New Survey Shows Trust In Branded Content

In the past, branded content from advertisers and companies wasn’t always well received, mainly because, well, it’s kind of easy to tell that it’s brand content. Lately, though, it appears that consumers don’t seem to mind so much, according to a new research report from Vibrant Media.

Out of the 1,000 Americans surveyed, between the ages of 13 and 64, approximately 33 percent actually trust branded content, while a similar 35 percent believe that content from publications is to be trusted higher. Those two are pretty close together, closer than in previous reports.

The study also shows that one in three consumers rate the advertiser’s main website as the most useful source of information after getting first information about a product – which is actually five times higher than the number of those who would prefer to get opinions from articles written by journalists regarding said product. Advertorials also get a higher amount of interactivity over general articles as well, it seems.

When it comes to what kind of content consumers prefer, it appears that images are the best liked. An approximate 64 percent believe that brands’ images are most easy to be receptive to, while 57 percent, slightly lower but still quite up there, would prefer videos of some sort. Meanwhile, 46 percent still prefer write-ups, in the form of articles.

When it comes to brands’ social media posts, however, the numbers aren’t as staggeringly high. 30 percent of consumers say they aren’t usually receptive to brands’ social media posts, while 42 percent say they are. About the same percent (44 percent) believe that banner ads are the best form of online advertising, and respond accordingly.

“The findings have reassured us that publishers who offer branded content, or are considering doing so, are not compromising their relationship with consumers – as long as they do so responsibly,” said Craig Gooding, executive chairman and founder of Vibrant Media.

What do you think? Do you prefer the power of the printed word from journalists, or are you more into branded content?

Source: Skyword

Homer Simpson Accepts Ice Bucket Challenge

One of the bigger trends making the rounds these days is the Ice Bucket Challenge, which is virally being passed around to support the fight against ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and features a number of people getting doused with cold water and ice. Many celebrities and groups have already taken part, and now, animation is stepping in, as The Simpsons head patriarch Homer Simpson has accepted the challenge.

Before getting doused with a cold glass of water, Homer challenges his neighbor Flanders (twice) and then begins to realize just how cold the water is. If you keep watching the clip, however, you’ll realize that the cup is just the beginning, as, thanks to Homer’s son Bart, he becomes covered in a lot more coldness.

The video is just one of many brands taking part in the viral challenge for a good cause, infusing their own style and humor.


Snacks Add Virtual Goods For A Tasty Promotion

There’s been a long association between gaming and snack foods going back decades. When you’re in the fevered excitement of a marathon gaming session, quick snacks and caffeine-powered sodas are a natural thing to reach for. This association hasn’t escaped brand marketers, as in past years we’ve seen fast-food companies working with console makers, and more recently Coca-Cola sponsoring eSports.

The latest promotion promising to tickle a gamer’s taste buds comes from Mountain Dew and Doritos. Mountain Dew and Doritos have put a call out to gamers who can’t wait for Activision’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, bringing back both a gamer favorite — Mountain Dew Game Fuel Citrus Cherry — and a new flavor, Mountain Dew Game Fuel Lemonade.

The global Mountain Dew and Doritos “Fuel Up for Battle” promotion takes advantage of Call of Duty’s new game feature, the brand new “Supply Drops” currency platform. Starting October 6 (Monday, the same day the Mountain Dew products are released) gamers in select markets around the world can collect codes from specially marked packages of Mountain Dew or Doritos. Players can enter the codes online at and then customize their Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare multiplayer gaming experience by accessing exclusive (until Feb. 15, 2015) in-game gear using the “Supply Drops” system.

This could be fans customizing their player with ultra-rare accessories like an exo-skeleton, heavy vest kit, helmets, goggles, boots and more. Further elevating the experience, gamers will also be able to unlock double XP and rapid supply rewards. Every code entered from DEW and Doritos packages unlocks Call of Duty in-game rewards and each code entered will also provide a chance to win an Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft.

“We’re thrilled to bring together with Call of Duty such iconic brands as Mountain Dew and Doritos in a compelling and fun way that benefits both of our respective communities,” said Ashley Maidy, vice president of licensing and partnerships, Activision Publishing, Inc. “So, with the exclusive in-game gear waiting for DEW and Doritos consumers, gamers just need to fuel-up and login.”

