‘Super Smash Bros.’ Stalking SDCC Attendees

Usually, when fans go to conventions, they have to go to special booths to play certain games from companies. However, Nintendo’s latest promotion provides an interesting twist that brings the game to them.

The company has launched a new Twitter campaign that revolves around its forthcoming fighting game Super Smash Bros., which will take center stage at the San Diego Comic-Con Convention this week. Here’s how it works:

Gamers will be able to follow Nintendo’s Twitter account (@nintendoamerica), and there will be times that the company will send out a “Bring Me Smash” notice. (It won’t be hard to miss.) From there, interested parties can take a picture of themselves wherever they are on the San Diego Comic-Con show floor, along with the hashtag #bringmesmash.

From there, Nintendo will contact interested parties with a message, indicating that a rep is on the way with a 3DS copy of the forthcoming fighting game. In other words, they’ll be bringing the demo to them, within just a few minutes’ time.

For those who don’t want to take part in the promotion – or just cn’t catch a break when it comes to finding free time on the show floor – Nintendo will host its annual Nintendo Lounge at the Marriott Marquis & Marina, where players will be able to visit and get their Smash on for both Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Other games will be present as well.

It’s another example of the extra work Nintendo is putting in to hands-on marketing for Super Smash Bros. Nintendo seems convinced that the best way to sell the game is to let people get their hands on it, as they did during E3 with special demo stations set up in Best Buy stores around the country.

Super Smash Bros. will make its debut on Nintendo 3DS on October 3rd, and later in the year for Wii U.

Source: Shacknews

Chernin And AT&T Close To Buying Controlling Stake In Fullscreen

By Sahil Patel

The Chernin Group and AT&T through their joint venture called Otter Media are nearing a deal to buy a majority stake in YouTube multi-channel giant Fullscreen.

As first reported by Recode, the deal would value Fullscreen between $200 million and $300 million. For context, Fullscreen’s biggest competitor in the YouTube space, Maker Studios, sold to Disney for $500 million, with $450 million in additional payouts depending on the company’s performance. (That said, it’s important to note that Otter Media wouldn’t buy Fullscreen outright, which is what Disney did with Maker.)

If the deal is completed, this would keep Fullscreen in the Chernin family. The Chernin Group led a $30 million Series A round in the MCN over a year ago.

More recently, The Chernin Group partnered with AT&T to launch Otter Media, a joint venture focused on investing in and acquiring over-the-top video startups. The firm has $500 million behind it and recently made its first acquisition, for Demand Media’s Creativebug, which distributes DIY arts and crafts videos.

If you’re looking for a reason for why Otter Media would want a controlling stake in Fullscreen, it’s right there: over-the-top. Fullscreen is developing an owned-and-operated video platform that would bring premium content from its network of talent as well as from other creators. This content, which the company has yet to comment on, would look to super-serve millennials.

As we said back then, a marriage between The Chernin Group and Fullscreen make a lot of sense. Fullscreen has been developing its own over-the-top video platform at the same time its investor The Chernin Group has expressed interest in owning such businesses made the two a perfect match.

According to Recode, if the deal is finalized, Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos would continue to run the company.

Other investors in Fullscreen include Comcast Ventures and WPP Digital.

More to come from this, I’m sure.

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via thevideoink.com for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

Samsung Invests In Android Gaming For The TV

Samsung has announced they have made a $13 million investment in the cross-platform mobile software company BlueStacks. The major investment will be focussed on BlueStacks’ GamePop product, a white-label solution allowing cable providers and television manufactures to offer a wide range of Android mobile games on traditional televisions.

“This is a huge win for the mobile generation,” said BlueStacks CEO, Rosen Sharma in an online piece with Mashable. “We interview a lot of young kids in our GamePop research. None of them have heard of Mario, but they all know Subway Surfers. There is a mindshare shift to mobile IP happening, and with Samsung we will bring all of this popular content into living rooms around the world.”

BlueStacks is known for its focus on mobile to in-home game integration. Just last year they launched the GamePop console that operated as a kind of “Netflix for mobile gaming,” featuring over 500 Android gaming titles. The larger, $129 version of the console was discontinued by the company not long after, however.

BlueStacks also offers a desktop player for Mac OS X and Windows which allows users to play games like Candy Crush Saga, Telegram and Temple Run 2 on their desktops.

