone

Apple is extending the ability to run micro-transactions to free apps, reports Macworld.  Currently only paid apps can run money transactions in the software linked to Apple iTunes App Store.

Rob Griffiths of Macworld sees the first key development being that Apple developers can now process game purchases from inside their free demos.  Apple’s restriction had forced people who play free demo versions of software to return to the App Store and purchase the full version as a separate product.  Griffiths predicts the end of iPhone’s free demo  lite apps altogether, with developers now able to roll out a single app that runs a free demo and can activate the paid version.  A welcome byproduct of the change will be eliminating double listings that clutter the App Store, where any product with a free demo is listed twice.

Eventually developers are expected to start rolling out subscription based products, and look to use the free-to-play model taking hold on PC.

Read more at Macworld.

Female iPhone Users Shun Ads

Mobile marketer Brand in Hand has found a big difference in the way women engage with mobile ads on iPhone versus other phones.  Talking to Rita Chang at Ad Age, the agency shared results from trials and more than 60 campaigns where they measured women who visit mobile sites after clicking on a mobile display ad.  They found iPhone users clicked about a third fewer times into sites they visited.  They were also nearly seven times more likely to leave a mobile destination without taking any action.

Brand in Hand, which serves major Fortune 500 clients, attributes the big deltas to the way iPhone users interact with mobile web and how ad creative can t be customized for any single device.  Ad Age cites the overall small number women iPhone users represent to brands seeking reach among tens of millions of people.  Nielsen estimates that among women aged 18-49, only 18 percent have smart phones.

Read more at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

A Sweet Free Ride From Capcom

Capcom is giving away a free Tesla Roadster in a contest promoting its upcoming action game, Dark Void.   The game has a connection to Tesla, featuring a character based on famous inventor and Tesla Motors namesake Nikola Tesla.

San Francisco Business Times says the contest is the first time Tesla Motors has given away a free car.  Tesla was founded in 2003 and makes electrical vehicles.  The price of the Roadster Capcom is giving away is estimated at more than $100,000.

Read more at San Francisco Business Times.