GoDaddy Gets ‘Mature’ With New Ad Spot

Professional race car driver Danica Patrick has been promoting GoDaddy’s services with sexy ad spots for a while now, but this new 30-second spot puts a new twist on the ad strategy. You see, this time her grandmother shows off the new website she and grandpa created using GoDaddy, called “Grandma’” It then shows a video of grandma dancing around in her tank top. As Adweek {link no longer active} notes, “That’s GoDaddy. You can always count on cringe-worthy ad content.” GoDaddy is also holding a “Show Us YOUR GoDaddy Ad” contest offering a $100K top prize. Check out the new ad spot below.


Activision Blizzard Restructures Into Four Units

Publishing giant Activision Blizzard has restructured itself, reports IndustryGamers {link no longer active}. The company is now divided into four distinct units: one to oversee Call of Duty, a second unit to handle other internally owned properties such as Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk, a third to deal with licensed properties, and the fourth is World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment, which remains unchanged.

Mike Griffith, previously president of Activision Publishing, has been named vice chairman and in this new role, Griffith will serve as advisor to CEO Bobby Kotick. The reorganization resulted in another 15 layoffs at Activision, spokeswoman Maryanne Lataif confirmed. “We realigned our structure to better reflect our slate and marketing opportunities and direct our resources against the largest most profitable business segments,” she said.

Read the full story at IndustryGamers {link no longer active}.

Ubisoft Dancing Happy On Wii

For all the talk of third parties having trouble finding success on the Wii, there are some pretty significant exceptions. The latest would be Ubisoft’s music game Just Dance. IndustryGamers {link no longer active} reports that Just Dance has surpassed 2 million copies sold around the globe since launching last November. Ubisoft said that this makes the game the fastest selling new IP from a third party on the Wii platform.

“The consumer response to Just Dance has been overwhelming,” said Tony Key, senior vice president sales and marketing at Ubisoft, U.S. “With Just Dance’s success we’ve seen a renewal of the music video game genre, as this is truly a game that is accessible and enjoyable for everyone.”

We don’t agree that this represents a “renewal” of the music game genre, but it does show that opportunities still exist if marketed properly to the right audience, and Ubisoft has certainly figured out how to tap into this segment of the Wii installed base.

Miyamoto Talks About Removing Gaming Hurdles

Legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto was recently interviewed by Eurogamer about receiving the BAFTA Fellowship award recently and his thoughts on expanding the reach of video games today. Ultimately, Nintendo and Miyamoto would like games to be accepted by the general public in the same manner as TV or movies.

“For the past five or six years it has been one of Nintendo’s challenges that we would like to persuade the public to understand that videogames are actually a very convenient and useful means to use in their daily lives. And I think our endeavours have borne some fruits so far,” Miyamoto commented. “We’re hopeful we can expand that kind of endeavour so that in the future we’ll be able to see a situation where the general public are going to take for granted using videogames technology one way or another.”

The problem as Miyamoto sees it is that many people for a long while have felt intimidated by video games. “The fact is many people are afraid or scared of gaming technology,” he said. “Actually it’s very convenient, useful technology and as long as you can have some time to get accustomed there’s nothing to be afraid of at all. So my responsibility here must be to try to let people understand how convenient and useful game technology is and try to remove hurdles so that even your grandpa and grandma are waiting to turn on the power switch of your console easily without hesitation.”

Check out the full interview at Eurogamer. {link no longer active}

App Shows Board Game Potential For iPad

The size of the iPad opens the device up to many possibilities not really feasible on the iPhone, including board games. One such App will be the Game Table, which will cost just $.99 and allow players to simulate checkers, chess and poker.

The program can be used to create multiple games based on a simple checked board. Mashable suggests that the iPad could possibly substitute for bulky board games while taken on vacation.

More info is available at Tuaw.

iPad: Golden Opportunity For Developers?

The iPad announcement received its fair share of jeers for everything from its name resemblance to a ladies’ cleanliness item to its visual similarities to a large iPod. Still, Apple has hit gold before, and its general size makes it much more a potential alternative to laptops than anything they’ve made before.

“You can see how there’s a lot of people, including some businesses, and some students, who don’t need a full PC,” said Trip Hawkins, CEO of Digital Chocolate to “I see the tablet as being the ultimate browser experience. The big screen makes it better for viewing than a mobile phone, and opens up a lot of possibilities.”