All three channels, the white-label offering (for third-party vendors), the AppPlayer (for desktop users), and the mini-console are designed to liberate Android gaming from mobile devices and essentially blur the lines between traditional console gaming the mobile gaming.

Source: Mashable

Best Cinematic Trailers Of The Week

Welcome to the Best Cinematic Trailers of the Week, where we look back at some of the greatest clips from upcoming movies, TV shows and video games that are sure to get your heart pounding with excitement. Whether reintroducing familiar brands or staking new ground, these trailers are guaranteed to keep you entertained. Let’s get started!

Following its run of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network, the next animated series in the popular franchise will make its debut on Disney’s XD channel later this year. In Rebels, some young new heroes are introduced, battling the unstoppable Empire at every turn. Even though the footage is still early yet, it’s definitely looking, well, out of this world.

The new extended trailer for Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy has arrived, and it goes into more detail about the ragtag criminals that come together to become unlikely saviors of the universe. There’s a lot of hype going into this film, which features an all-star cast that includes Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana. It should make quite an impact when it hits theaters August 1st.

The latest trailer for Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity does an outstanding job showcasing what the new Anvil engine can do in terms of recreating the French Revolution era in the game. The gritty streets, the fluid animation and the brisk action all come together into one unique experience, which gamers will be able to get their hands on when the game arrives later this year.

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch returns to the big screen later this year in The Imitation Game, a new film from The Weinstein Company. In it, Cumberbatch portrays Alan Tuning, a genius British mathematician who leads the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helps the Allies win World War II. This drama, also featuring Keira Knightley and Mark Strong, will debut on November 21st.

Finally, Batman: Assault On Arkham, the latest animated Batman film from Warner Bros., will make its debut on August 12th. The film ties in with the events from Rocksteady Studios’ Batman: Arkham games, telling the story of the infamous prison and the nightmarish scenario that unfolds surrounding the games. It should make a big impact this week at San Diego Comic-Con.

Source: YouTube

 

ION Introduces The Brand Channel Network

ION, Ayzenberg Group’s proprietary platform that curates and activates online influencers, today announced the addition of the Brand Channel Network (BCN) to their offerings. BCN helps brands discover, connect and amplify influencers, allowing brand marketers to create and own their influencer networks in order to co-create engaging and meaningful branded content over long running campaigns.

At the upcoming [a]list summit – Influencer Marketing, taking place on July 31 at The Line Hotel in Los Angeles, ION Executive Director Robert Brill will be officially launching BCN to over 300 brand marketers in attendance.

Combining API connections into the largest social networks and algorithmic analysis of influencer metadata, the BCN finds the perfect influencers and advocates for brands and marketers. The product is built from ION’s institutional knowledge, technology licenses and proprietary reporting toolset.  Marketers also benefit from Ayzenberg Group’s two decades of creative and brand strategy pedigree.

The BCN provides four major benefits: (1) Brands take greater control of their influencer marketing efforts and earn economies of scale with the BCN. (2) Marketers own influencer relationships, rather than renting them from third parties.  (3) Content that gets created lives in perpetuity online. (4) Finally, marketers obtain the influencers’ audience data which they get to own and use for remarketing.

Additionally, ION boasts a growing stable of their own influencers, ION Community, who work with marketers by sharing and creating content. The BCN and ION Community are expansions of ION’s core business of creating and activating influencer campaigns. ION clients also benefit from strong partner relationships with Multi-Channel Networks (MCNs).

ION and the BCN provide aggregated reach across social networks including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram and Twitch. Unlike traditional media, ads are not confined, intrusive or in the periphery of user attention.  Clients like Sony Online Entertainment, Warner Bros. Studios and EA have seen the benefit of high quality content, trusted voices and extended reach for three years.

About ION

ION is Ayzenberg’s program that discovers, curates and activates a network of online influencers to promote products and brands through the creation and distribution of custom content. For more information, please visit joinion.net.

About Ayzenberg Group

One of the ten largest privately held creative firms on the West Coast, Ayzenberg is a full-service advertising agency with a distinctly social and agile approach. We’re all about creating and sharing brand stories–in a real-time, always-on, multi-screen way. We have advertising, social media, digital, original content, media planning and implementation, analytics and more under one roof, working as one. From videogame to beverage and consumer electronic brands, our clients value how we target, convert and generate traction with today’s connected ‘Gen Now’ consumers. Current clients include Activision, EA, Microsoft, Red Bull, Sony, Mattel, Yahoo!, Disney, and Warner Bros. For more information, please visit http://www.ayzenberg.com.

