Olympics — Fast Food Criticism

Right now, there’s a minor controversy over the fact that McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are primary sponsors of the 2012 Olympics. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges compared some food companies to tobacco companies and wants restrictions on what companies can advertise where.

“What can you do about this obesegenic environment we live in ” said Professor Terrence Stephenson, the vice-president of The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. “The fact that Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are two of the big corproate sponsors of the Olympic Games is most unhelpful.”

“As one of the longest, continuous sponsors of the Olympic Movement, we are proud that we are able to use our sponsorship to enable millions of people to experience the Games and believe we have a valid role to play,” said Coca-Cola in response. “We offer consumers a wide range of drinks and sizes and provide the nutritional information to enable our consumers to make informed choices.”

Source: Marketing Magazine

Mobile Devices Might Be The Future, Says Ghost Recon Online Producer

Many trends in gaming, such as social and free-to-play, favor the PC platform. Producer and creative director of Ubisoft Singapore’s Ghost Recon Online Theo Sanders, however, thinks things are trending towards the mobile space.

“I’ve seen data showing that kids now are trending more towards spending their time gaming on mobile devices, so maybe that’ll be what the next generation looks like. But I’m sure the console manufacturers have some great ideas up their sleeves too,” said Sanders. “As for PC, it has always been kind of the ‘wild west’ part of the ecosystem. I can’t say for sure it’ll stay that way forever, but for now it’s a really fun, challenging, and relevant platform to develop for.”

Source: CVG {link no longer active}

Halo 4 Slated For November 6

Microsoft has announced that Halo 4 will launch worldwide on November 6. A special segment tonight on Conan O’Brien on TBS will help promote the Fall launch of the title.

“We are beginning a new saga with Halo 4 and embarking on a journey that will encompass the next decade of ‘Halo’ games and experiences,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “Millions of fans worldwide have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to step back into the boots of Master Chief, and, with Halo 4 leading the charge, we’re confident 2012 will be the most successful year in Xbox history.”

Coke Wants A Hug

A Coke vending machine was installed at the National University of Singapore with “Hug Me” written on it in Coke’s iconic font, paying out a Coke for a hug. It’s an extension of Coca-Cola’s Open Happiness which poses the metaphorical question, “Where will happiness strike next ”

“Happiness is contagious. The Coca-Cola Hug Machine is a simple idea to spread some happiness,” said Leonardo O’Grady, ASEAN IMC Director, Coca-Cola. “Our strategy is to deliver doses of happiness in an unexpected, innovative way to engage not only the people present, but the audience at large.”

“Whether you were hugging the machine or experiencing the event online, our goal was the same – to put a smile on your face and share that emotional connection,” continues O’Grady. “Reactions were amazing… people really had fun with it and at one point we had four to five people hugging the machine at the same time as well as each other! In fact, there was a long line of people looking to give hugs – it was really heartwarming.”

While there’s a debate over which is better– touch or gesture–to brands, Possible Worldwide’s Eric Mauriello thinks both can co-exist. “The two [technologies] actually compliment each other,” he said. “In the broadest sense, ‘gestural’ sensors are good for drawing consumers into an out-of-home experience, but touch is far superior for product selection, say, and other detailed actions.”

Meanwhile the Coca-Cola Hug Machine will now roll out across Asia and other countries very soon.

Source: Brand Channel

Jane Jensen Launches Kickstarter

Pinkerton Road Studio has been formed by Gabriel Knight creator Jane Jensen. The game, Mobius, will be funded by Kickstarter, and in fact early backers choose the name of the title.

The game is being described as a point-and-click adventure with sci-fi thriller elements inspired by Gabriel Knight and Fox’s Fringe TV show. Right now, the Kickstarter is over half funded, and is timing for a March 2013 release assuming it hits its goal of $300,000.

Source: Kickstarter

CBS Interactive Teams With MLG, TwitchTV

CBS Interactive announced that it is making a major push into eSports through exclusive partnerships with TwitchTV and Major League Gaming (MLG). This will give more exposure to the world’s biggest live video gaming community and the most popular eSports league via GameSpot.com, enabling it to serve more than 3 billion minutes of live gaming and eSports content monthly.

“The eSports scene is one of the hottest trends in video, and is rapidly attracting the core 18-34 male demographic in greater numbers than any other medium or category,” said Jim Lanzone, President, CBS Interactive. “With these partnerships, CBSi now represents the biggest audience in live gaming and is able to offer our advertising partners a unique mix of trusted, premium content along with the huge engagement and audience that the eSports scene is commanding right now.”

“Major League Gaming’s live audience is growing in popularity to rival some of the most popular traditional sporting events with a highly engaged fan base worldwide,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO and Co-Founder, MLG. “Leveraging the reach of CBS Interactive, we will now be able to create a premiere eSports destination for current and future fans alike, while providing some of the most powerful brands an opportunity to reach this coveted, passionate audience.”

Zynga Looks To More Acquisitions Post OMGPOP

Zynga has made many acquisitions over the last two years, spending $147.2 million for 22 companies during 2010 and 2011, in addition to the $180 million paid for OMGPOP. Reports are that the company’s focus on effective acquisition practices was brought on by a string of failed bids, principally the failed $2 billion buyout of Rovio Entertainment.

“We love finding great, accomplished teams that share our mission and vision,” said Zynga CEO Mark Pincus. “If we ever see breakout opportunities that massively accelerate social gaming at Zynga, we’ll aggressively pursue those, too.”

“We’re sitting in a very advantageous position,” added EVP of business and corporate development Barry Cottle. “We have a significant amount of cash, we have no debt, and we have access to debt to be as aggressive as we need to be.”

Source: Bloomberg