AT&T/T-Mobile: A Powerful Force For Advertising?

The T-Mobile acquisition by AT&T would create the largest mobile carrier in the U.S. bar none. However, since neither company has invested heavily in mobile advertising, it’s not expected to have much effect on that industry . . . unless AT&T decides to leverage customer date for targeted mobile ad campaigns.

The advent of smartphones has led to the advent of a $1.2 billion mobile ad market that includes Google’s AdMob and Millennial Media. Mobile advertising wasn’t really taken seriously until the advent of smartphones, said Sarah Baehr as svp, director of digital publishing solutions at MediaVest. Some paid media dollars are going to buy mobile ad network display, but more money is starting to flow into mobile social, in-app, branded apps, deals and shopping. That’s where the center of gravity is moving to.

The real golden ring for mobile is customer data. In the past, carriers were dead set against it, said Phuc Truong, managing director U.S., of the mobile marketing firm Mobext. Lately they’ve listened more.

With over 130 million users, the combined entity of AT&T and T-Mobile could reach out to a vast audience with targeted ads based on geography, household size and spending habits. The data could also be sold to an outside party to manage the ads. They’d have to do it in a way that avoids using [consumers actual names]. But that’s the really interesting part of this deal. The carriers definitely don’t want to become just dumb pipes like the ISPs, said Truong.

Source: Ad Week

Dead Island Not An Emotional Game Like Heavy Rain

Dead Island made waves with its emotionally gripping (some said ‘exploitative’) trailer showing a family dealing with the tragic carnage of a zombie attack. It was evocative to some of the parental undertones in Heavy Rain, but developer Deep Silver has been quick to disclaim that similarity.

“That was awful for us,” said Dead Island producer Sebastian Reichert. “I mean, let’s be honest, we will be an action game – you will have a serious approach to the zombie setting but we will be an action game. We won’t be a dialogue-based game that revolves around emotion. We will have strong elements from examples like Borderlands that will keep you playing. So, when we heard the Heavy Rain comparison we were like, ‘Whoa!'”

“We’ve had problems declaring Heavy Rain as a ‘game’ – it plays like a movie. I’ve had more complex DVD menus [laughs], he added. We are more like a core game with a serious approach. Yes, of course we like it that people compare us with such great games like Heavy Rain, but we also have to face the fact that we are not Heavy Rain. That’s just a fact.”

Source: CVG

Valve Will Want You To Meet The Medic

Team Fortress 2‘s Meet the Team trailers over the past few years have been some of the best game trailers ever made, and certainly some of the funniest. While a new video in the series hasn’t come out in over a year, the newest starring the Medic is reportedly nearly done and should be released soon.

Then to my great delight I was shown a nearly completed version of Meet the Medic, posted Political Gamers in the Steam Forums. All I will say is that its really epic and was worth the time it took.

Source: PC Gamer

Apple Sues Amazon Over ‘App Store’ Name

Apple has sued Amazon over the use of the term App Store which Apple claims to have trademarked. Apple is accusing the online retailer of trademark infringement and unfair competition while noting that they’re planning to use the name for the with a mobile-software download service.

Amazon has begun improperly using Apple s App Store mark in connection with Amazon s mobile-software developer program, Apple said in the complaint. Amazon has unlawfully used the App Store mark to solicit software developers throughout the United States.

Apple is asking for a judge s order to prevent Amazon from using the App Store name, along with unspecified damages.

Source: Bloomberg


Nintendo Not Matching $1 Games

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has indicated that he is opposed to the lack of quality and value for mobile games and Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has stated that Nintendo won’t work with garage developers. Now, 3DS project lead Hideki Konno is saying the company won’t participate in the race to the bottom as far as prices.

“So now in terms of one dollar games, or free games, or whatever that is out there in the market, I mean, really, we’re not going to be competing with that,” said Konno. “We’re not going to try to match that; we’re just going to continually strive to not just maintain, but increase, the quality of the entertainment that we’re providing, and let it sort itself out. Again, we’re not worried about competing at a price point level.”

“I believe that’s more than likely Sony and Microsoft’s opinion on that as well. Now of course as a customer, if somebody said to me, ‘Hey, we’ve got Call of Duty on your portable device and it’s only going to cost you 100 yen,’ yeah, I’d be super stoked, really excited about that,” he added. And I’d be really excited to see a great game at a really cheap price, but I just don’t think that you could make a game that’s immersive and as big as, let’s say Call of Duty, or any other large title, and sell it at that price point; it’s just not possible. The only way that you’re going to get a game at that price point is if it’s a limited version with limited levels or something. They’re going to have to reduce it to sell at that price. So that other game — because the content is valuable — it’s still going to be a viable product at a higher price point.”

“If we went out and created one of our titles — a big title for Nintendo — and we decided to sell it at, like, say 100 yen, how many do we have to sell to get back our investment ” Konno questioned. “That number’s insane. It’s just incredible, right As a game developer I’ve put my heart into what I create, and I’m hoping that what I’m putting out there is something that people will be engaged by and entertained by. And as a consumer, I want the same thing. If I go and I see a game that interests me and I think I want to play it, I don’t mind the fact that I have to pay a reasonable price for it.”