There’s a lot of potential for new iPad related Apps when the device releases; Retronyms made a lot of money off of a voice-capture app when the iPhone debuted. The founder of the San Francisco-based software company says that developers should think different. “We believe that music is one of the best uses for iPad, so that’s different, and can be exciting,” he says. “The ones that will have a GPS will have a cellular network, so you can imagine making some really big, beautiful, location-aware games for them, too.”

While many iPhone Apps will work on the iPad, some developers are refreshing their old products for the iPad. Digital Chocolate is, for instance, optimizing Roller-Coaster Rush for the larger screen iPad. “To really make that the best use of the iPad, you’re going to want to update your color palate depth and frame rate and graphic capabilities,” said Hawkins.

Having a hit on day one is nice to have, but not necessary (or likely). Having good long term success can be helped by generating buzz, marketing, cross-promoting, and creating infrastructure. “It’s not necessarily the day that comes out that it needs to have blockbuster sales,” says Greg Trefry, iPhone app specialist. “Think about what audience you’re going after, and how that person interacts with their device.”

“From social games on Facebook to iPhone games, there’s no longer the old-school concept of putting it out there and then it’s done,” he says. “Now it’s all about interacting with your fans, and making appropriate updates based on feedback.”

Of course, making a game for the App Store can be a good bet as well, seeing as how half of the paid Apps are games. “A game with good quality game mechanics doesn’t really benefit that much from throwing a lot of great graphics at it,” said Hawkins.

DirecTV Going 3D

3D is taking off for movies, games and now television. DirecTV has announced that it will be launching some 3D sports channels in June 2010, which will include ESPN 3D, 3D pay-per-view and their own N3D channel.

“We made the decision late last year that we were going to continue with our innovation with providing our customers with a great experience in terms of entertainment and taking 3D and really running with it,” said DirecTV senior VP Steven Roberts to Variety.

N3D will feature content from Fox, MTV and CBS that will include films, documentaries, sporting and entertainment events. ESPN 3D will feature a variety of live events, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup, X-Games 16 and the BCS National Championship game.

“There is going to be specific content where people aren’t going to want to watch in just plain 2D any longer,” claims Roberts.

TV Ratings Rejiggered By Nielsen

Nielsen has long been the standard of television ratings, so a recently announced change to its “average audience” system was a shock for their clients. Notable is that duplicate viewing to all program telecasts is being added to the average audience ratings, taking into account how many consumers watch shows on the Internet and other devices.

The acknowledgment of the importance of new forms of media has some in the traditional TV advertising business worried. “Reach and frequency will certainly be impacted,” said Don Seaman, vice president-director of communications analysis at MPG to Mediapost {link no longer active}. “It’s unlikely that any repeated program content viewing will deliver repeated commercial viewing. Once again, the metric is favoring the content providers and probably overstating what the actual commercial impact really is.”

While there is some worry that this sort of system is being used as something that favors the new media forms over traditional television, Nielsen assures that it should not dull the effect of most TV ad campaigns. “The impact is definitely pretty small,” said Nielsen spokesman Gary Holmes. “The estimate is that it will increase viewing under one percent.”

Still, Holmes noted that the number is expected to increase over time as consumers and the industry embrace the idea of “TV everywhere.”

iPad Most Anticipated E-Reader Of 2010, Says Survey

The iPad is the biggest electronics release of the year, and consumer demand appears to be matching that image. According to a survey by PriceGrabber [thanks MediaPost], 20 percent of U.S. online consumers plan to buy the iPad in the next 12 months, compared to 12 percent that will buy Amazon’ Kindle; by comparison only six percent want to buy the Sony Reader and five percent will get Barnes & Noble’s Nook.

Of course, the iPad isn’t merely an e-reader like the Kindle. The survey indicated that only 13 percent plan to use their iPad primarily as an e-reader 10 percent see it as an entertainment device, 19 percent perceive it as a replacement for a laptop and 20 percent see it as another “mobile productivity device.”

Interestingly, PriceGrabber found that roughly 80 percent of consumers want to pay less than $250 for an e-reader; the average price of e-readers on is $241. Either consumers are not aware that the iPad costs a minimum of $500 or are simply willing to pay more for Apple’s tablet.