Madden NFL 15’s Unusual Ad Blitz

For over 25 years now, EA Sports’ Madden games have been entertaining the populace, bringing in millions of football fans and casual players with each growing year. This year’s entry, Madden NFL 15, is no exception, although EA Sports has taken a different approach to how the game is advertised, and where. Rather than rolling out an ad campaign on TV, EA Sports premiered this ad on the company’s YouTube channel.

Rather than going with a traditional trailer that shows gameplay, the new Madden NFL 15 ad features comedian Kevin Hart and actor Dave Franco interacting with each other over a gameplay session, including such out-of-control circumstances as a bear playing violin in a pool, and a house catching on fire. A number of football players also appear, taking part in crazy activities themselves, including a “blah blah blah” style rap. The ad, in other words, has a hearty dose of strange that’s very far away from a typical sports game ad.


Sqor Social Network Caters To Fans

According to the newly launched social network site Sqor, “there is no offseason.” And it’s true, in a way. Fans love talking about their favorite sports, even after the season ends and leaves them plenty to look forward to when it comes to the next. And that’s exactly where this new site wants to benefit.

Sqor is the home for over 1,500 professional athletes, who share and interact their daily content with devoted sports fans. But that’s not all, as it will also be opening up an avenue that will allow users to play games along with being social.

The site has announced that it will release its first lightweight social network games at the end of the month, including a title called College Showdown, which enables users to predict what will happen in a forthcoming game.

This is just the latest move by Sqor, a network that specializes in sending promotions via the network through social messages on mobile devices, as well as hosting chats with popular athletes, such as former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, who serves as a board member.

“Sports is a global language,” said Brian Wilhite, the chief executive of Sqor. “Coming off the World Cup, we all got to see how impactful the global sporting event can be. What we are tapping into is the mobility and ease of participation in these events. You used to sit and watch. Now you can participate and be part of the content creation. We are right in the middle of this explosion of participation. We can touch every sports fan in the world.”

The network has done really well thus far, with around 500,000 unique visitors this month alone, even if the outreach is sure to be bigger in the months ahead with the athletes’ fans on board. A potential 25 million fans can be reached, with plenty of room for more.

“We have no politics, no food,” Wilhite said. “It’s all around sports. Our athletes take video and share it. Before a big event, they’ll make exclusive comments and publish it to their audience. It’s inside talk, right before the event or after it.”

“Sqor delivers the most entertaining content publishing platform for athletes in digital sports,” Favre said in a statement.

Future game releases for the social network will cover a variety of leagues, including the NFL, UFC, NBA and Major League Baseball. “Gamifying even the most mundane platforms seems to work,” said Wilhite. “It’s a natural fit for us. We’ll have really simple, lightweight ways to play against others on the platform. Sports is naturally entertaining and competitive.”

The network’s doing rather well based upon its raised $3 million in funding, and once NFL season kicks in, you can bet it will continue to thrive. “Fans are going to come because Sqor is the place where athletes are going to release exclusive content,” Wilhite said, although he didn’t elaborate on said content.

What do you think Will you check out Sqor

Source: VentureBeat

Integrating Google Glass Into The Workspace

Thalmic Labs has announced a slew of new partnerships with developers to make it easier for people in industries like healthcare and construction to integrate Google Glass into their workday, by using the company’s armband controller.

“We’re literally changing the way that we, as people, interact with the digital world around us,” said Thalmic Labs co founder Matthew Bailey to “We’d argue that wearables have ‘happened’. If you look around, people are already wearing technology today whether that be a traditional watch or a smartphone on their arm when they go for a run,” Bailey continued, addressing the “buzz” over wearables.

“The question we’re exploring is: how can we find more natural ways to merge technology and people We’re hitting the limits of today’s form factors whether they be personal computers, tablets, or smartphones. We believe wearable computing is the next progression in that evolution,” Bailey said.

The deal with Google Glass is only a fraction of the notable announcements Thalmic Labs released as it prepares for its public launch next month with over 40,000 armbands already preordered.

The armband operates with sensors that detect when muscles in a wearer’s forearm are moving to make a hand signal and translates that into gestures on a screen.

Additionally, Thalmic Labs previously announced it’s working to change gaming as well as interacting online and controlling a desktop. Now, Thalmic Labs is targeting workers in industries like construction, field service and healthcare where interacting with smartglasses using subtle hand and finger gestures while on the go could make the most sense.

According to Forbes, CEO and cofounder Stephen Lake explained in a press release that the armband uses subtle hand gestures to instantly interact with applications on smartglasses, without needing to remove gloves or pull out a secondary controller.

Thalmic Labs is also partnering with Augmedix, which uses Google Glass to free physicians from documentation so they can focus on patients; APX Labs which builds software for smartglasses; Bridgit, the deficiency management software suite aiming to respond to issues of miscommunications on construction sites; and Recon Instruments, which produces a smartglass technology for sports.