Contact:

Robert Brill

Executive Director, ION

626-584-4070 Ext. 510

Rbrill@ayzenberg.com

What Facebook’s Q2 Earnings Tell Us About The Future of Advertising

Most web publishers are seeing more than half of their traffic coming from readers who are on mobile devices, but so far the advertising dollars have not kept up with the shift to digital, even less so with the shift to mobile. That is, until now.

In Facebook’s impressive earnings report from Q2 2014 released yesterday, it was revealed that revenue was $2.91 billion, up 61 percent from $1.81 billion during the same period last year. What’s more, nearly two thirds of those revenues came from mobile ads. It represents a wide gap in favor of mobile and illustrates that a fundamental shift is not just under way, but has already happened. So what finally made the difference

According to the ad exchange OpenX, more than half of the effective mobile campaigns are now being delivered in a native format. With banners ads proven ineffective on the web and even less so on mobile, Facebook pioneered this format which allows advertisers to present their marketing messages in a less intrusive manner in the news stream with the same look and feel “in-stream”.

Native is the “killer app” that advertisers were waiting for in order to shift serious ad dollars over to mobile. Facebook is already banking a lot of those mobile dollars with company operating margins at 48 percent in the second quarter. They are now focusing on getting native right on other platforms such as Instagram as well.

We can expect similar advertising results from other publishers as they trim and tweak their own “in-stream” ad offering.

 

 

3BlackDot Ties Game And IP Creation With Sponsors

At Casual Connect in San Francisco, 3BlackDot co-founders and former Machinima division heads Angelo Pullen and Luke Stepleton, along with former Duck Dynasty co-executive producer Hank Stepleton, unveiled their new influencer-driven entertainment company. The co-founders have partnered with top-ranked YouTube gaming influencers Adam Montoya (SeaNanners – 4.5 million subscribers) and Tom Cassell (TheSyndicateProject – 7.6 million subscribers) to open up new opportunities for brands to connect with gamers and the 13-34 year-old gaming demographic.

3BlackDot focuses on four main influencer-driven specialties:

In partnership with Section Studios, the first 3BlackDot studio initiative includes development of entertainment franchise Zombie Killer Squad in Nov. 2013. The mobile game quickly garnered one million installs in the first nine days, making it one of the fastest growing games to reach this number in history. It reached to the top spot of #1 App in the Apple iTunes store in the U.K., Canada, Australia and #2 App in the U.S. With more than 2.6 million installs, Zombie Killer Squad will release a game update that incorporates two additional YouTube gaming personalities — ihascupquake (1.6 million subscribers) and TmarTn (1.7 million subscribers).

Executive producer Hank Stepleton heads up the PickAxe production arm, whose first project is a live-action short film based on Zombie Killer Squad. The trailer to the film will debut at the 3BlackDot Influencer Lounge and launch party at San Diego Comic-Con.

3BlackDot also creates and builds campaigns for entertainment properties and brands such as Machete Kills for 20th Century Fox, Volkswagen #NowYouKnow, Office Depot and Disney Infinity. Angelo Pullen and Luke Stepleton explain what they learned from Machinima and how they plan on utilizing YouTube Influencers to grow new cross-platform IP in this exclusive interview.

What does the company name mean?

Angelo Pullen: It is a play off of ellipses, to communicate that there is always more to come.

Luke Stepleton: Ellipsis . . .  or ‘And then’ or ‘more to come.’

What did you learn from your time at Machinima that you’re applying to this new company?

Angelo Pullen

Angelo Pullen: Machinima was a great opportunity for us to work with a myriad of large brands and we gained an expertise in organically integrating a brand’s messaging into the YouTube ecosystem, while driving massive viewership and engagement. We were also very successful at building audiences around premium content online for shows such as Halo: Forward Unto Dawn and Battlestar Galactica, which is something else we look forward to putting to use with our production arm “PickAxe.”

Luke Stepleton: Machinima was a great place for me, truly enjoyed learning and working with a good group of people. The most valuable opportunity Machinima afforded me was the experience and ability to work with both brands and influencers.

How has YouTube evolved since its inception?

