Tillman Rides Better Than You

Tillman, the board riding bulldog, has his own viral video for Activision’s Tony Hawk Ride. The video shows the canine putting his quadrupedal board balancing skills to work on the game’s skateboard peripheral, and seemingly pulling off solid virtual tricks in the game. It’s a great tie-in, one that’s natural even if the dog’s abilities in the video come across as very much staged. That’s because those in-the-know, likely including the game’s marketers at Activision, know that this dog has proven ride talents. The best part of the video just might be how, while people can be partially seen and heard exclaiming off-screen, the only other participant waiting to play is another bulldog.


The video made Ad Age’s latest top ten viral video chart, measured at more than 780,000 views in one week alone. It had about 745,000 total views on YouTube at the time of this post.


Watch it at YouTube.

Ad Age Viral Video Chart For Week Of Nov. 16

Ad Age’s weekly chart lists the top 10 viral videos for the week of November 16. Six new videos have popped on the chart, and they run the gamut from me too to wish I’d thought of that .

Heineken s Know the Signs (a.k.a. spot the drunk) campaign manages to break in at number one, garnering nearly 1.2 million views for a staged user video of a pole-dancing drunk literally bringing down a wedding. With that description, the[a]listdaily is likely helping that number climb. Prepare to be underwhelmed. Microsoft manages a couple videos in the top ten. The Natal video is still hanging on at number ten, having generated enough views to populate a metropolis after 20+ weeks on the chart. The company’s second entry is a new video that completely mimics T-Mobile’s crowd dancing virals, with Microsoft’s version featuring a breakout line dancing session at one of its new retail stores. It’s at number five with more than 560,000 views.

The two standouts for the week are Tillman the skating dog’s tie-in with Activision’s Tony Hawk Ride and Samsung’s viral campaign promoting its 2010 Winter Olympics sponsorship. The Tillman video is at number four with more than 780,000 views. It has its own entry in today’s newsletter. Samsung’s video is the second staged user video in its Olympics campaign showing outlandish feats in winter sports. The one that makes this chart shows perhaps the best use ever of a Curling puck, drawing nearly 550,000 views to make number six on the chart. The other new entries include a more geeky than cheeky spot for Cisco’s spam guarding servers, and Toshiba’s TV spot where it actually launched an armchair into space.

Ad Age’s chart includes number of views for the week and percentage change in views for videos that stayed on the chart. The list is compiled by Visible Measures.



Report Shows Holiday Cheer For Game Consoles

Rockhopper Research and Peanut Labs have conducted a survey on holiday shopping trends for consumer electronics. The firms reached out to 1,000 people in the US to ask them about holiday gift purchase intent. They found plenty of reason to cheer for electronics makers, and specifically the game industry. Of those surveyed, 83 percent said they planned on buying at least one consumer electronic product as a gift. Game consoles topped their list, with 60 percent among them saying they planned on buying at least one console. Digital music players came in next, with 54 percent planning to purchase at least one, followed by digital cameras and camcorders on 45 percent of people’s lists.

The firms also looked at shopping habits, finding two-thirds of those surveyed planning on visiting brick and mortar stores for their electronics purchases. The survey found Walmart and Best Buy dominating the category for physical retailers, while Amazon’s online electronics sales have grown to rival stores such as Target, Sears and Kmart.  The survey also asked about the importance of brands when it came to specific product categories, finding brand importance highest for game console shoppers.

Read the summary report from Rockhopper Research.

‘Left 4 Dead 2’ Marketing Tidbits

Writing for Industry Gamers, David Radd has a two-part interview looking at how EA and Valve upped the ante in marketing the sequel in their hit zombie franchise, Left 4 Dead 2.

Radd talks to Valve’s VP of marketing Doug Lombardi, who outlines the plan to grow the audience for a quick sequel to what turned into last year’s number one selling new game IP in North America. The first step was allocating a bigger budget, with Radd pegging the marketing figure at $25 million. Lombardi says the budget allowed them to increase spending in Europe as well as direct more money towards broader campaigning through TV, online and billboard ads. One result was making Left 4 Dead 2 the most pre-ordered Valve game since Half Life 2.

