Lost Planet 2 Ad Campaign Looks To ‘Kill Big’

Capcom has high hopes for Lost Planet 2, putting the sequel in the ranks of their other anticipated titles like Super Street Fighter IV and Dead Rising 2. So, the company is targeting a significant campaign to make sure that the game, coming to PS3, PC and Xbox 360, will be a success.

“As the sequel to the million-selling Lost Planet, expectations are high,” said Capcom’s UK product and community manager Karl Reader. Expectations from the consumer are equally high and we re really hoping to capture the public s imagination with the game s new features.

“The game features fights against massive bug-like aliens called the Akrid, and these collosal battles will set the theme for the British campaign. Our campaign tagline has been Kill Big and that s exactly how we intend to deliver: big,” describes Reader. “Every game claims to be bigger and better than the original but in this case, that’s the reality.”

The ‘Kill Big’ slogan will be seen in major U.K. metro areas on phone boxes and will be featured in online ads for sites like The Sun, Sky Sports, Spotify, and gaming sites like GameSpot, Eurogamer and IGN. There will also be a TV campaign running during the run up to the end of the Champions League and the Premier League soccer seasons, targeting 16 to 34-year-old males.

The U.S. is seeing a ‘Kill Big for Charity campaign, where they pledge to donate $20,000 to charity once the Lost Planet 2 multiplayer demo tops one million downloads.

Source: MCV

Technology Brands Rule BrandZ Top 100

Millward Brown Optimor today released their BrandZ Top 100 ranking. 17 technology brands were on the list, making the sector hugely impactful for branding, with Google, IBM, Apple, Microsoft and HP all making up the top five brands.

“Technology brands have proved their resilience to recession because of their deep integration into our personal and business daily lives” explained Peter Walshe, global brands director at Millward Brown Optimor. “Some of the most valuable brands in the world come from this sector, Apple and IBM are the two biggest growth brands of the Top 100 in absolute terms, with increases of $20 billion and $19.8 billion respectively, showing that it’s possible to build a strong and valuable brand in both business and consumer facing markets.”

On the gaming front, the Wii was the biggest brand, seeing a 21 percent increase in value, while the DS was in second and actually declined 19 percent. The Xbox 360 was mostly flat and remained in third while the PS3 saw a 25 percent increase in value. The study also noted the rise of social games, with their low entry cost and availability on multiple platforms.

Conan O’Brien Going On 60 Minutes

While Conan O’Brien is in the middle of his self-explanatory “The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour” he’s still going to appear on television this weekend. The talk show host has given an interview to CBS s 60 Minutes that will air this Sunday, the first day his agreement with NBC lets him give an interview.

O’Brien will talk about his new deal with TBS, though he’s still legally barred from bashing Jay Leno. He flirts with the restrictions, said 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft.

Since CBS can’t show O’Brien on the air before the weekend, the network will have to promote the show in unusual ways. I think we ll just show me talking to him and have to blank his face out, said Kroft.

Source: New York Times {video link no longer active}

Professional Game Reviewers: What’s Their Worth?

With the Internet giving voice to millions, it would seem there’s a potential for professional game reviewers to get drowned out in the noise. While word of mouth is key, in the case of game reviewers, they generally come from the same circles of fandom as many game consumers do.

“A recent report claims that avid gamers perceive expert reviews and publisher content as ‘biased,’ and ‘heavily commercialized.’ These sound like exaggerations that don’t reflect the opinions of the vast majority who play videogames. While of course some rabid fans may be above anyone suggesting what to make of a game, millions and millions read professional reviews every month,” said Roy Bahat, president of IGN Entertainment. “For editorial staffs at gaming sites, credibility is on the line with every review. Videogame fans will remember for years the one game they hated that got a great review — because they spent $60 on it and were disappointed. And if an editor, over time, seems to be letting bad games slide by, that editor and the outlet for which that editor writes will soon be left unread.”

“Game consumers will hotly debate the merits of various reviews, often on the sites that provide the reviews themselves. Ultimately, the two sides complement each other, with premium gaming content sites giving voice to the most outspoken individuals, who evangelize the best games to the four corners of the Earth and drive clicks; devoted gaming sites claimed over 58 million unique users in February 2010.”

“So what’s the right way for an advertiser to get its message across?s Premium gaming media sites are a phenomenal way for a marketer to reach its audience. There simply aren’t many places on the web where a marketer can reliably reach a large (but targeted) audience in a buying state of mind – and have a flexible enough palette to deliver a truly innovative campaign. Advertisers should jump on these opportunities in a way that not only respects – but enhances – the user experience,” continues Bahat. “Marketers can’t just buy ‘inventory’ – impressions alone won’t get the job done. Visitors to premium gaming sites are thinking about buying games, but they’re also inundated with facts, images, words, and messages. Clever campaigns and creative matter. And game publishers know their advertising has value regardless of how their games score with reviewers.”

“The new media universe has opened discussions about everything from toys to technology, and it’s difficult to cut through the clutter – without a little guidance. As videogames burst out of their shrink-wrap and the number of games available at any given time catapults from hundreds to millions, it’ll become even harder for people to find the games they want. Gaming media sites will have to focus on discovery in parallel with product review – but, if it’s done right, premium content sites will still be the eye of the storm for all discussions swirling around the world of games,” concluded Bahat.

