Gain Royal Status

To coincide with the launch of the Shakespeare doubting thriller Anonymous, an interactive engagement {link no longer active} has been launched on the official site. Click ‘begin’ to start designing your own coat of arms. Choose the shape of the shield, ordinaries, objects, a coronet or helm, mantling and supporters. Finish it off by choosing a motto and posting to Facebook, Twitter or make it a profile image on Facebook.

Shanda Gets $457 Million Buyout Offer From CEO

Shanda has announced that CEO, president and chairman Tianqiao Chen has offered to buyout the company. He is offering a 29 percent premium on the company share price.

He’s looking to buy up the 68.4 percent is already controlled by the board for $41.35 per American Depositary share, or $20.675 per ordinary share in cash. If the deal goes through, it could be worth around $457 million.

Clickable Gets $12 Million In Funding

Advertising technology company Clickable has announced that it has secured $12 million Series C funding. This was led by American Express as a way build out its Facebook ad platform.

“With our new funding, we will continue to aggressively accelerate Clickable’s product innovation and market development throughout our entire portfolio of online advertising solutions,” said co-founder and CEO of Clickable David S. Kidder. “We’ll continue to market our products directly through the Clickable brand, as well as expand through premier partners like American Express OPEN. You can expect to see unequivocal leadership in emerging channels, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, FourSquare and others. We intend for Clickable to become the dominant marketing platform that simplifies and integrates every major online channel, and deeply connect with the social graph.”

Clickable’s platform is designed to let agency clients and advertisers manage their ads on search engines and social networks. It is possible for clients to either use the platform themselves or take advantage of Clickable’s benchmarking and other add-on services.

The company will invest the funding in product development and growing its sales and marketing team. “Social will be the biggest area of acceleration over the next 12 months,” said Clickable’s VP-marketing Max Kalehoff. “Facebook is relatively simple when you’re first starting out, but once you start hitting scale is where it gets complicated.”

Source: AdAge

Herman Cain Inspires EA With ‘9-9-9’

Herman Cain has made a splash in the Republican Presidential nomination race with his “9-9-9” tax plan, denoting the percentage he would apply to housing tax, commercial tax and industrial tax. To some, this was reminiscent of the tax plans in SimCity, and Electronic Arts has seized on the moment to make SimCity 4 available for $9.99.

“We encourage politicians to continue to look to innovative games like SimCity for inspiration for social and economic change,” said Kip Katsarelis, a senior producer at EA Maxis. “While we at Maxis and Electronic Arts do not endorse any political candidates or their platforms, it’s interesting to see GOP candidate Herman Cain propose a simplified tax system like one we designed for the video game SimCity 4.”

Advertising To Emotions With BuzzLogic’s Spectrum

BuzzLogic is pushing the philosophy that reaching customers is a matter of using content that encourages the right emotional mind-set. With that in mind, they have launched a new tool called Spectrum which delivers page-level ads in real time which are based on the emotional effect the content is expected to have on the audience.

“There are three things we know about a page of content,” said Dave Hills, BuzzLogic’s CEO. “How influential it is, how authoritative it is, and, most importantly, we understand—and the thing that we’re most focused on—the emotional connection that’s made between a piece of content and a reader.”

Most ad platforms look to reach target audiences through content verticals like autos, health, or technology, but BuzzLogic says that emotional weight isn’t taking into consideration. For instance, if there’s a sports story on ESPN, the emotions of the audience could be different if the story is about a victory, a defeat or an athlete being arrested.

“Being an ex-agency guy, the challenge I always faced was there were always two sides of analytics that I had to work on and they were very disconnected. There was the research and consumer insights that powered the planning product—getting to understand your consumer, getting into their minds, figuring out how do you excite the consumer based on the brand value proposition and who they are,” said John Donahue, BuzzLogic’s CTO. “But once that plan is baked, it went to the buy side, and it was extremely disconnected . . . It’s really just about buy optimization.”

BuzzLogic seeks to look at how a web page factors into a brand or campaign’s goals, like using Spectrum to find appropriate places for hybrid-car ads. The client can search for topical terms and appropriate phrases, uncovered using a cognitive analysis to uncover the word associations representative of the desired mind-set to make sure that the ads conform with the emotions of the page they’re displayed on.

“If brands are going to actually do branding online, they’re going to have to really have a very deep understanding, at a page level, of relevance—and we think that relevance is defined through influence, authority, and understanding the emotional connection that piece of content makes with its audience,” Hills said. “And since it’s a real-time world now and since the consumer is in total control of the media experience, we build this system to address this at the page level and in real time.”

Source: AdWeek

Devil May Cry Trilogy Goes HD

The long rumored Devil May Cry HD Collection has been confirmed. The collection will release on PS3 and Xbox 360 and will have Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2 and Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening all enhanced to look better in HD.

“Hope you got some HD in that big body of yours.”

The release will feature all of the “stylish action” of the original, along with Achievement/Trophy support and other extra content. The release is being pegged for early 2012.

Rovio Talks IPO Maybe For 2012

2012 might be the year that Rovio officially goes public. Their game Angry Birds has seen 400 million free and paid downloads since 2009, about three-quarters of which have come in the past half year and is estimated to be worth $1 billion.

“We’re not ready to file for an IPO tomorrow,” said Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio chief marketing officer. “Maybe a year from now. We’re happy with our valuation but we think it’s probably a bit north of that.”

Rovio’s business has expanded to include t-shirts, Halloween costumes, stuffed toys and a cookbook. Roughly 10 to 20 percent of their business is now merchandising.

“We’re insanely profitable,” said Vesterbacka. “We are very, very profitable. We’re not a publicly traded company yet but we can fund our own growth.”

Rumors have swirled over an Angry Birds TV show or movie and Rovio estimates that the game has about 150 million active users. “We think we have a good shot at being the first entertainment brand that has a billion fans — people we can talk to and have a dialog with every day,” said Vesterbacka.

“We’re still building a lot of our infrastructure, our company, our platform, everything,” Vesterbacka said. “There’s a lot of good discipline in having to be ready to go public.”

Rovio may seek another venture-capital round before its IPO. “We’re still building a lot of our infrastructure, our company, our platform, everything,” Vesterbacka said. “There’s a lot of good discipline in having to be ready to go public.”

Vesterbacka noted that Angry Birds is on a 20 year plan, and that the anticipated movie might come as an app. “Disney started as a black and white cartoon about this little mouse,” he said. “Nintendo has been working on Mario for 26 years. Angry Birds is less than two years old.”

Source: Bloomberg