Zappos Wants To Make Sure Your Pants Are Mobile Ready

There’s a whole lot of talk about being mobile-first and mobile ready, and for the most part, marketers are mainly concerned with what’s on the screen. Amid Apple’s announcements on September 9th, Zappos unleashed a little bit of mean fun at a basic problem surrounding these larger mobile screens– that they might be a little harder to actually carry with you.

Behold: mobile ready pants. Zappos has the exclusive on pants with just the right size pockets for you to carry your fancy new iPhone 6 Plus. How else were you going to carry around your phablet

iPhone Users Are ‘More Extreme’

When those watching Apple’s big September 9th announcement streams saw Apple’s new ‘Perspective’ ad, touting that the iPhone is the phone for those who “see things differently,” Apple was fairly on the spot in this observation. According to a mobile browsing report, iPhone users are more extreme than other smartphone owners.

How extreme, you ask They are apparently 14 times more likely to view off-road racing videos. Studying the mobile search data, Exponential Interactive did a mobile brand comparison to see how different products attracted different people. Mobile data was collected from categories like celebrities, cars, sports, holidays and more to learn more about targeting appropriate content to the right users.

Depending on the phone, users might be more interested in skateboarding as opposed to snowboarding or basketball. The study found that HTC users were family-oriented, Nokia phones appealed to those who are not very tech-savvy, and Blackberry, unsurprisingly, appeals mostly to business people.

Source: The Drum


Nerf Didn’t Sponsor This Epic Nerf Battle

Sometimes, corporate companies need to pay attention to young upstarts making innovative videos on YouTube. Doing so would open the door to a possible partnership featuring exclusive content, not to mention an all-new avenue of advertising that could catch on with a bigger audience.

Case in point: YouTube video maker RackaRacka released an epic new video featuring Nerf weapons in action, with fake bullet effects, machine gun fire and more to make the battle seem more heated than it actually was. The video, which can be seen below, is a lot of fun to watch, and sets the tone for just how exciting Nerf battles can be.

That said, Nerf didn’t sponsor the video, which forced RackaRacka to indicate in its videos that it is, in fact, “Not sponsored by Nerf.” But was the company just not willing to sponsor, or was there another reason

Said RackaRacka in the YouTube comments, “NERF didn’t refuse us, we tried to contact them but didn’t head back haha. I want to be very open to my subscribers about product placement and sponsorship. I hate it when my subscribers write things like ‘oh they only made this video because they’re getting paid’ or ‘its only good because they had a budget.’ I just wanted to let everyone know that this wasn’t sponsored by them the same way I would let everyone know if it had been.”

It seems like a missed opportunity for the Nerf company, if only because the company has worked on “epic” online videos before. Previously, it had paired up with AwesomenessTV on an online video featuring an epic basketball face-off with a Nerf ball and hoop, which we’ve included below. The video is actually posted on Nerf’s Official YouTube Channel.

Could it be that Nerf just missed out on the opportunity, or perhaps didn’t think that the addition of gunfire effects wasn’t good for its harmless guns and toys Regardless, it should definitely give RackaRacka’s video a look, because it’s definitely not anything of the harmful variety.

To the next great Nerf war!

Source: New Media Rockstars


YouTube Isn’t The Only Video Marketing

A recently analysis provided by Jefferies indicates that YouTube is reaching a value right at $40 billion – a far bigger number than most given social networks, including Twitter. Marketers have flocked to the channel as a result, with more and more ads joining the network. However, it’s not the only game in town.

A July 2014 poll by Demand Metric (alongside Metric2) indicates that responses from marketing professionals in the U.S. indicate that hosting video through websites and external sites provides great strategy. And this doesn’t just include YouTube, as Vimeo was also mentioned as a premiere business partner.

YouTube-hosted videos continue to show a bigger percentage over self-hosted video sites, at 43 percent compared to 11 percent. However, the two host types that utilize video indicate that 46 percent of marketers actually use a combination of their sites and external platforms for video content, in an effort to “optimize benefits.”