For his second interview Radd delves into the game’s tremendously successful viral campaign, partly organized through social game community Kongregate. Kongregate helped create a zombie-themed game mimicking the type of games people play and share on Facebook, and ran a viral campaign called Infected Fury Month to support it. Radd talks to Kongregate’s chief revenue officer Lee Uniacke on how the campaign managed to attract more than 500,000 players and generate 1.2 billion impressions.


Shack News Video Game Release List 11/29 — 12/5

Shack News lists this week s releases for PC, Xbox 360, Sony’s PS2, PS3 and PSP, and Nintendo’s Wii and DS.

Here come the last-minute stocking stuffer games. The broadest release this week is Ubisoft s Avatar, tied into James Cameron s blockbuster budgeted holiday film. It’s coming to every currently relevant game platform. THQ sneaks in a broad holiday release for its latest knobby tire racer MX vs. ATV Reflex, releasing on every major console including handhelds Sony PSP and Nintendo DS but not Wii. Bethesda also has a multi-platform title hitting the hardcore boxes and PC in Rogue Warrior, a shooter that seems to be deep in its politically charged premise if somewhat shallow on release buzz.


Check out the full list at Shack News.

MTV Delays Rock Band Network

MTV Games says Rock Band Network is getting a slight delay and now coming in 2010, reports Kotaku.  The service is being developed to provide an electronic storefront similar to Apple’s iTunes, but one where musicians and music labels can post tracks for people to purchase for play in Rock Band games. MTV Games and Rock Band developer Harmonix have rolled out the authoring tools that turn music tracks into playable content in the games. The storefront was expected to go live by the end of this year. MTV Games says the service is still in closed beta, with a public beta coming soon and launch expected in early 2010.  Read more at Kotaku.

Future Blames Game Media Profit Slump On US

Future Publishing has reported a steep fall in profits and is blaming it on poor performance of its US media properties, reports Gamesindustry.biz. The UK publishing house reported a 61 percent drop in profits for its 2009 fiscal year ending September. The company blames slumping revenues at its US magazines Nintendo Power, Official Xbox Magazine and PlayStation: The Official Magazine, as well as videogame news sites Edge Online and GamesRadar. It says revenues from US game media properties declined 13 percent for the year. Meanwhile the UK side of its business outperformed the market, increasing profits on a much smaller revenue decline of eight percent. Future CEO Stevie Spring commented to GI.biz that the publisher is expecting more troubles in 2010 and is taking a cautious view. Read more at Gamesindustry.biz.

Nintendo Scores With Women

Nintendo says it dominates the female console gamer segment with an 80 percent share, reports Kotaku.  The company highlighted statistics to support its case at a recent BMO Capital Markets financial conference. Nintendo estimates that women make up a little more than a quarter of the 45 million console game player market.  The company says 80 percent of the segment, or approximately 9 million women, are primarily Wii players. Nintendo of America s Reggie Fils-Aime says the figure represents a successful attempt by Nintendo to grow its market by specifically targeting women. Read more at Kotaku.

Google Using TiVo To Analyze TV Ad Viewing Habits

Fast Company says Google’s data partnership with TiVo will help the web giant analyze how people watch TV ads to better target and price its own ad content. Google has entered an ad revenue sharing partnership with DVR maker TiVo. As part of the deal, TiVo is giving Google access to data that monitors its users’ second-by-second viewing habits in exchange for revenue sharing with Google s TV Ads service. Fast Company says while the benefit to TiVo is cash, Google is banking on data that will help it understand how people watch TV ads. The data will help Google develop better ad content, target ads more effectively, and potentially prepare a pricing model for ads for internet TV. Read more at Fast Company.

Emergency Alerts Coming To Online Game Nets

New York is testing integration of its statewide emergency alert system into online game networks including Xbox Live and PS Network, reports Information Week. The state’s Emergency Management Office issues emergency alerts and regular emergency test broadcasts over TV stations and cable TV networks. The agency says that with young residents spending more time playing games than watching television, it decided to tap into online game nets in the interest of emergency preparedness. The plan is part of New York’s Empire 2.0 initiative expanding the state’s emergency response capabilities into digital media. Other components of the program include monitoring Facebook posts for suicidal behavior, using the MMO game Second Life to train emergency responders, and integrating social nets such as Twitter and Linked In as emergency communication tools.  Read more at Information Week.