Angelo Pullen: YouTube started off similar to many other platforms, giving its creators tools to share and communicate. However, the creation of the partnership program and the concept of a platform sharing its ad revenue with the creators that are helping build its audience was one of the single most important moves for a platform to date.

Luke Stepleton: Loads, more than any one person can possibly provide a single answer for. The core of what makes it a wonderful platform hasn’t changed. The single most important change that YouTube implemented was the Partnership program. For me, this may go down as one of the most socially important and impactful decisions made by any corporation in the last 50 years.

What’s the secret to turning YouTube followers into customers?

Angelo Pullen: Authenticity. Provide something that the Influencer and their community actually care about.

Luke Stepleton: Not forgetting the ‘You’ of YouTube, and working closely with influencers to speak authentically to their audience.

Luke Stepleton

What did you learn from your first mobile game, Zombie Killer Squad, when it comes to connecting with Youtube influencers?

Angelo Pullen: Give the YouTube Influencer the freedom to drive the creative direction of the game, specifically for their respective communities, and you will succeed.

Luke Stepleton: Every creative process and production offers its own unique set of learning opportunities. Working creatively with YouTubers to produce a game is no different than producing a movie or film. It takes the creative input of everyone involved to make it great.

What role will game development play in your company moving forward?

Angelo Pullen: A significant role. We are looking to become a legitimate player in the world of game publishing. Our focus will be on becoming the predominant publisher of Influencer driven games, developing engaging IP that is creatively driven and marketed by Influencers.

Luke Stepleton: Game development is a cornerstone for 3Blackdot, allowing us to work with a truly engaged community.

What opportunities do you see on Youtube when it comes to production?

Angelo Pullen: We are really excited about our production arm, PickAxe, which will be focusing on developing Influencer Driven content for Over-The-Top (OTT) outlets, but incubating the content on YouTube first. We believe that working with Influencers to develop premium content for their respective communities and then letting the community decide if they would like to see more, creates a unique opportunity to mitigate the risk that many other traditional producers are met with, while also increasing the LTV of a viewer for the OTT. It all starts on YouTube.

Luke Stepleton: There are significant opportunities for production on YouTube moving forward. 3BD plans on utilizing YouTube as a place to develop audience and IP. Working with the community on IP development, through the YouTube platform, is a key differentiator for us.

What does Hank Stepleton bring to the table for original series for online?

Angelo Pullen: Hank brings a proven track record of creating content that sells. Hank has produced 12 major TV shows and most recently served as executive producer of the popular American Reality TV Show, Duck Dynasty. Duck Dynasty has broken several ratings records on both A&E and cable television as a whole. The fourth season premiere drew 11.8 million viewers, the most-watched non-fiction cable series in history. Hank will develop content and pitches for digital outlets, as well as traditional cable outlets.

Luke Stepleton: Hank brings a level of professionalism that enables 3BD to immediately become a force in the content production realm. Oh, and he is my brother, whose intelligence, integrity, hard work ethic, and dogged persistence have been integral in my professional development.

Adam Montoya

With so many TVs offering YouTube anyway, how do you see the concept of entertainment evolving across devices?

Angelo Pullen: I think with the creation of more platforms and content, we will start to see more and more serialized content being created for specific niche communities/demographics and they will be offered up to people to consume the content where they like, when they like.

Luke Stepleton: The most difficult part about the future is “Discoverability,” it is an uphill battle for all content creators. 3Blackdot solves the problem of discoverability for its clients on the agency side of our business, as well as for our own IP.

What opportunities does Android TV open up for you as game developers and entertainment creators?

Angelo Pullen: I think with services such as Android TV and Amazon Fire TV, the barrier of entry for indie game developers & publishers has dropped significantly. It’s an exciting time when you create content and games that are platform & device agnostic and can be played on your big screen or taken with you on your mobile device, while still providing a seamless engaging experience.

Luke Stepleton: Android TV is a huge opportunity for 3BD. We are stoked to work with OTTs on developing content with audience already in mind — working with the influencers and their audience to develop IP that appeals to massive cross platform audiences.

What role will YouTubers play in the actual company?

Angelo Pullen: Adam “SeaNanners” Montoya, and Tom “TheSyndicateProject” Cassell are two of our co-founders and partners in 3BlackDot. Not only do they share our vision, but are providing much of the creative direction for our games and content. Moving forward, we look to partner with more YouTube and social media Influencers who share our collective vision towards building exciting IP, content, and games.