A combined future for digital video marketing, where both sources are used, isn’t out of the question. Out of respondents polled, nearly two thirds believe that a combination between external and internal posting is quite effective, compared to a smaller 23 percent for external platforms and 14 percent for internal.

The combination really adds up, as nearly 60 percent of marketing professionals feel that it’s vital to have a brand-controlled video-sharing channel, one that keeps visitors’ information secure. These owned platforms can actually increase data gathering from audiences as well, making them important. 65 percent of those polled believe this is the case, stating that the value of video viewing data provides a number of startling sales funnel leads, and opens the door to more possibilities for partnerships and increased video output. And in this case, the more quality videos, the better.

What do you think Would you prefer YouTube for your advertising needs, or something more internal

Source: eMarketer

Funny Or Die And Volkswagen Drive A Car Through Target

When online comedy behemoth Funny Or Die teams up with Volkswagen America, some seriously funny business goes down. The new online spot takes the same form of the types of skits that made a name for the comedy site.

“Funny or Die is one of the most recognized and sought-after brands in comedy today so we knew they would be the perfect partner to amplify Volkswagen’s unique sense of humor,” said VP of Marketing at Volkswagen, Vinay Shahani in a statement on MediaPost.

A hapless boyfriend learns he must impress his girlfriend’s parents by transforming his greyscale bachelor pad apartment in just 2 hours. A strange, overly intrusive neighbor with a devil-may-care attitude is there to step in and make the magic happen. What ensues is a trip through Target that can only happen with a little cinematic magic and the awesome handling of a Volkswagen Golf, of course.

Sneak peeks of the comedy spot will be airing on TBS, alongside Big Bang Theory and TBS movies, a boost to drive viewers to the full spot on Funny Or Die. Turner Broadcasting has been representing Funny Or Die’s advertising with the goal to “provide brands access to premium comedic content, while offering promotional scale with Turner’s portfolio of premium brands like TBS and Adult Swim.”


Final Fantasy Vet Goes Free-To-Play

After spending years lending his talents to Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series, Hironobu Sakaguchi is trying out new ground.

The long-time producer is hard at work on a new free-to-play mobile game, hoping to find his place in the same market where the likes of Puzzle & Dragons are really cleaning up on the cash.

The game, Terra Battle, is a production of Sakaguchi’s game studio, Mistwalker, and combines elements from classic puzzle games and strategy/role-playing games. In it, your character builds an army, then directs them onto a grid-like battlefield, attacking enemies from the side or rear where they’re most vulnerable. For the game, Sakaguchi took inspiration from the classic Japanese board game hasami-shogi, where surrounding your players is a vital part.

It’s a jarring move for Sakaguchi, who worked on such big-budget games as Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey for Microsoft on the Xbox 360, but one that could certainly play off, given the strategy of the title.

Interested players can take part in the game’s battles, and attempt to unlock more powerful characters through a randomized pay-to-play lottery system, which Sakaguchi dubs “gacha.” “In some games, it’s really hard to get the rare characters; the percentage [of rare characters in the gacha lottery] is really low,” he says about the system.

The more downloads that the game gets, the more Sakaguchi intends to add content to the game, including more characters, music and other items. “The console game business is more about make it, ship it, and forget it,” he says. “Mobile games are more like a festival: You keep adding and adding and adding. Just yesterday, I went on Facebook and asked someone, ‘Can you make me a character ‘ through Messenger.”

The overall goal for Sakaguchi “I want an MMORPG,” he said, hoping to gain at least two million downloads. “I want to keep the essence of what’s going on in (the mobile version of) Terra Battle.”

There’s no word on a release date, but we certainly wish Sakaguchi the best of luck in breaking in to the market. His talent won’t go unnoticed.