“I’m not trying to say that I think games on cell phones are a bad thing; I’m not trying to say that they’re worthless, or have no value at all. I’m just saying that they’re just different, he said.

Source: Gamasutra

Incentivized Sharing For Charity

Greenpeace thinks it can save the world, one boat at a time. And it may be right as it floats a shiny new site to float a brand new boat: The New Rainbow Warrior. Rotate, x-ray, and experience every inch of this superb audio/visual vessel like a virtual Errol Flynn, swinging from the mast. Then go over the blueprints with a fine toothed comb to pick which part of this boat you’d like to buy. Everyone buys a piece so the whole world can share the ‘peace. No word yet on the time-sharing arrangement for whaler chasing.

Adaptive Advertising — Sci-Fi Future Coming Soon?

Minority Report was one of the most compelling near future science fiction films in recent memory, and its dynamic of personalized ads resonated with many people long after seeing the film. That sort of personalized ad technology could be coming soon, being able to serve ads based around the viewers general demographic and perhaps being powered by social networks.

“Steven Spielberg got it wrong,” says Daniel Steinbichler, 3MGTG’s chief executive. “It will be more advanced than the director ever imagined. Instead of just recognizing consumers by name, technology such as gladvertising will allow brands to offer interactive experiences.”

The presence of the ads is worrying to privacy experts. Many are wondering whom will be collecting this personal data and how it will be collected. “We feel that it is an industry that has so far gone unchallenged and because of this they are developing some scary stuff,” Alexander Hanff from Privacy International. “We have a situation where the boundaries between our online and offline worlds become even more blurred and we currently have no regulatory or legislative regime in place to deal with these dangers.”

There’s been some talk of offering a service for the information, like what some public WiFi spots do. Others consider it to be a generational thing. “It’s about the younger generations that are going to be the early adopters and the leaders and the educators and the influencers, said Dr. Frank Shaw, who wrote the report. “I think the power of what we’re talking about is that the consumer is going to want to participate. If you see those guys in Times Square, playing on the digital boards – that’s exciting! That’s what they want to do.”

“Naturally there are going to be anxieties and concerns about intrusive behavior, about security issues and so on,” added Shaw. “I think, though, that over time the consumer in their experience of the technology is going to become increasingly more comfortable. Don’t forget, we have this wonderful invention called the off button!”

Source: BBC

Pepsi, Burger King And Social Media: Learning From Mistakes

Both Pepsi and Burger King launched ambitious social media campaigns over the past year or so. Yet both of them have seen declines in their business of late. It might be tempting to bury your head in the sand over this, saying that social campaigns were worth it for engagement, response and (perhaps) ROI.

The answer to these claims is equally simple: If those ‘other’ things mattered more to business performance, they should have been the focus of marketing, not entertainment or whatever, wrote Jonathan Salem Baskin. And what good are invented metrics for social campaigns if they don’t evidence any influence on sales There’s no such thing as a successful brand that doesn’t deliver successful marketing, is there In fact, the latter builds the former. They can’t be disconnected, and if social marketing can’t be made responsible for tangible behaviors that matter to the business, not just to ideas about branding, then no made-up measures of its importance matter much at all.

It could be that social campaigns for Old Spice and the Ford Fiesta simply pushed consumers towards a good product, making them more tangibly important to the brand and the consumer. CMOs need to discover new ways to do the old things that still matter: Offer products and services that someone truly needs, admitting that you want to sell stuff to them, and then properly serving them after they’ve given you their business, says Baskin. Sounds so easy as I type it but doing so has gotten so incomprehensibly complicated. Maybe the news coming out of Pepsi and Burger King is a wakeup call that we need to make all of this simpler, not harder. I think it starts with quitting the glib new rationales for avoiding these traditional and difficult challenges. May silly social media R.I.P., and may smart social live to serve businesses better in the future.

Source: Ad Age

Angry Birds Seen As Mario Of Mobile Gaming

Angry Birds Rio has launched and it has quickly climbed to the top of the mobile app charts. Working with 20th Century Fox to promote the game concurrently with the film Rio has been a success, showing that blockbuster games can come out of the App Store.

“The quick ascension of Angry Birds Rio shows that mobile devices are just as capable of building strong brands and franchises as consoles. Just as Mario or Master Chief are considered companions to their respective consoles, Angry Birds is quickly becoming the mascot of mobile devices, said Sourcebits’ Brad Hilderbrand. “Halo revolutionized console-based multiplayer when it launched, and from that point Bungie just continued to tweak the formula. Angry Birds gave rise to the physics-based puzzle game on mobile platforms, and now the developers are simply perfecting the genre they helped define.”

“The popular belief is that you’ll have a much higher possibility of success on consoles, but I can’t think of any console games reaching the massive amount of popular culture exposure that iOS games, such as Angry Birds, achieved on mobile devices. In this case, Rovio opened a completely new door for the entire games industry, agrees Piotr Babieno, from iFun4all. A few years ago, the thing you would talk to your friends about was the latest episode of a popular TV show. Now, people are talking to their friends about what high scores they were able to get. From a marketing perspective, this IP is no longer just a game. It is a part of the collective consciousness.”

Source: Modojo