Source: MediaPost {link no longer active}

Apple Creating Bad PR With Reaction To Missing iPhone?

Apple has long had a reputation for secrecy, badgering various members of the media for leaking details it considered internal. The recent raid of Gizmodo blogger Jason Chen’s house and computer seizure shows that Apple is determined to pursue the case criminally rather than civilly, which some consider a mistake.

“There is no way that this is not negative in some way for the company,” commented Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates. “The question here is what is Apple hoping to get ”

“Apple has been drifting into looking like the wrong side of their famous Big Brother ad for some time,” adds Rob Enderle, a Silicon Valley technology analyst. “This could easily turn out to be one of the biggest mistakes the firm has ever made because the investigation … could showcase other Apple problems as this story snowballs.”

Chen recently came into possession of a prototype iPhone, allegedly left in a bar and then sold to Gizmodo. Gawker Media, owner of Gizmodo, says the seized computer equipment is covered by California’s shield laws, which legal experts in the San Mateo district attorney’s office are examining before the equipment is examined.

“We can do this one completely aboveboard,” said chief deputy district attorney for San Mateo County, Stephen Wagstaffe. “We’re not going to lose any evidence by waiting to search this equipment, and we’re not going to invade anyone’s privacy if we determine not to use it.”

Source: MarketWatch

Dead Space 2 Inkblots: What Do You See?

Before Electronic Arts officially announced the game, the publisher first teased Dead Space 2 with inkblot images, playing up the psychological elements of the game. Now, the inkblots are continuing to be sent out, along with a document implying that protagonist Isaac Clarke is undergoing psychotherapy. It’s certainly a unique viral marketing tact.

Source: Evil Avatar

Alan Wake Merchandise For Sale

Alan Wake is set to release for the Xbox 360 on May 18, but Remedy Entertainment isn’t hesitating to launch some marketing tie-ins. As such, the developer has opened a store featuring all sorts of official Alan Wake apparel and swag.

The clothing items include many t-shirt designs, a hoodie and a hat, as is not uncommon for gaming merchandise. A poster and sticker set are also available, along with a laptop and shoulder bag and a flashlight that we have to assume is a play off of the game’s use of light. The most curious item is a pair of boxer-shorts with the Alan Wake logo on the front and I am AWAKE on the back in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.

3D Gaming: The Revolution Will Be Televised

3D movies are becoming quite common and are readily accessible at most any theater, who will provide the necessary 3D glasses.  3D gaming, on the other hand, is in a much more nascent stage, with few developers supporting the feature; this didn’t damper the enthusiasm of the first ever 3D Gaming Summit, where the consensus was that the 3D revolution is coming to gaming sooner rather than later.

The television industry is helping to push 3D to gamers, with both Samsung and Panasonic now selling 3D TVs. Additionally, 3D films on Blu-ray like Coraline and The Polar Express along with 3D programming from networks Discovery and ESPN are helping to popularize 3D on the small screen.

“We’ve got to tell people about it,” said Phil Eisler, general manager of Nvidia’s 3D Vision. “Hollywood has done a fantastic job of educating consumers and marketing to them about the wonderful experience in the theater. We need to tell consumers about the wonderful experience that games are in 3D.”

Conversions to 3D for gaming are not difficult, and hundreds of titles like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Resident Evil 5 are already 3D compatible on PC right now, with the correct equipment. “You’re seeing it now,” said Avatar producer Jon Landau. “People are going to want 3D in their homes. I think 3D is going to become ubiquitous in everything we do. From what I understand of the initial TV sales at Best Buy, everything went out the door. Why? Because it’s of a certain quality, and I think that’s what we have to make sure we protect.”

That said, having to wear glasses for the 3D effect is a negative; Michael Cai, an analyst at research firm Interpret, said that gamers are reluctant to don the 3D glasses, but weren’t adverse to 3D gaming in general. Proving its never to early to prepare, Sony is gearing up to include 3D gaming features in the PS3 and Nintendo has already announced that its next handheld, the 3DS, will offer 3D visuals without 3D glasses.

“One of the big advantages of the gaming market is that it’s extremely viral,” said Neil Schneider, president of 3D gaming advocacy group Meant to be Seen. “If there’s a way to capture the interest of just a handful of these gamers, it’s the consumers that could help drive this industry forward, perhaps more influential than a retail display at Best Buy.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Iron Man 3: ‘I Think It’s Going To Go Down,’ Says Robert Downey Jr.

Iron Man 2 is widely believed to be the biggest box office draw for the Summer of 2010, and the various promotions are now starting to come out of the woodwork. With this sort of blockbuster success already seemingly assured, star Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t think it’s too early to mention the next Iron Man movie.

“I think it’s going to go down,” said Downey. “I know Avengers is supposedly first on their docket and we’ll see how all that pans out sooner or later.”

When asked about where a third movie might go, Downey was mostly coy. “I have some pretty strong ideas, but they never seem to be too discordant with what the creative execs are thinking at Marvel anyway,” he described. “It’s all there. There’s a little bit of a bunch of different storylines from different decades. I always feel, just like with Sherlock, you’re not going to do any better than you will looking back at [Arthur Conan] Doyle’s stories.”

Iron Man 2 will debut in theaters on May 7.

Source: MTV.com