IPad’s Revolution

With confirmation that the iPad has sold over one million units in under a month, the era of the tablet computer is upon us. It’s more readily portable for entertainment than a laptop and its uses are sure to expand as more apps are released in categories related to travel.

As far as it being a mobile-entertainment platform, it’s better for viewing content than laptops, reading devices or smartphones. Its larger screen and clever, wide-viewing angle feature ensure good views of the images even when the tablet is held sideways, writes Ilana Bryant. And TV advertisers, take note: Recent qualitative research from PHD among iPad owners indicates the iPad TV experience is so good that many respondents forecast it will replace the second and third TV in their homes and, possibly, their primary TV sets. ABC’s TV app, which offers free access to the network’s shows in exchange for users watching five traditional 30-second ads per hour, generated millions of ad impressions in the first 10 days of the iPad launch.

Some research suggests that the iPad’s large screen and streamlined interface can be better for making connections with a brand. Pampers recently used the iPad’s abilities with its “Hello Baby” app that allows pre-natal moms to see their baby’s changes week-by-week with 3-D images and sounds of the baby.

The iPad’s cinematic, touch-screen experience is also game changing. People, for instance, are buzzing about the app Elements: Visual Exploration (an interactive look at the periodical table) because of its visually breathtaking approach to the normally mundane table, describes Bryant. Imagine the potential of this device for the visuals in print magazines. The iPad also has a willing audience of e-readers waiting. According to a CNET poll taken last week, 20 percent of iPad owners bought it for the primary purpose of reading books and magazines.

The iPad’s friendly accessibility means that it might find a place with older, less tech savy consumers in the long run. iPad users also seem to be very enthusiastic Internet consumers and the device’s own sexiness will probably mean even more uses will be found.

The launch of Apple’s iAd service that allows app developers to create advertising experiences within applications also means there’s the potential to develop new kinds of in-app ad formats. To put it simply: the iPad is a solution waiting for a problem. And when marketers start figuring out what problems the iPad can solve for them, things will really get interesting, concludes Bryant.

Source: AdWeek

Stan Lee Making History

Stan Lee and History are teaming up for an all-new TV series about finding real-life X-Men. Called Stan Lee’s Superhumans, this new show co-hosted with Daniel Browning Smith will look to find people in real life that have unique abilities because they are genetically different.

Stan Lee’s creations for Marvel Comics include Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and the X-Men. His new show is expected to debut on History in the third-quarter. Despite his age, Stan Lee has an almost cult-like following because of his unique comic creations, many of which appeal to the gamer demographic as well. We’d bet that some of this audience will tune into Lee’s new show – marketers should consider the opportunity.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Facebook Alters CPM Clicks

Facebook offers cost per thousand impressions (CPM) or cost per click (CPC) advertising campaigns to marketers, but now the details of that system are being changed. The number of clicks received by CPM advertisers will be reduced, in essence reducing the prominence of CPM campaigns compared to CPC campaigns.

As a CPM advertiser, you are indicating to our system that it s more important that your ad is seen by your audience rather than clicked i.e. you have chosen to pay for impressions, not clicks, said a letter sent out by Facebook. If your main objective is to increase awareness of your business with an ad impression, there is no need for action. However, if your most important objective is to drive clicks on your ads, you should change your bids from CPM to CPC.

This change could drastically alter the strategies of marketers on Facebook, with some suggesting this might double the cost of their advertising.

Source: All Facebook

Google’s Chrome Catching On While Microsoft’s IE Falters

While Microsoft’s Internet Explorer once had a commanding lead over all other browser applications, that share has been shrinking. IE held an over 75 percent share of the market in May 2008, and now that has shrunk to less than 60 percent (as of the end of April 2010).

Apple’s browser, Safari, has nearly doubled from 2.85 percent to 4.72 percent over the past two years. More prominently, however, Chrome has gone from a zero percent market share to a 6.73 percent share, suggesting its open source model is catching on. Mozilla Firefox also continued its steady increase, from roughly 18 percent to nearly 25 percent over the past two years.

Source: BusinessInsider

Interactivity And The Future Of Television

With portable devices of all sorts able to download and play television content from almost anywhere, the nature of the TV industry has changed. This means that even more TV content will be produced and presents new challenges to marketers trying to monetize it.

