Firm Finds Facebook Users’ Motivation To ‘Like’

A new study from Syncapse, the company that recently valued a Facebook user at $174, found that most people who “like” a brand on Facebook do so because they actually like them, not because they were prompted by a free item or discounted code. This may sound obvious, but the takeaway for marketers may be that their ad money is better spent on branding ads on the social network rather than call-to-action or direct-response ads that may produce higher click-through rates, but not brand advocates.

Syncapse worked with Hotspex to interview 2,080 consumers in the first quarter about their reasons for becoming Facebook fans. “To support the brand I like” was the number one reason followed by several more findings.

The survey also looked at overall sentiment for a brand and why users were motivated to press “like.”

Max Kalehoff, VP of product marketing at Syncapse strongly urges advertisers to cultivate actual fans rather than take advantage of a quick offer or giveaway, something that is easily said but often times difficult to execute.

“I wouldn’t say that it’s a flat out rule that you shouldn’t do that,” he says, referring to direct-response ads, “but you should do more emphasis on brand personality drivers because that really resonates with your core audience. Then you might want to mix it up,” Kalehoff said.

But since branding ads don’t provide an incentive to click, they have very low click-through rates providing what seems by one measure to be a low ROI. In response to that criticism, Facebook has sought to de-emphasize the CTR as an industry standard for online ad efficacy.

Source: Mashable

‘Super Zero’ Diaries: Kickstart My Art

Ayzenberg creative lead and filmmaker Mitch Cohen is running a Kickstarter to get his first feature film off the ground.  The goal is to raise enough money to produce a proof of concept for ‘Super Zero’, {link no longer active} a purely original take on the well-established zombie apocalypse genre.

Cohen has agreed to document his experience with running the Kickstarter campaign on [a]list daily.  In his first entry, he looks at how one big life changing experience – technically, two – steered him towards Kickstarter and the crowd funding route.

My day-to-day work as an advertising creative lead in branded video content deals with following trends and immersing myself in what the cool kids are doing, but I never gave too much thought about Kickstarter.  To me, Kickstarter seemed a diversion rather than a means to an end.  Over the last two years, my perception of the site has changed dramatically.

I first concepted Super Zero three years ago.  I love geek culture, and I wanted to make something fun, novel, and smart that would speak to that community. I thought, “If I dig it, maybe they will too.” Fresh from selling my last short film and getting a pretty great distribution deal, I was eager to jump back into the fray and do it again.  The plan was to re-invest the money I earned, raise a little more cash, finish the script, and then shoot the film.  It was a logical plan.  Until the bigger plan of life superseded it.

‘Super Zero’ concept art

During this period, my wife and I were expecting our first child.  We discussed all the time and money it would require to bring a baby into the world, and we decided I could confidently move ahead on the film and we’d make it all work.  Then the news got bigger… twins.

I abandoned Super Zero (happily) so my wife and I could usher Tess and Miles into the world. The down side for me as a filmmaker was that over these same years, the production connections that I previously had in place dried up dramatically. Plus, since it’s generally frowned upon to put your toddlers to work, my personal film fund began to dwindle.

When it was time to re-launch the project, I was back at square one.  I began my search for collaboration and to find funding, and found people kept referring me back to Kickstarter.

I had known about Kickstarter but never dug too deep.  I assumed it was the Craig’s List of movie sites, a nonsensical mess of film funding want ads.  But as I met people who knew well about the growing crowd funding trend, I heard more and more that my material was ripe for the Kickstarter community.

Think of Josh as a cross between Leonardo da Vinci and ‘Lardass’ from Stand By Me.

Super Zero is a high concept film with an original hook in a well-known genre.  It speaks to a demographic that is active, responsive, and who love to champion things they connect to.  Here’s the pitch: The film follows 19-year-old engineering prodigy Josh Hershberg, an overweight, introverted and terminally ill kid who has given up hope that he matters to the world.  As Josh contemplates what future, if any, is worth looking forward to, a zombie apocalypse breaks out and quickly ravages the planet. Josh suffers from a rare form of brain cancer. For some reason, this tricks the zombies into sensing he’s already dead and they simply ignore him.  As the world crumbles around him, Josh takes advantage of his condition. He utilizes his engineering expertise to craft bad-ass weapons and obliterate the undead in order to save the rest of humanity.

The deeper I looked into Kickstarter, the more it sounded like the answer to my problems.  It was foreign to me and I had no personal experience crowdsourcing, but I was up for the challenge.  Super Zero’s thematic is all about believing in yourself, because you never know what is going to happen next.  It was time I took my own advice.