Myo Developer Kits start shipping in July and the Myo armband ships this fall. It is currently available for pre-order for $149.


Tim Howard Partners With Marriott For #LoveTravels Campaign

“It’s huge for me—working with Marriott International. I’m always trying to seek out top brands that think the way I think—that to me is important when engaging in a partnership,” said Howard in AdWeek. Marriott had moved quickly to pursue howard after the star athlete became a household name after the World Cup.

The fact that Howard is an avid traveler, getting new tattoos for places he has been, made perfect sense that they should partner for the #LoveTravels {link no longer active} campaign. The campaign entails branded videos with select spokespeople like fashion designer Angela Simmons and chef Mia Banducci. The campaign encourages participants to share their travel photos for a prize of $2000 or the chance to win their weekly prize of $500, a great way to incentivize UGC.


Google Introducing Accounts For Younger Users

In a first (official) move for social networking, Google is preparing to open up its venue for younger users. The company has announced that it will offer accounts for children under 13 years old, which could open up a potential new market for the site, but also some complications that could lead to problems down the road.

Beforehand, Google didn’t offer such accounts in Gmail and YouTube to younger kids, even though they could still log in anonymously and/or lie about their age when it came to verification.

The new system allows parents to set up the accounts for their kids, still keeping tabs on what kind of content they can see and access, as well as what private information is collected during their web-surfing sessions.

This follows the news that Google was looking to provide a younger user-friendly version of YouTube for tablet computers, also with parental controls, even though that project hasn’t been given a release date as of yet.

The main reason this could be a problem for Google is because of COPPA, or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. With it, limits are placed in terms of how information can be gathered for young users on the Internet, with parents’ consent required. However, Google appears to be quite compliant with the rules when it comes to this move.

Not everyone is convinced, however. “Unless Google does this right it will threaten the privacy of millions of children and deny parents the ability to make meaningful decisions about who can collect information on their kids,” said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, an online privacy group.

That group has already talked with the Federal Trade Commission about Google’s new business practice, and plans to chat with its legal team on a plan to keep tabs on Google to make sure the services are properly rolled out.

No word yet on if the FTC had any response, as it appears to be ongoing.

What do you think Would you let your kids have their own Google accounts

Source: Wall Street Journal

PlayFab Looking To Simplify Game Service

Thinking of games as a service is actually not a bad idea, especially when it comes to tracking certain statistics or play styles from a specific player. The difficulty comes with implementing the services required, because creating, testing and deploying an array of back-end services for games is a daunting task. Worse, it takes time away from actually creating, testing, and refining the game itself, which is something smaller developers can’t afford to do. PlayFab is looking to make life both easier and better for game publishers and developers by providing a suite of back-end services for games built on different engines and platforms .

The company recently raised $2.5 million, with a focus on what CEO James Gwertzman says are “tech companies that happen to make games.” His idea allows companies easy access to dashboards for tracking players and purchases in a more general way.

With the $2.5 million in seed funding (which was raised through a group of investors), the focus on gaming is a big one for the company, as Gwertzman has confirmed that “almost two dozen” game companies have already committed to the new model, with “hundreds” more in the discussion phase of joining.

These back-end services won’t just be limited to free-to-play games, and will serve as a live component for many gaming types. Gwertzman previously demonstrated this by taking a game that’s been a popular online favorite for three years and managing to pull up the statistics for a particular player with ease. That information can easily help out someone in need via customer support, such as tracking complaints or keeping track of comments to fix an online problem. The detailed history would back up said reports, and provide a method of research to finding a resolution.

This tool could also help out in the field of game design, with the ability to schedule special live events, like a one-day sale of the game itself or a special item. It can also track new statistics as well, such as damage dealt out during a round of a first-person shooter, or even the rate of fire that a player lets off in battle.

PlayFab would charge for this service based upon numbers of daily active users, so those up-and-coming developers would be able to take part in this service without literally paying an arm or a leg. Developers can check out PlayFab’s system now on iOS, Android, Facebook and PC, and those making games for Xbox and PlayStation consoles will be able to access the services soon as well.

Source:, TechCrunch

Giant Android Tablets Aimed At Families

When it comes to kid-oriented tablet devices, most device makers believe that smaller is better. However, that isn’t the case with Nabi, which has just introduced a line of Big Tabs Android tablets that could easily become favorites amongst both children and families alike.

Produced by Fuhu, the devices will be available in two different models. The 20-inch version, which comes with a 1600×900 HD+ display, will go for $449, while the 24-inch model, with a 1920×1080 Full HD panel, will go for $549.  These tablets are capable, with a 15-point capacitive touch screen, quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 4 processors, and 16 GB of memory. The tablets run Android 4.4.4, but have Fuhu’s Blue Morpho user interface layer over it. The horsepower isn’t cutting edge, but it’s certainly powerful enough to run all of the current Android games. However, the extremely high resolution of the tablets means that many apps won’t have modes designed for that resolution, so you’ll see plenty of pixels.