Source: Wired

Unruly Pilots New Native Video-Ad Format with Adidas

By Sahil Patel

Social video company Unruly Media has unveiled a new native video ad format to help advertisers reach audiences in an organic manner across the web — and has already secured Adidas as the format’s launch partner.

Using the company’s “Liquid Layout Technology,” the new Unruly In-Feed format dynamically inserts sponsored video into any website’s content stream/feed in a style that matches that page’s layout and design. The promise — as with all native advertising — is that by making ads look more like editorial content, publishers and brands can boost consumer engagement.

With Unruly’s format, advertisers will only be charged if at least 50% of the ad is in view for three continuous seconds, exceeding the IAB’s current guidelines on video-ad viewability, Unruly said. All sponsored content will also be labeled as such, per accepted guidelines.

Additionally, Unruly said that the In-Feed format is optimized for mobile devices, and is being launched “in response to a growing demand from brands” to use video to reach consumers on smartphones and tablets. On such devices, the videos play silently when they come in-view on the screen. Only if users tap or click on the video will the format will expand to full-screen mode.

As launch partner, Adidas will pilot the format for its #predatorinstinct campaign.

Publishers already running the format include IDG, which oversees consumer media brands like Macworld. “We were impressed with it to the degree that we have now deployed it across all of IDG UK’s consumer sites,” said IDG UK publishing director Simon Jary. “We originally only used it to deliver incremental revenue for our mobile inventory, but it has been such a success, we’ve now pushed it across our desktop inventory too.”

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.

Digital Video Consumption Is Changing

With the introduction of current and upcoming mobile devices, the way we look at online videos has changed tremendously, as we can now view them anytime we like. Some new information from Digiday, broken down into five general pieces of data, explains just how much it’s changed.

First up is the explanation of the growth of online video, even though TV continues to have a strong hold on the general audience. A report from Nielsen shows that Americans aged 18 to 64 have doubled their digital video viewing, growing from 13 minutes a day in Q2 2012 to 27 minutes this year. That’s a larger number than general television consumption, even though most viewers still spend 4.5 hours a day watching it. A great deal of this consumption comes from mobile devices, with page views rising 81 percent compared to the previous year, according to a supplementary report from KPCB analyst Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends report.

Next up are age demographics. People age 50 to 64 have gotten more video consumption, on the rise from 11 minutes a day last year to 19 minutes a day this year. That’s slightly less than youth-viewing numbers, but still an increase.

“The fact that we are seeing these year-over-year increases of digital video viewing among older viewers means they, too, are adapting and adopting to new technology much like their younger counterparts,” said Dounia Turrill, svp of Insights at Nielsen.

The shorter length of mobile videos play a huge part, as 60 percent of overall ad views are for videos that run under 20 minutes, according to a report from FreeWheel. Such trends could actually have an affect on larger streaming channels, such as Netflix. As a result, the company plans to offer shorter-length content in an effort to attract more viewers, on top of its TV and movie line-up.

Larger mobile screens are playing a big part in video consumption, as social media, video, retail and music show greater viewing numbers than average-sized devices, according to a recent poll from Strategy Analytics.

Finally, digital spending is on the rise, with revenue expected to climb to nearly $6 billion this year, and over double that by 2016. That said, TV spending continues is still much larger, with $2.19 billion this year alone, and $3.18 billion expected in 2016.

Source: Digiday

Super Evil Interview: On Stage With Apple

Super Evil Megacorp was featured in Apple’s event introducing new iPhones, putting CTO Tommy Krul on stage with a copy of Vainglory, the new multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game that Super Evil Megacorp is preparing to launch on mobile platforms soon.

How did you get this incredible opportunity that many developers would give their left arm for?