I launched my campaign last week and although it’s only been a few days, the process has already been really exciting and utterly daunting.  I’m not comfortable asking others for help.  I’m trying to get over the idea that I’m a beggar, constantly nagging people to give me money.  Kickstarter isn’t that at all.  The site’s community is filled with incredible, like-minded individuals who want to support artists they believe in. The backers seem to get as much out of the process as the artists themselves.

So that being said, here I am, putting it out there in front of everyone I know.  Will people get behind Super Zero {link no longer active} and help bring my little film to life, or will my film get lost in a very crowded world where countless new projects appear every second

Only time will tell…34 days and 7 hours to be exact.  Damn that’s short.

About the Author

Mitch Cohen is creative lead in the original content group at Ayzenberg Group, working on live action videos and digital influencer campaigns.  Cohen started in filmmaking as part of Chicago’s independent film scene, working with directors from the legendary Second City comedy troupe.  Since moving to LA, he has sold one feature horror script and had two others optioned, and has had his short film “Peter’s Price” sold to renowned distributor Shorts International.  That’s when he hasn’t been writing, directing and producing commercials and trailers for games such as Batman: Arkham City, Borderlands, Lollipop Chainsaw, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and The Darkness 2.

Turn Your Name Into A Breaking Bad Logo

AMC’s hit TV series Breaking Bad returns for its final episodes starting Sunday, August 11. In anticipation for the return of Walter White and his partner Jesse Pinkman, AMC has created a fun interactive Facebook app that allows fans to put themselves in the action.

The “Breaking Bad Name Lab” lets users format their name in the style of the show’s iconic logo, which uses periodic table symbols for letters.

Users can then download their Breaking Bad style name images to upload as their Facebook cover photo, Facebook or Twitter profile picture, or they can share the image on Pinterest or Tumblr, or tweet it out with hashtag #AllBadThingsMustComeToAnEnd.

For shows with cult followings, like Breaking Bad these kinds of personalization apps that let fans make something from the show customized for themselves are always fun way to get people to engage and interact. And if creating a Breaking Bad logo isn’t your cup of tea, AMC also has an interactive fan trivia game and evidence board on their site for fans to immerse themselves in until the show’s return this August.

Source:  Digiday

Will Wright Speaks About Gamer’s Power To Change Policy

Before E3, Microsoft announced a series of complex policies concerning used games, sharing and connectivity for their new Xbox One that left a sour taste in the mouth of gamers. This led to Sony taking an early commanding lead in pre-orders. Now, Microsoft has rescinded these policies after hearing the grievances of the gamers and their reluctance to spend their money. In response to this change, Sim City creator Will Wright has given his approval to the power gamers have had in bringing about these changes.

In an interview with CNN Money, Wright said “That’s something I’ve always believed in – getting the players very involved, not just after the game ships, but even before and try to listen to them.” Seeing gamers get involved with the actual process of distribution and creation of games is important in the end, as they are the ones that will be buying the product. Seeing a company accede to player’s requests is to see this concept become reality.

“To see a company like Microsoft actually sit back, listen, and understand the fans and respond to them is impressive.” Wright says, “For a company of that size to be responsive is great. These companies are the ones that obviously keep us in business and allow us to make games.” Buyers are the ones spending money on the consoles, so when there is a unified voice that speaks out against practices like these it benefits companies that listen, both with consumer trust and their dollars.

Wright warns to be careful however: “There’s the thing where five percent of the people are making all the noise. Sometimes they represent the other 95 percent, sometimes they don’t.” Knowing whether the portion of the population that is acting up is part of a vocal minority or not is important in knowing how to form a product. When releasing a product, making sure that customers will want to buy the product is integral. Microsoft’s change has earned some share back from Sony, and Wright believes that listening to the populace was the best course of action.


Nvidia Shield Delayed To July

Nvidia has announced that its mobile console the Shield has been delayed to July. The console, which was previously announced to be released today, has been delayed to an undetermined point in July. The reason for this delay has been identified as a mechanical issue from a third party part. Details on the faulty part and the new release date haven’t been revealed to the public, save for the announcement of July as the new release month.

The Shield is one of the slew of new Android based gaming systems coming to the market this year. The Ouya console was just released this week, and other consoles such as the Game Stick are releasing later this month. The portability of the Shield, in conjunction with its ability to play PC games when connected to certain Nvidia graphics cards give the Shield an edge with gamers. At a time when so many Android consoles are entering the market, the delay on the Shield may have a long-term effect on the sales.

