Playing With Lasers

UK Premiere Leaguers Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres help promote their Nike Laser soccer shoes in this nifty TV spot.  The spot puts plenty of fun, fictional tech on display.  It’s another worthy effort from Nike’s occasional dabble into future tech meets sports science inspired ads.

Watch it at Campaign Live {link no longer active}.

Searching For Word-Of-Mouth

Writing for Ad Age, Eric Swayne covers the growing opportunity for marketers to tap into friend-sourcing in their marketing efforts.  As Google and Microsoft’s Bing have started including social media content, Swayne wonders if friend-sourcing may not eventually get integrated into search engine results.  He argues for it by saying that people I know give better and more reliable answers for me than the world can as a whole.   While that level of word-of-mouth seeding isn t quite there yet, he outlines how marketers can currently leverage friend-sourcing in their social media efforts.

Read the article at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

Shack News Game Release List Jan. 31 To Feb. 6

Shack News lists this week’s videogame releases.

The platform that gave us every game genre that currently matters gets the limelight this week, along with another chance to own videogame history.  Atari’s Star Trek Online for PC attempts to boldly win where many have lost before: the license-based massively multiplayer online game.  The week’s other notable releases are also for PC.  EA’s The Sims 3 gets an expansion.  First-person shooter franchise S.T.A.L.K.E.R. gets a third title, and just as many publishers as Viva releases the latest entry S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat.

Check out the full list at Shack News.

EA’s Super Plans For ‘Dante’s Inferno’

Following the same strategy EA cited in advertising Mass Effect 2 during the NFL NFC championship game, the publisher says buying Super Bowl ad time for Dante’s Inferno helps it hit a huge audience just prior to launch.  As reported in Ad Age, EA has bought a single slot during the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 to advertise its hack and slash action game hitting shelves two days later.  EA senior product manager Phil Marineau said the ad buy represents the perfect culmination to the nine month marketing push for the game.  Ad Age points to notable numbers garnered by EA’s campaign, one that primarily played on the game’s hell and Satan premise with efforts such as a mock religious protest and a fake bible-themed game.  EA said it has nearly 100,000 preorders for the game, and that it tracked 2.5 million demos downloaded.  It also said the game’s Facebook page has about 5 million followers.  Ad Age paints “Dante’s Inferno” as EA’s God of War slayer, saying the publisher’s decision to buy Super Bowl airtime for its hack-and-slash action game is partly to steal thunder from Sony’s tentpole in the genre.  Sony is releasing the anticipated sequel “God of War III” on March 16.  The news outlet adds that one holdup in EA’s Super Bowl ad plan is CBS likely not approving the game’s Go To Hell slogan.  Marineau said that if that happens, “There will still be a callout to hell” in the ad.  Read more at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

Icahn Takes More Of Take-Two

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has bought a sizable chunk of shares to increase his stake in Take-Two by more than a percent.  As reported in Gamasutra, Icahn bought more than one million shares at around $9.20 a share to increase his holding to more than twelve percent of the company.  The investor s interest in Take-Two has been the subject of recent news in and outside of the game industry.  Reports surfaced last week that Icahn was among sources of a rumor that Time-Warner was interested in buying Take-Two.  Gamasutra points to his publicized attempt to reshuffle Take-Two s board, a move that could remove company chief Ben Feder from his board seat.  Read more at Gamasutra.

Sony Suggests Apple Helps PSP Sales

Sony has pointed to iPad and other Apple devices as beneficial to its handheld game business.  The Escapist reports on comments made by Sony director of hardware marketing John Koller to Wall Street Journal.  Koller told the paper that Apple’s entry into videogames has been a net positive for Sony.  He implied that when people who play portable games on Apple devices are ready for a deeper, richer console, they migrate to Sony s handheld PSP system.  The Escapist cites figures provided by Sony that show PSP sales have reached 42 million units worldwide while seeing year over year growth since Apple launched iPhone in 2007.  Read more at The Escapist.

Report Cites Security Risks On Social Nets

Security software firm Sophos has conducted a report on growing security risks on social media sites.  As reported in Mashable, the report found a near 70 percent rise over last year in users claiming to get malware through social nets.  Sophos surveyed users and found 36 percent said they received malware through sites such as Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn, and 57 percent said that they have been spammed through these sites.  The firm also surveyed about 500 businesses and found 72 percent of them look at social media sites as risks to their company.  Among them, 60 percent pinpointed Facebook as posing the biggest threat.  Read more at Mashable.

‘Most Coolest Promo Mailing’

ZD Net’s Jason Perlow is gushing over a recent Discovery Channel mailer for the network’s new TV series Life.   The product package sent by Discovery looks like any other slick mailer until Perlow opens up what looks like a hardbound book.  What he discovers is how the network s marketing team found a neat way to bring immediacy to getting members of the press to screen video mailers.  The book turns out to be the casing for a miniature video playback device complete with an LCD display.  Once Perlow opens the cover a video trailer for the show launches on the screen, and the device has playback controls so he can manipulate the video.  The whole thing moved Perlow enough to put together a video for ZD Net highlighting the mailer, during which he quips, “This is probably the most coolest promo mailing I’ve ever gotten in my entire life.”

Check it out at ZD Net {link no longer active}.  If you watch the video, the reveal is at 01:10.

PAX East Close To Selling Out

PAX game expo organizer Penny Arcade says it is expecting a sellout show with more than sixty thousand attendees at its first-ever East Coast event, reports Joystiq.  Penny Arcade’s Robert Khoo said the show, dubbed PAX East 2010, is expected to have more attendees than PAX 2009 in Seattle.  That show attracted nearly 61,000 attendees.  Joystiq says organizers are expected to announce this week that fewer than 1,000 full access badges for the three-day event remain.  The outlet also adds that those buying passes don’t seem deterred by the fact that speakers and sponsors have yet to be announced.  PAX East is scheduled for March 26-28 in Boston.  Read more at Joystiq.