Reach For New Arms In The Latest Halo

Halo: Reach is a prequel to the original Halo: Combat Evolved game, but that doesn’t mean all of the weapons will be rehashes of what’s been in the previous titles. Check out new guns like the Needle Rifle, Plasma Launcher and the Covenant Focus Rifle. Reach will undoubtedly be a major entertainment event when it launches later this year, and Microsoft will put its full marketing muscle behind it.

Social Media Vital For ‘Mass Influencers’

Forrester today introduced a new way of looking at social media from a marketing perspective. They say that so-called Mass Influencers are 16 percent of the U.S. population, but generate 80 percent of the influence impressions.

These Mass Influencers and broken down into two categories, with Mass Connectors that spread brand and service impressions across Twitter and Facebook, and Mass Mavens that create and share content on YouTube, blogs, forums, or ratings and review sites. This is important to consider since in areas like consumer electronics and games, most of these Mass Influencers are young and highly net savy.

Consumer Electronics Mass Influencers are younger, more affluent and more likely to be male than the average U.S. online participant, writes Augie Ray.  This information can be used to target advertising and PR that is more likely to reach the right kind of Mass Influencer for this brand.

Other tips for reaching Consumer Electronics Mass Influencers include reward programs over Twitter, and sponsoring parties where these individuals show off their products. Forrester says their Peer Influence Analysis can help marketers reach their target, which no doubt includes trend-setting prime demographics between 18 and 34 years old.

Source: Forrester

Iron Man 2 Comes Home

In a collaboration with Audi, Paramount will be launching an Iron Man 2 themed mini-game in PlayStation Home. Users can compete to win one of ten Iron Man suits to wear in Home, or answer some trivia and receive a free Iron Man 2 movie t-shirt. Sadly, this promotion is limited to Europe for now.

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Source: Kotaku

Google’s Nexus One: Marketing Lessons

Google’s Nexus One hasn’t fared as well as the company would have hoped, selling only 135,000 units its first 74 days, and now it’s being given away for free to industry reviewers.  Nexus One was a learning experience for the company, not the least of which is how to market a physical product.

“All those iPhone and Droid commercials on TV may seem like ego trips for the Apple and Motorola. But marketing plays a big role in phone sales,” writes Priya Ganapati. “Smartphones are not just for gadget heads, so if handset makers want to reach an audience beyond the early adopters, they have to advertise and sell their product through traditional media channels.”

“Google didn t capitalize on the initial buzz around the first  ‘Googlephone.’ The company never ran a focused marketing campaign that would try to impress on potential customers why the Nexus One was worth considering,” she continued. “The result has been that few potential customers have had a chance to hear why the phone may be special. Google also limited itself by offering the device only on T-Mobile. Last month, it extended it to AT&T, but AT&T customers will not get a subsidy on the device and will have to pay the full price $530 for the unlocked version of the phone.”

Source: Wired

Prince Of Persia Producer Looks Towards Gaming Convergence

Games are compared to movies by many, and the fidelity and storytelling quality of games makes them increasingly comparable to movies. Indeed, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time producer Jerry Bruckheimer thinks that even further convergence is coming between games and movies; considering how important both movies and games are to young adults, it’s a trend worth paying attention to.

“I really believe in the next 10 years you won t be able to tell the difference between movies and games. Games will be so realistic,” said Bruckheimer. “They are a form of storytelling and we love to tell stories in movies and on television. We are about to actively seek some executives. Hopefully in the next six months we’ll get started.”

Source: HeyUGuys

Batman Stage Show Under Development

The Spider-Man musical may be permanently grounded, but that will apparently not stop other similar productions. Right now Warner Bros. and DC Comics are working on the concepts for Batman Live, which is described as an arena production rather than a musical.

Nick Grace Management and Water Lane Prods., which worked on the Walking With Dinosaurs and Mamma Mia! touring shows, will collaborate on Batman Live. Alan Burnett, a veteran of the Batman and Superman animated series and DC Comics movies like Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Green Lantern: First Flight will write the story and script, which is said to include multiple villains.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

iPad Sales Move Past 1 Million, Says Estimate

According to research done by Chitika Labs, over one million iPads have been sold in three weeks. The firm computed this by checking to see how many iPads are coming through their advertising network and multiplying it by the total traffic of the Internet.

This survey method of determination would say that the original sell rate of the iPad, which saw a half million sold during the first week, has halved in the following two weeks, though it is still selling at a good clip. If this keeps up, and with iPad launches in other countries yet to come, Apple may yet sell several million iPads in 2010.

Source: ZDNet {link no longer active}

Facebook: Has It Already Won?

Facebook has introduced its Like button, which will further integrate the site with others around the Internet. Its personalization could be a powerful tool for Facebook in the future, even a decisive one over its competitors.

“It’s a simple yet powerful feature — one that delivers a significant blow to rival Twitter,” writes Pete Cashmore. “Once the network effects take hold, it’s frankly hard to imagine how any company could unseat Facebook’s social networking dominance in the months to come. Without a counterattack, even Google may one day be dethroned.”

“Facebook’s large user base of 400 million also gives it a strategic advantage over Twitter’s 100 million users. Twitter has also upset developers by moving towards official apps, whereas Facebook is inviting new partners in with the Like button and other new tools.”

“Google is also potentially targeted by Facebook’s new push. While Google dominated in the era of interlinked websites, its personalization is limited because it lacks access to your personal interests the way that Facebook does.”

“Google makes the vast majority of its money from ads — these ads typically match your search terms, or the content of the Web page you’re viewing,” writes Cashmore. “Google has certainly worked to personalize these ads, but its knowledge of your friends and interests is more limited than Facebook’s. The data gleaned from thousands of Facebook Like buttons around the web could make for an ad network that rivals Google’s AdSense.”

“Still, there are no guarantees for Facebook, particularly if Google does something like buy Twitter. While Facebook is perfectly positioned to lead the next charge, success is by no means guaranteed. Twitter is set to release ‘annotations,’ a way to append extra information to Tweets. Google has enough money on hand to buy, well, whatever it wants. And Facebook’s user base is volatile: They may one day decide to embark on a mass exodus, causing Facebook to fall like MySpace and Friendster before it,” concludes Cashmore.

Source: CNN