This has not been a good launch for Nvidia, with limited press and little if any marketing for the product, and now a last-minute delay in the release. Nvidia may be merely testing the waters to determine the interest level before committing to a larger marketing spend. Whatever the case, without a strong marketing effort this fall Nvidia’s shield may be lost amongst many other new gaming hardware launches.

Source: Engadget

Sony Opens Indie Section On PlayStation Vita Store

At Sony’s press conference at E3, they showed the importance of independent developers to them in the future by devoting a good portion of the conference to showing off indie games on the PS4. Continuing that message, Sony has opened up the Indie games section of the PlayStation store on the PlayStation Vita. The addition of mobile gaming on the go adds to Sony’s inclusion of the section to the PlayStation 3 store in early May.

There are currently 53 titles now available on the store, including the likes of Hotline Miami, Thomas Was Alone and Guacamelee. A bonus of the program is that some of the titles are cross-buy, meaning if you buy it on one system you get it for both. This addition to the store and the attention given to these titles is a positive thing to indie developers, as the titles they spend so much time and effort developing will get more attention in mainstream audiences. We will probably see many more indie games added to the PlayStation consoles in the future as this section gives visibility to indie developers and their projects.


ESRB Announces New Privacy Seals

The ESRB has announced that in addition to its services providing content ratings for games, it will also begin to monitor privacy in games. Three new seals have been unveiled for applications, Privacy certified, Kids Privacy Certified, and Mobile Privacy Certified. These three new seals signify that an app or website complies with high-level privacy certification in North America.

Privacy Certified signifies that a general-audience website meets with global privacy laws. The Kids seal shows that a site directed towards children meets with these practices and meets the requirements set forth by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Finally, the Mobile seal signifies that a mobile app complies with mobile privacy standards and practices.

“Privacy protection is an imperative for companies of all sizes, especially when kids are involved,” said ESRB Privacy Certified vice president Dona Fraser in a press statement. “But achieving compliance with requirements like COPPA can be complicated, particularly for rapidly evolving platforms like mobile.”

Privacy has become an incredibly important part of application development and its appeal to consumers. Peace of mind that information won’t be shared and spread throughout the Internet left and right is important, and this new initiative from the ESRB is one step forward in making sure that users know that their data will be safe.

Source: ESRB

GungHo And Supercell Begin Cross-Promotion In Games

A new cross-promotion initiative between two successful mobile game developers, Supercell from Finland and GungHo Entertainment from Japan has gone live in an effort to support each other’s main games. The promotion will run for two weeks, and will feature GungHo’s wildly popular Puzzle & Dragons and Supercell’s Clash of Clans and Hay Day.

During the promotion, Puzzle & Dragons will feature a special Clash of Clans-themed dungeon where players will fight and capture monsters inspired by the game. Clash of Clans, on the other hand, will feature a Puzzle & Dragons promotion in the in-game inbox and the Battle Log section of the game. Hay Day will also feature a Puzzle & Dragons trailer in the multimedia section of its in-game newspaper.

Cross promotion has become an important tool for developers. By using cross-promotion, two companies who may have very different games can work together to mutually bring more users into each other’s products. With the rise of services like Chartboost, cross-promotion is easier than ever. If this promotion is successful, more developers may be following these two companies’ example.

PlayStation Mobile Gains Support Of Chillingo

Mobile publisher Chillingo has made the decision to begin bringing their games to Sony’s PlayStation Mobile initiative. Starting today, HolyWaterGames’ Feed Me Oil, published by Chillingo, has officially been released onto PlayStation Mobile. The slate of Chillingo games to be released onto the system include Little Acorns, iBomber Defense, and Roll In The Hole. Chillingo, which is owned by Electronic Arts, is notable for being the initial publisher of Rovio’s Angry Birds.

The PlayStation Mobile initiative is a channel in which indie developers can release their games on both the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation supported devices, such as the HTC One and the Xperia line of phones. As Sony continues to leverage their PlayStation brand across multiple devices and systems, the support of a publisher like Chillingo is a step forward. This decision expands the library for the PlayStation Vita, as well as supporting the PlayStation Brand’s relevance in the mobile marketplace.

Source: Polygon

Infamous Second Son Moves Series Forward

Infamous Second Son is one of Sony’s flagship games showing off the technical prowess of their new PS4 system, and the E3 trailer really drives the point home. In a new the new setting of Seattle, with new fire-based powers and featuring a new protagonist, Infamous: Second Son moves the franchise to places the first two games haven’t been.