Brands On Board Instagram’s Hyperlapse Wagon

If you haven’t already heard, Instagram has launched a new app called Hyperlapse which allows users to capture high-quality time lapse videos even while in motion.

“Since launching nearly four years ago, it has always been a priority to bring the Instagram community simple yet powerful tools that let people capture moments and express their creativity,” reads Instagram’s personal blog regarding Hyperlapse. “From documenting your whole commute in seconds or the preparation of your dinner from start to finish to capturing an entire sunset as it unfolds, we’re thrilled about the creative possibilities Hyperlapse unlocks. We can’t wait to see what you’ll create.”

This type of feat had previously only been possible with expensive equipment that has not always been available in phones. Wired says there is essentially “$15,000 worth of editing technology packed into an app.”

So far, the app has gained some notable recognition and popularity from stars like Jimmy Fallon, who scarfs down a large piece of cake in a matter of seconds using Hyperlapse mode, or National Geographic Photographer David Guttenfelder who captures roaming bison and other wandering wildlife road-blocking the roads that run through Yellowstone National Park (below).

Some other big name brands that have already started posting time-lapse videos for their Instagram followers include Bud Light, Mountain Dew, and even Arizona Beverages, who posted a hyperlapse of a man trying nine different kinds of ice tea in only four seconds.

 

 

 

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Source: AdWeek

 

The Sims: Gaming’s Reality TV Equivalent

Video gaming doesn’t really have too much of a source of reality TV, outside of competitive shows that just can’t keep up with the likes of Survivor and Big Brother. But maybe it doesn’t need its own devoted TV programming, as there’s a game series out there that manages to whisk them away into their own curious reality: The Sims.

Electronic Arts has announced that the long-awaited The Sims 4 will finally ship for PC next month, providing a number of new opportunities for users to create characters and neighborhoods, then watch with hilarity (and some cringing) as they go through day-to-day situations, ranging from the abnormal to the all-out wacky.

The Sims is a social experiment,” said Rachel Franklin, executive vice president of Maxis, the development studio behind the popular sim series. “People are fascinated with human life, we all want to watch each other. You see it with reality TV – what is that person doing Why are we fascinated with a fisherman working off the coast of Alaska It’s because it’s a life we’re not familiar with – we want to know and understand it.”

With the game, players will find tons of opportunities with creating characters, situations and areas, then watching everything unfold – sometimes even in unpredictable fashion.

“It’s all about opportunities,” said Franklin. “You’re creating this personality and providing it with long-term goals that will give it impetus throughout its life. Then you’ve got them interacting with their environment, with their need states – what if they’re hungry how does that affect things Then you have them interacting with other Sims, and there’s this exponential explosion of personality possibilities – that’s really exciting.”

Franklin also believes that new behaviors open up from the game, thus adding to the already-provided situations. “With the multitasking element, we were surprised out how much more the Sims were socializing. In previous games, there was a lot more balance and order – now you can have a sim playing a game on a tablet while sitting on the couch, in a conversation with another sim. And because talking with other Sims is compatible with many other actions, they’re much more social creatures. A new style of play has emerged from that.

“And also, the neighborhood Sims, the non-controllable Sims that inhabit the world with you, are fully functioning AI characters too. Sometimes, you’ll see someone stomping angrily by, perhaps with a little kid jumping happily behind them, and you’ll wonder, what’s the story there There’s this immediate connection with the Sims that I don’t think we ever had before.”

The Sims 4 will release for PC and Mac.

Source: The Guardian

Canadian Cable Giants Unwrap Netflix Rival

by Sahil Patel

Two of the biggest cable companies in Canada are joining forces to launch Shomi, a new subscription streaming service designed to take Netflix head on.

From Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications, Shomi will offer prior seasons of popular TV shows, as well as full seasons of classic series and films. This includes current hit shows such as “Modern Family,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “New Girl,” and “American Horror Story,” which Shomi has exclusive rights to in Canada. Overall, the Shomi library will offer more than 340 TV series (totaling 11,000 hours) and 1,200 movies — with 30 percent of that content being Canadian, because this is Canada.