The devices, which will release this fall, will focus on educating and entertaining kids with a number of apps, thanks to a Blue Morpho user interface that parents can easily take control of, so they can keep tabs on what their kids play. There are plenty of shows from places like Disney and Cartoon Network, and curated kid’s apps.

The tablets will come with an adjustable and removable frame, which will make it easy to stand up any time kids want to play games with others, as well as take on the go. It’ll really open up with a number of experiences, whether it’s casual games like Angry Birds or even classic board games along the lines of Monopoly and others.

The device won’t have your kids lugging it around like a brick either. It clocks in at just 13 pounds and its model base sits at just about a full inch thick (0.9 inches). Its Blue Morpho mode will also serve as kind of like an easy or kids’ mode on other devices, with access to a number of all-ages apps, including a selection for DreamWorks movies, as well as Disney, Nickelodeon and other apps of that nature.

Nabi will also launch a special App Zone where kids can surf around with their parents and see what applications suit them best, then play games together if they prefer. It’s also very focused on education, with a special currency system called Nabi coins that rewards them when they finish certain tasks, such as their homework or tasks around the house.

This could be a nice change of pace for all activities involved, especially gaming, with the units’ large displays and easy-to-use interface. Parents will definitely want to take a look at these.

Source: Engadget, Techcrunch

Vevo Is No Longer for Sale

by Sahil Patel

Vevo’s quartet of owners — Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, the Abu Dhabi Media Group, and Google — are no longer interested in selling the company.

Citing multiple sources familiar with the ownership group’s thinking, the New York Post reports that the owners believe they’re better off keeping the company in-house, excited about the growth prospects of a platform that already reaches close to 41.7 million unique viewers per month in the U.S. alone {link no longer active}.

Poised for growth both internationally and off of YouTube, which remains the main driver of views for Vevo content, the music-video company recently struck a deal with Pinterest to become the third video platform to distribute to the social discovery network.

With projected 2014 revenue of $350 million, according to The Post, Vevo’s sales process attracted suitors like DreamWorks Animation, Guggenheim Digital Media, The Chernin Group, and Liberty Media.

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 for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

CMO’s Believe They’ll Meet Revenue Goals

When it comes to the global business economy, apparently confidence is a strong suit.

A new report by the Chief Marketing Officer Council shows that CMO’s generally have no worries when it comes to reaching current marketing goals. A survey has shows that 81 percent of those senior marketers polled believe that they’ll have no problem meeting the management goals for top-line revenue growth and market share over the next year.

The numbers come from the CMO Council’s State of Marketing report, held for the eighth straight year and compiled by NetBase and Infor. 525 global marketers were polled with the report, across a number of companies, including b-to-b and b-to-c, as well as hybrids.

“The level of confidence and optimism is very high,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director for the CMO Council. “We are seeing the CMO role being elevated to a much larger degree.”

Out of those asked, 69 percent of senior marketers believe that they are trusted, strategic members of the C-suite, or at least getting to that level in terms of stature and credibility with key business leaders.

CMO’s have a lot of responsibility, so sometimes meeting that goal isn’t always an easy feat. They have to cover strategic planning and forecasting, branding, digital, budgeting and mix modeling and market research. Out of those, CMO’s believed that strategic planning and forecasting was the most vital, at 74 percent, while market research was in fifth place with a close-behind 67 percent.

“There is a lot more complexity and new roles that marketers are playing that they haven’t played in the past, from data forecasting to customer advocate to digital architect,” said Neale-May. “We are seeing CMO’s getting more traction, more elevation and more influence in the C-suite, and that is global.”

Of course, the most obvious reason that CMOs are confident in meeting their goals is that they very likely set those goals themselves, or at least had a great deal of input into the creation of those goals. Need we look any further for explanations as to the confidence of CMOs

Source: Ad Age

Dong Nguyen’s ‘Swing Copters’ Bound For App Store

Flappy Bird was an instant wonder, with its simple and addictive gameplay inspiring odes from gamers everywhere. Nguyen’s new game employs similar mechanics, but instead of being horizontally-oriented, the game involves tapping to get a little creature with a helicopter hat to move upward while avoiding all sorts of swinging hazards.

Previously Nguyen returned with Flappy Birds Family on August 1, which is only playable on Amazon Fire TV. That provided a two-player option for the beloved game.

Swing Copters is set to launch tomorrow on iOS and Android with an option to remove the ads for just 99 cents. Take a look at the gameplay trailer below and let us know what you think of it in the comments.