Tom Cassell

Luke Stepleton: Adam and Tom are co-founders in 3BlackDot, and like all co-founders they will play an important role: From developing IP creatively, to input on how to more authentically to work with audiences, and finally as thought leaders in their respective space.

Will you be an official YouTube partner and host YouTubers and creators (like Machinima did)?

Angelo Pullen: We do have a collective of YouTubers that is a part of 3BD, but for the time being, we are not looking to aggregate a massive amount of channels. We are much more focused on partnering with YouTubers who are like-minded and want to create compelling assets (i.e. games and content)

Luke Stepleton: Though we understand the correlation to Machinima, our desire is to partner with content creators to create value with influence. Empowering both the company and content creators to deliver truly engaging entertainment properties.

How will you work with consumer brands across gaming and entertainment?

Angelo Pullen: My and Luke’s core competency while at Machinima was working with consumer brands and helping them authentically integrate their products and services into the YouTube ecosystem. As we move forward, we are excited about all of the new ways we can leverage new technology, games and content to drive engaged audiences to a brand’s products and services. We believe the definition of branded entertainment is going to take an entirely new shape as we begin to harness the power of mobile devices.

Luke Stepleton: 3BlackDot firmly believes that any demographic can be reached by leveraging “Peer to Peer” marketing techniques. We firmly believe the most difficult part of the future is discoverability, and that goes for brands as well as content creators. Working with the Influencers inside the YouTube and social media eco-systems can empower any brand to strategically target their desired demo.

OneNote’s Parody Clicks It And Notes It

Following up on the parody success with OneNote Mac, OneNote released a parody of “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO celebrating its new integration with Surface Pro 3. The OneNote team apparently loves taking notes on their Surface Pro 3 so much, they had to sing about it. The video was recorded and produced by the OneNote Engineering Team.

Enjoy the world premiere of I Click It and I Note It:

This Week’s [a]list Jobs – July 23rd

[a]listdaily is now your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media. Check here every Wednesday for the latest openings.

Here are this week’s [a]list jobs:

  • Sony Pictures – Director of Marketing, Games (Culver City, Calif.)
  • 20th Century Fox – Global Marketing Manager (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Machinima – Integrated Marketing and Media Solutions Manager (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Netflix – Coordinator, Creative Marketing (Beverly Hills, Calif.)
  • Defy Media – Consumer Marketing Coordinator (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Ayzenberg – Digital Producer (Pasadena, Calif.)

For last week’s [a]list jobs, click here.

Hasbro Introduces New 3D Printing Initiative

Have you ever wanted to create that dream My Little Pony character, or your ideal Transformer, but never came up with the means to do so Well, Hasbro is ready to lend you a hand. The company has teamed up with Shapeways to launch a new program called SuperFanArt, which allows fans to create their own toys with the help of a 3D printer.

With the launch, Hasbro will introduce the My Little Pony franchise, with others to follow soon after if it meets with success. This seems like a sure bet, with fans able to customize their creations.

Through the SuperFanArt page, fans can create and share their designs with others, and even sell certain ones through Shapeways’ marketplace and community, if they’re in hot enough demand. After finding which products they want, consumers can place an order, and then print out whatever designs suit their fancy.

The really interesting thing in this process is how Hasbro has unleashed some of its precious IP and put it into the hands of consumers, which is something companies are typically loath to do. Yet allowing fans to play around with IP, when properly managed, is a terrific way to increase engagment with a brand. Plus, of course, fans will be eager to share their creations and show off their creative talent, which becomes a remarkably effective way of marketing the brand through persoal recommendation.

“Many fans of our brands have remarkable creative talents and SuperFanArt empowers these artists to create unique expressions of Hasbro brands,” said John Frascotti, chief marketing officer of Hasbro. “By partnering with Shapeways, the largest online marketplace for custom 3D printed products, we are able to provide artists with an unprecedented opportunity and also provide brand enthusiasts with access to unique one of a kind creations.”

“Shapeways enables anyone to get the products they want, and with this partnership, we can further expand this to fans to design products based on a major brand,” said Peter Weijmarshausen, CEO and co-founder of Shapeways.

Some of the samples are set to be on display during San Diego Comic-Con this week, to give consumers an idea just how effective a program it really is.

Source: Variety