The service will launch in beta first for Rogers and Shaw internet and/or TV customers, going live the first week of November for $8.99 per month. Subscribers will be able to access the service on multiple platforms, including online and mobile, as well as the Xbox 360 and various other connected set-top boxes.

Additional features on the service will include trailers, factoids about various titles, as well as the ability for subscribers to have up to six profiles per account.

More information about the service is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. While equally owned by Rogers and Shaw, Shomi will operate as a standalone unit with its own management team, the cable giants said.

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.

Some Sony Owners Switched From Previous Systems

There’s no secret that Sony’s PlayStation 4 is dominating the game market right now, with over ten million units sold in just under a year’s time. However, according to a new report from Nielsen, a third of that audience actually came in from playing on a previous console.

The study indicates that 31 percent of PS4 owners previously played games on an Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii, but not a PlayStation 3. Considering the games that Sony had made for that console, that’s quite an interesting jump, showing people’s interest in moving on to Sony’s playing field.

The study, which polled 1,200 gamers age 7 to 54 between February and April, also indicated that 17 percent of Sony’s PlayStation 4 buyers hadn’t previously owned a game console – again, a significant jump considering Sony’s staying power in the industry, as well as its growing game library.

“The 10m sell through in the first nine months is well beyond what we had hoped for,” said Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida. “I’m asking marketing people to tell us why. They’ve been to people who already purchased, and some of the early data was amazing in terms of the number of people who didn’t used to own PS3 have already purchased PS4. So we are getting lots of new customers coming into PlayStation. And some people never purchased any last-gen hardware: PS3, or Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii. So where did they come from ”

Whatever the case may be, it’s good news for Sony overall, as they head into the holiday gaming season – which kicks off this week with Madden NFL 15 and Metro Redux – with a startling lead. Nintendo and Microsoft will have their weapons as well, but Sony has strong third-party support, as well as a line-up of downloadable and retail titles, including the upcoming DriveClub, which should release later this year.

 

Source: GamesIndustry International

Taco Bell Sees 80 Percent Engagement Rates On Snapchat

That’s right. Eighty percent.

Engagement like that is why Snapchat will be relying heavily on Snapchat along with Facebook and YouTube to promote it’s much-anticipated $1 menu which begins next week.

Just for the sake of comparison, popular comedy mainstay Funny or Die gets just 10 percent click rates on it’s promoted Kik messages and just half a percent on Facebook and Twitter. There’s something particularly magic about Snapchat in the way it requires marketers to make content that followers want to go out of their way to find and the personal messaging feel gives users the sense of being in your brand’s inside circle.

Yesterday it came to light that Snapchat is raising a new round with a valuation of $10 billion from KPCB and now it’s all making sense. You have to have a lot going for you to attract marketers who have zero access to data and insights on your platform.

Still looking to get Snapchat-savvy Take a look at our Snapchat run-down to understand what makes the mobile social platform different here.

Source: AdWeek

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 www.dewanddoritos.com 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

Microsoft Preparing DeLorean Cloud Gaming Service

Mention the word “DeLorean” and you might automatically think of Marty McFly’s stunning time machine from the Back To the Future movies from the 80’s. However, Microsoft could soon be adding a new twist to the term, as that’s what it’s naming its forthcoming “cloud-based” gaming service.

The company touched on the technology before back in April, showing developers how well big titles like Titanfall could easily run on the Azure cloud platform, without reducing performing in terms of lag.

Following up on that, Microsoft Research published a new report, indicating the company’s new initiative to create a cloud-based platform sometime in the future, which could be used by Xbox consoles and PC’s alike. Dubbed the DeLorean, it utilizes a “speculative execution engine” that makes it not only possible, but actually normal to deliver lag-free gameplay through the cloud – something neither OnLive or Sony have been able to nail down 100 percent, despite best efforts with the OnLive and PlayStation Now services, respectively.

