Trend Horizon For Digital Marketing

Writing for Ad Age, Dynamic Logic s Ken Mallon and Millward Brown s Duncan Southgate have put together a rundown of digital marketing trends in the coming year based on insight provided by researcher Millward Brown Futures Group.  Part one covers the top five trends, with five more to follow.

In this piece, the pair looks at the evolution of online display, the growth of mobile and mobile-centric apps such as location marketing, the broadening opportunity for marketers in casual and social games, and the maturation of viral videos into a valuable and effectively measurable tool.  One useful insight provided upfront: these innovations and their ongoing evolution as effective marketing and communications tools don t affect one fundamental of branding: the need to be engaging and relevant.

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 {link no longer active}

‘Unlikely Band Of Brothers’

The cinematic trailer for EA and developer BioWare’s Mass Effect 2 sticks with the formulaic in setting up the game s premise.  For the most part it wants to introduce the main characters, and for that its cookie-cutter roll-call approach delivers what an RPG audience wants to see: who are the playable characters, and what are their unique abilities.  It gets by on the bare essentials and for that it works.  What else works is thanks entirely to BioWare’s eye-watering CG and deftly directed animated action.  What doesn t is a borrowed opening sequence mired in stilted dialogue, not in a cinematic trailer for a rich IP like Mass Effect, and not when you go to the bother of casting a legend like Martin Sheen.

Watch it at GameTrailers {link no longer active}.

No Baggage Fees, Yahoo!

Yahoo picked up baggage fees for travelers at two San Francisco area airports as part of a marketing stunt, reports Ad Age.  The company sent representatives to San Francisco International and San Jose International airports to execute the stunt and managed to get coverage on local TV.  Yahoo called the move one small act of kindness.   Ad Age sees brilliance in a marketing stunt based on messaging that Yahoo is making “navigating the world simpler and cheaper.”

Read more at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

ESPN Gets Zany Again For X Games

ESPN is using off-the-wall comedy again to promote the upcoming extreme sports competition Winter X Games 14.  The sports network is no stranger to comedy in its promotions, although for X Games ads it seems to veer from its usual hip, frat-house prankster tone to the zanier variety.  In one sense it seems to be tapping into rival Fox-owned extreme sports network Fuel TV, which has a knack for the same.  For this spot, ESPN openly channels one of the zaniest comedies of all time, the Zucker brothers and Jim Abraham’s film Airplane!   Much like the film, the spot’s perfect pacing as it quickly slides into complete absurdity is the winning formula.

Watch it at Adweek {link no longer active}.

Crop Of Delayed Films Hitting Theatres In 2010

Writing for NY Times, Michael Cieply covers how a surprising number of major feature films got delays of as much as two years and are now just hitting theatres.  Cieply says the delays were mostly strategic moves by the studios.  Some films are affected by last year s writers strike.  In other cases, it s been a common reshuffling for films to either avoid or enter the fray in the period leading into Oscar season.  Still, Cieply says the number of delays is unusual, with 16 of 28 films scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2010 put in the can in 2008 or earlier.  So is the caliber of some of the movies, with Martin Scorcese, Matt Damon and Ethan Hawke vehicles among those getting the lag treatment.  Cieply gives insight into what led to the decision for some of the highest-profile films in the don’t-open-’til-2010 crop.

Read more at NY Times.

GameTrailers ‘GotY Awards 2009’

GameTrailers has their look back at the year that was with their Game of the Year Awards 2009.   The site picks their winners in more than 20 categories, with each getting a video featuring the nominees and listing off why they deserved distinction.  It s as much a best of list for the year as it is series of critical briefs of what set certain games apart in their genre, game play styles and production value.

See them all at GameTrailers.com {link no longer active}.

3D Videogames Summit On The Horizon

Events company Unicomm and former Hollywood Reporter publisher Bob Dowling are organizing a summit for 3D games, reports Edge-Online.  The organizers say the summit is in response to the growing potential for 3D games as stereoscopic 3D TVs make their way into people s homes.  Unicom head John Golicz says he expects a deluge of 3D products unveiled at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show.  The 3D game summit is slated for April 21-22, 2010, in Los Angeles.

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

Gutting The Playfish deal

Writing for Edge-Online, Alex Wilshire conducts an extensive interview with Playfish chief Kristian Segerstrale.  Wilshire digs into what led up to the EA acquisition and what each company hopes to get out of the partnership.  At one point he asks Segerstrale if the approach by EA so soon after it had announced missed earnings and layoffs made Playfish nervous.

Read the full interview at Edge-Online {link no longer active}.

Capcom Game Delays Leaked

A company investment document from Capcom has tipped game blog Joystiq off to delayed 2010 titles and a lower forecast for the publisher s upcoming game Dark Void.   Joystiq says the document posted by Capcom Japan showed worldwide delays for games including Street Fighter IV, Lost Planet 2, and Monster Hunter 3.   It specified the decision behind the delays as orchestrated by the publisher to avoid competition.  The document also pointed to lowered expectations for Dark Void, with Capcom revising its forecast for the game from 1.3 million units to 600,000 units combined on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.  Read more at Joystiq.

More Force For Feet

Adidas had given a sneak peek last month at its soon-to-be released line of Star Wars branded shoes.  The company is showing off more styles from the line, again highlighting how it s moved beyond just slapping the Star Wars logo on shoes.  The line features distinctive styles based on recognizable design elements from Star Wars characters, settings and vehicles.  If only Adidas would promo the shoes through TV.  Dwight Howard dunking to the sound of Tie-Fighters in his Tie-Fighter high tops money.

Check them out at Fubiz.