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Check out the list at Ad Age {link no longer active}.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Read more at Industry Gamers {link no longer active}.

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}.

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}.

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.

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.

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}.

Wrestling Game TV Spot Ends Weirdly

The TV spot for THQ’s WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 highlights a single game feature, the ability to create custom characters.  It sets up a great premise for it.  A mother wakes up to find crazily costumed wrestlers in her kitchen.  She takes it up with her son, who created them for his wrestling game.  They have angry exchanges.  It ends with the mother cuddling in the arms of one of the wrestlers as her husband bangs on the house.  Nothing given away here, it’s a random attempt to punctuate the ad with a laugh.  AdFreak calls it weird.

Watch it at AdFreak.

Edge-Online Charts UK Internet Buzz

Edge-Online launched a nifty feature earlier this week.  The outlet is partnered with marketing metrics firm Brandwatch to chart online buzz for top UK games on a weekly basis.  Edge will feature the list and stats for top ten games for each week along with a weekly topical spin, for example pinpointing a single game genre or franchise.

The data in this week’s chart was published by Edge on Monday and refers to last week s games and numbers.  The index ranks games based on positive mentions, not total mentions.  Not surprisingly, EA’s FIFA 10 stormed Europe and Brandwatch s list last week, topping all UK games in mentions and positive comments.  Halo3: ODST  came in at second in mentions, but scored low with a little more than a third of them being positive.  Gran Turismo for PSP and Mario Kart for Wii suffered the lowest percentage of positive comments on the list of top 10, each at 12 percent.

Edge s topical index for the week looks at music games, essentially charting the Rock Band vs. Hero battle between MTV and Activision’s titles.  This being a UK chart, Singstar is in the mix.

Read more at Edge-Online {link no longer active}.