Through the report, several gamers tested out the likes of classic games like Doom 3 and Fable 3 with the service, and couldn’t tell the difference between playing on the DeLorean set-up or playing on an Xbox 360 console. The service uses 250 milliseconds of latency, which could easily be a shake-up in the “cloud gaming” market.

Microsoft Research managed to pull this off through its “speculative” technology, as games can’t really be buffered similarly to videos on YouTube or Netflix. This is due to player activity, like when they shoot a weapon or jump across a chasm. Through this, the system can initiate a guessing game depending on actions, allowing the most accurate guess to unfold as players catch up, thus creating the effect that the game is still going strong, with no lag.

There is a downside to said tech, as it uses quite a bit of bandwidth, with a bitrate for the engine utilizing 1.5-4.5 times more than the typical player input. It’s unknown when Microsoft will patent and finalize the service, but you never know – it could easily be a surprise announcement at a press event down the road.

Source: TechCrunch

WhatsApp Shows 600 Million Active Users

With social media-oriented apps, you’re likely to draw a big crowd, especially when you’ve got a group of people that have a lot to talk about. The Facebook-owned WhatsApp service recently registered such an audience, as CEO and founder Jan Koum has revealed that the app has reached 600 million monthly active users.

“Now serving 600,000,000 monthly active users,” said Koum in a tweet. “Yes, active and registered are very different types of numbers…”

That’s a huge increase for WhatsApp in just a short amount of time, as it just cleared 500 million users back in April, meaning that it’s really picked up over the summer months. Meanwhile, Tencent’s WeChat app is in second place on the social front with 438 million active users, most of which are based within China.

As far as Koum’s “registered” comment, it seems like a slight jab at Line and Kik, who revealed their numbers as well, but only as registered users, instead of active.

Facebook invested $19 billion in the app, so it appears to be taking off. However, it’s worth noting that its services are running a little behind compared to the likes of Tencent, as that service actually offers a number of regards based around its gaming services. We’ll have to see if WhatsApp will go through similar changes as the audience continues to increase.

There’s no question that the social application game is picking up. Along with power players like Twitter and Facebook still going strong, Line is doing admirably with larger revenues than Twitter, and smaller companies like Viber and Tango are doing quite well, registering 100 million and 70 million users, respectively.

What do you think Is WhatsApp due for some changes with the discovery of a growing audience, or do you think the social application should retain a “business as usual” approach when it comes to letting its users talks amongst themselves

Source: The Next Web

Fanta Makes Digital Comedy Series With Vines

Coca-Cola’s soda brand Fanta is sponsoring as well as co-creating a weekly digital comedy series called “Fanta For The Funny.” To add on, the series will consist entirely of six-second Vine videos.

“Fanta For The Funny” is a seven-figure campaign whose target demographic is teens and young adults. Fanta worked with agency 360i to create the campaign, alongside Starcom MediaVest Group {link no longer active} who handled the media buy.

The first episode of “Fanta For The Funny” premiered on August 15th on CollegeHumor.com and across Fanta’s social and digital channels. The show contains dozens of Vine clips depicting gags and pratfalls all organized into vignettes around specific topics from some of the platform’s most popular users. Although Fanta doesn’t actually appear in the Vine videos, its branding is scattered several times between segments. The series is scheduled to run over the course of the next six weeks.

The campaign is employing three distinguished Vine users including AlliCattt, Jason Mendez and Mighty Duck to create and share content and encourage others to do the same.

“Fanta For The Funny unites teens around their shared desire for fame and their shared passion for humor, while allowing them to be themselves and to connect their way,” said the AVP of Fanta and Flavors Racquel Mason, via Adage.

This isn’t the first time Coca-Cola is incorporating Vine into one of its campaigns. Campaigns like the Ahh Effect, Coca-Cola Freestyle and, most recently, the Share a Coke program, have all drawn more than 35 million individual views or “loops.”

According to Kantar Media, Fanta only spent $524,000 last year on measured media in the U.S. These figures exclude spending on Vine.

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