“As in-game experiences evolve, the DEW and Doritos brands are constantly looking for ways to bring those cutting-edge ideas to life offline through unique promotions and exclusive opportunities for our fans,” said Greg Lyons, vice president of marketing, Mountain Dew. “As a brand with an endemic gaming heritage, we are excited to be able to offer this massive gaming community unique access to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s next generation ‘Supply Drop’ platform.”

“The Dew and Doritos ‘Fuel Up for Battle’ promotion is a great example of PepsiCo’s strength in delivering an integrated food and beverage marketing campaign,” said Jeff Klein, vice president of marketing, Frito-Lay. “Our unique ability to bring consumers exclusive experiences through our long-standing legacy of partnerships and programs around blockbuster video games, demonstrates why we are Better Together.”

As gamers have come to expect year after year, Mountain Dew is bringing back tried and true gamer-favorite — Mountain Dew Game Fuel Citrus Cherry — and a bold new flavor — Mountain Dew Game Fuel Lemonade — for a limited time only. Both products will hit shelves in the U.S., beginning October 6.

Fans can also participate in the”Fuel Up for Battle” promotion by purchasing any 3.375 oz. specially marked bag of Doritos Nacho Cheese, Doritos Cool Ranch, Doritos Spicy Nacho or Doritos Dinamita Chile Limon flavored chips, beginning October 6.

The interesting angle on this promotion is, of course, the virtual goods. Previous snack promotions have tended to be contests, offering the chance to win games or consoles. Of course, most of the snacks in that case don’t deliver anything, because the odds aren’t that great. Offering virtual goods or currency for virtual goods means that every item you purchase has value in the game, not just a chance at value.

Activision is also using the promotion to spur interest in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare prior to the game’s release, of course. Players will be encouraged to collect the snack foods and drinks ahead of the game’s release, stockpiling virtual items. This should act to increase a gamer’s desire to get the game, since they’ll be starting with an advantage.

The release of an advanced promotional campaign seems quite appropriate for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, as the game represents several advances for the Call of Duty franchise. The game narrative begins in the year 2054, when the Atlas Corporation, a private military corporation (PMC), has emerged with the power to rescue humanity after a global attack on its military and infrastructure. This setting means players get new, cutting-edge exoskeleton abilities and an advanced arsenal with new weaponry, vehicles and high-tech gear. Players can join the ranks of a highly-trained, specialized unit committed to restoring order.

The new gear and futuristic setting lends quite a different flavor to Call of Duty, as Activision is looking to boost sales this year as the competition intensifies in the shooter category. Activision’s toughest competition may well come its own product line, as Destiny launches with high expectations in September. The games are very different in the setting and many of the gameplay elements, but both are shooters. Will players be willing to pick up both games, or can they both appeal to large audiences without any overlap occurring

Game Trailers Ramping Up For PAX

This weekend, the city of Seattle will play host to the latest Penny Arcade Expo, also known as PAX Prime. This event allows various types of gamers, community members and companies to get together and celebrate what they love across a span of four days at the Washington State Convention Center.

With that, several trailers have made the rounds this week, with a few titles slated to be at the event. Although not all the games will make it, you can bet they’ll generate big buzz in one form or another.


Brainiac is loose and running wild across the universe in WB Games’ forthcoming Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, which will be released for consoles on November 11. In the game, the Dark Knight, working alongside over 150 different heroes and villains from the DC Universe, will do battle with the super-smart villain, in pure Lego fashion. The game should be available for play this weekend at the PAX Prime event.


Basketball fans have a little something to get excited about with the new trailer for NBA 2K15, dubbed the “Yakkem” trailer. The game not only features some ferocious new b-ball action, but also the Inside the NBA set, and plenty of court talk. The game is scheduled for release on October 4, and while 2K won’t have it on the show floor, it will have plenty of other games to offer, including Evolve and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.


Devolver Digital’s Titan Souls could easily be one of the most anticipated “indie” titles being shown at PAX Prime. You play a lone adventurer exploring strange new worlds, only to come across enormous boss enemies that must be defeated. Be careful, though – one hit and you’ll have to start all over again. Titan Souls should release sometime in 2015, and will be playable at the event.


Last but not least, Activision’s Destiny will have some presence at the event, including a devoted panel as well as other activities around the center. Since the game’s release is just under two weeks away, this makes sense. And that didn’t stop the developers at Bungie from releasing a humorous new video, where your cyber companion Ghost (voiced by Peter Dinklage) accepted the recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, passing along the torch to various other game characters…and George Lucas.

Source: YouTube