The Onion To Parody Branded Sites

Since it’s done such a good job parodying news sites across the Internet anyway, The Onion has decided to go forth and do the same thing with brand-oriented websites.

Onion News Network host Jim Haggerty has confirmed that the company will launch a new website called in June, which will enable “content and sponsored posts side by side, with barely any distinction between them.”

The site will include such examples as “Which pizza should I have for dinner tonight (presented by Pizza Hut),” “The aww factor: A video titled ‘What this adorable little girl says will melt your heart.’ (It’s actually a cogent explanation of how brands monetize adorable little kids, as spoken by an adorable little kid.)” and a “photo slide show with no words: ‘six kinds of hay'”, among others.

One of the quotes featured in their videos states, “Nelson Mandela, as he lay on his death bed said, ‘My greatest regret is that I never generated buzz, and expanded my brand’s reach through a cross-promotional digital partnership with a major lifestyle brand with strong appeal among Millennials such as Pringles, or Old Navy. I have wasted my life.”

Obviously, the site is going for a more comedic take on branding sites.


Song Advertises Itself For Ads

Using songs for popular (and not so popular) bands has become a common tactic for TV advertisements and game trailers, probably a byproduct of how difficult it is for bands to make money. Jon Lajoie is taking this to the logical extreme in his song “Please Use This Song” which begs advertisers to license it.

Sony Pledging Better Focus

Times have been tough for Sony as of late. The company’s electronics division has suffered a $1.27 billion loss and laid off 5,000 people from its now-shuttered PC division by the end of its last fiscal year, which ended this March. However, the company’s Electronics president and COO, Mike Fasulo, offered a new strategy to help it out.

“I’m asking our people to be scrappy,” said Fasulo during a press event in San Francisco this past week. “I’m looking for doers.”

The new strategy will have more “focus on the customer experience,” something it’s been doing as of late with its heavily popular games division, namely with the best-selling PlayStation 4.

The company recently partnered with Best Buy to push its 4K televisions into stores, with both live and native 4K-based content. It will have its own mini store-within-a-store with certain locations, one that will also focus on its other electronics, and possibly game systems as well.

“This is a fun, entertaining industry,” said Fasulo. “Boy, do we make that painful.”


Nintendo: No New Hardware at E3

Although the Wii U is in trouble when it comes to retail sales, it doesn’t appear that Nintendo is ready to give up on it just yet.

Some rumors have circulated over the week that Nintendo was set to introduce a new hardware system at the Electronic Entertainment Expo next month. However, the company was quick to respond, stating that there will be no hardware announcements.

“I can confirm Nintendo is not revealing any hardware at this year’s E3,” a representative told Nintendo Life.

This follows a report from early Friday morning regarding the company trademarking a patent for a new mobile device with interchangeable buttons. Nintendo had no comment on the device.

That doesn’t mean it’ll be dormant at E3, however. It previously announced a tournament for its upcoming fighting game Super Smash Bros., as well as a Digital Event where new titles are expected to be announced.

Source: Nintendo Life

Hulu Adds Pizza Ordering Service

It’s understandable how addictive it can be to “binge” watch certain shows on Hulu Plus, but, hey, viewers have to eat sometime, right Now, the channel has introduced a way to feed that urge while continuing to view favorite programs.

Through a new ad dubbed an “in-stream purchase unit,” viewers will be able to order food for either pick-up or delivery through the Hulu page, without needing to turn off their current program. It provides a service to consumers while, at the same time, doubling as an interactive ad for the company. These are expected to roll out later in the year.

In addition, the company has also confirmed cross platform interactive ads, as well as the Hulu 360 ad. For the interactive ads, Hulu will partner with Corona with interactive ads across a variety of platforms, including both mobile devices and living room viewing equipment.

As for the Hulu 360 ad, it’ll work specifically with mobile platforms, with ads that provide a “groundbreaking viewing experience” powered by 360 design company Immersive Media. No word yet on when these ads will launch, but they’re expected sometime this year.

Source: PSFK

Marvel: An ‘Avengers’ Game Will Come

With the popularity of Marvel’s Avengers franchise, it’s a bit surprising that there haven’t been too many video game tie-ins with the series, especially with the sequel, Age of Ultron, on tap to arrive in theaters on May 1, 2015. However, Marvel wants to assure fans that, indeed, one is coming. It’s just a matter of finding the right game partner.

Marvel’s head of games, TO Jefferson, stated that the company is taking a careful approach to movie game tie-ins. “I think the fact that there wasn’t an Avengers game turned out in time for the film is indicative of Marvel’s new attitude and the approach to how we find partners and build games,” said Jefferson. “I think in the heyday of the movie licensed game, these games were popping out all the time and most of them sucked.”

Sega had previously released games featuring Avengers characters, including Captain America and Thor, but they were less than well-received. “We got a bloody nose on both of those,” added Jefferson. He also believes a game can succeed following three key points: “Fun and engaging gameplay, true to the characters, (and) compelling story. Without hitting those notes, we shouldn’t do it.”

As far as when an Avengers game will arrive, Jefferson believes, “The Avengers game will come when we have the right partner, that has the right vision, that has the time to develop a strong, competitive triple-A title and wants to do it right.”

Source: IGN

YouTube’s New Brand Preference Program

YouTube is ready to launch a new program that will help specific brands find a better outreach with their ads – say hello to Google Preferred.

With this new program, brands will be able to target pre-roll advertising across the top five percent of the most popular content on the site, in particular areas, including entertainment and food.

Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s CEO, unveiled the program during the company’s Brandcast earlier this week, part of the Digital Content NewFronts show in New York City.

“We’re in the middle of a big revolution with video,” claimed Wojcicki.

Google COO Margo Georgiadis added, “Today’s 18-to-34 year olds, they just live differently. They’ve grown up in an always on, connected world . . . YouTube is the number one place (they) go to learn about a product or passion that interests them. They’re four times more interested in watching ads on YouTube than anywhere else.”

The program will entail a minimum viewership size guarantee, which will be determined by the client. Google vice president Robert Kyncl stated that it will be an “incredibly scarce offering,” but one worth it to certain brands.

Some companies have already beta-tested the program with great success, including Johnson & Johnson and Heineken.

Source: Adweek