As more screens and platforms are added to the mix, marketers are perfectly situated to rethink how they engage with consumers and how they enhance the viewing experience instead of interrupt it. This is especially important as the 30-second spot continues to lose relevancy and effectiveness, said Bob Greenberg. The experience of watching TV is already shifting from a lean-back to a lean-forward activity, driven largely by consumers who — while viewing — also surf the Web or text and chat. By harnessing the exploding trends in utility-driven marketing and interactive TV viewing, marketers can give value to consumers, particularly in the areas of commerce and social (e.g., co-viewing and gaming).

Social networks are an important part of the equation, since they can be used as a way for users to give feedback as they watch. Live events are perhaps most prominent, with certain streaming sporting matches already inviting fans to comment as the game goes on.

MTV, for example, was an early pioneer, investing in platforms like Backchannel, which turn TV watching into a gaming experience. During episodes of MTV’s The Hills, viewers could join chat rooms to write and rate comments, notes Greenberg. Comments that receive positive ratings accumulate points and the one with the most points wins. We’ll see more brands involved in social interactivity formats like this, including apps like Bazaar Labs’ Miso — an app considered to be the Foursquare for movies and TV — or NBA’s Airplay, which lets viewers play a fantasy-style game in real time with other fans.

Users are used to purchasing things with a click of a button on their computers, and now that’s transferring over to TV. The Home Shopping Network already allows users to shop with their remote, which is an example of the sort of opt-in tools TV can use in the future.

On the other side of TV’s transformation, broadcast, Internet and user-generated content will continue to converge. Marketers are equipped to take advantage of this convergence by creating experiences that enhance viewing content without intruding, writes Greenberg. With future technological developments coupled with a slew of new players entering the game, brands should keep one thing at the forefront of their minds: Simple is best. Though marketers have the opportunity across devices to expand and deepen the content experience for consumers, the barrier to entry must be low and the ease of use high to entice consumers to engage and interact. Now is the time to innovate and experiment. The space is wide open for the taking.

Source: AdWeek

Apple Focus Of Antitrust Probe

Reports are that the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are negotiating over which party will start examining Apple for antitrust behavior. This comes as a result of Apple’s iPhone Developer Program License Agreement sub-article 3.3.1, which has the byproduct of banning the conversion of Flash apps to the iPhone.

The inquiry will look to see if the policy destroys competition by forcing developers to choose a platform neutral approach for platforms for Google, Microsoft and Research In Motion or develop apps only for Apple devices. A full investigation may come as a result of this, in which case Apple would receive a subpoena about the policy.

Steve Jobs recently defended Apple’s policy about Flash, something Microsoft seemed to agree with for the most part.

Source: New York Post

Cold War Gets Hot In Call Of Duty: Black Ops

While Infinity Ward has been unravelling and might not be around too much longer, Treyarch is still kicking, and their latest Call of Duty was publicly unveiled recently. Titled Call of Duty: Black Ops, the visuals would imply a Cold War setting sometime during the 1970s and ’80s. Activision has high hopes for the game, especially since the publisher wants to reinforce the notion that Call of Duty is still very strong as gaming brand. You can bet that their marketing efforts will be sizable for this title this year.

Channel The Elements In Prince Of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Ubisoft is returning to the popular Sands of Time universe with their latest Prince of Persia game. In Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, the Prince will have access to a variety of elemental combat abilities, as detailed below. Between this game and the upcoming Bruckheimer movie, the hype is definitely building for Prince of Persia this month.

Come Fly With The Raven

Short films are becoming en vogue for budding young filmmakers to make a splash, including this new piece called The Raven. Filmed on only a $5,000 budget, it gives a very District 9-like look to Los Angeles. We’ve always thought District 9 could make an interesting game, and this property could have similar potential if marketed properly.


The Phantom Returns On Syfy

Syfy announced today that it will run The Phantom on Sunday June 20, from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM. The movie event features Ryan Carnes (Desperate Housewives/Dr. Who) who stars as The Phantom/Kit Walker with Isabella Rossellini (Blue Velvet) taking on the role of the villain Lithia, Sandrine Holt (24/The L Word) as The Phantom s adviser Guran and Cameron Goodman as love interest Renny.

This contemporary version of The Phantom (directed by Paolo Barzman) sees the Singh crime syndicate trying to stop Walker from taking his role as Phantom while also trying to provoke international war. True to the character motif of The Phantom, he will rely on athletic ability and marksmanship, not superhuman powers.

First created in 1936, The Phantom is one of the first superhero characters ever made, and the brand remains strong. He’s appeared in newspaper strips, comic books, movies and cartoon series and is one of the best known superhero characters on a global basis.