Bo Daly: It’s been quite an exciting moment for us. The opportunity came up as a bit of a reward for building a product that’s undeniably pretty solid, and the hard work and effort in chasing that down. We never expected this — we started the company two and a half years ago at a time when it wasn’t really obvious that we would hit a confluence of events between the technology and the market readiness. It feels a little more inevitable now that hard-core games, really high-quality PC style games, are going to be coming to these devices. We still have quite a lot of work to do to actually keep up to the promises that we made to our players. I think Apple recognizes and appreciates the craftsmanship and dedication we’ve put into the game so far.

Bo Daly

Kristian Segerstrale: To me it’s a question of both being fortunate in the timing and having worked a very long time on a product that’s coming to maturity at around the same time as Apple’s products have reached maturity. The other thing that’s really been in our favor is actually having our own engine, the Evil Engine, is something that enables us to not just create incredible gampelay, and push the boundaries of what’s possible on the device, but it also lets us really aggressively chase device opportunities. In this case, when Apple announced Metal technology and also the A8 chip we were very fortunate in that we could actually start working straight on the hardware. We didn’t have to rely on a third-party engine to bring the game to life. All those polygons and dust particles and butterflies, it’s something that we were able to do. It’s not something that we expected, but something that we are incredibly grateful for and we’re obviously very excited, but we still have a lot of work to do.

What has the response been so far to your appearance at Apple’s event?

Kristian Segerstrale: Just the fact we managed to get Apple to project a huge Super Evil Megacorp logo on their stage felt pretty good. I would say overall it’s been pretty overwhelmingly positive, and curious, and encouraging. With any core game, it’s all in the game play. Clearly people are curious to see how this plays. I think there’s a sense of ‘wow, these guys are trying really hard to create something that’s truly a legitimate core game on touch screens.’ Ultimately, that’s what we want to try to convey. It’s not that ‘we have the best game in the world, you just wait,’ it’s more that we’re really hard at work trying to make this for gamers like ourselves and we really appreciate all the support.

What does this imply for Apple’s support of gaming?

Bo Daly: Certainly, we can’t really speak for Apple on that, but they are certainly noticing it and taking some pride in what they have been able to build. iOS is already a pretty impressive gaming platform. Apple really does blur the line between mobile and console gaming. Metal is a big deal for them, and with iOS 8 it’s really going to allow us to do a lot with the hardware and push all kinds of great graphics and great game play. This is a game that we really only ever imagined playing on tablets, so it’s pretty exciting for us.

Kristian Segerstrale: One way that we think about it is that when technology reaches a certain level, and you can get this style of gaming on the devices, we are certainly hoping to be able to help sell hardware at the end of the day. Vainglory on Metal devices on the A8 chip is just incredible. It does run on older devices, but when you compare the two builds next to each other, between the frame rate and the graphical performance you get out of it, it’s like a Blu-Ray running on your HDTV at home. It’s a higher graphical performance than you get on most next-gen consoles right now. From our perspective, we are obviously working hard on Vainglory, but there’s a very fair chance over the next couple of years as these technologies mature and get better we will capture the imagination of core gamers and that will ultimately help sell devices.

Kristian Segerstrale

How would you compare the experience of playing Vainglory on the iPhone 6 Plus to playing on the iPad?

Kristian Segerstrale: We play all the up to big iPads, and typically what you win in terms of individual click position on the bigger screens you lose in terms of the amount your finger needs to move. It’s surprising how well this game plays on a lot smaller screens than we initially thought we were going to put the game on.

How much preparation did you put into this, between getting the software optimized and preparing to demo?

Bo Daly: Certainly there was work to be done to really support the technology. It was well worth the effort, because the Evil Engine gave us the infrastructure we needed to do various things. It gave us a speed boost on that, it took us less time than it could have taken. It wasn’t an easy task by any measure, but we’re really happy we were able to do it.

Now you really have to put up a great game . . .

Bo Daly: That’s absolutely it. The big stage is really humbling, and a great experience, and we’re all super grateful for the exposure and the vote of confidence. But our success is going to be measured in the one-to-one that we make with every player that downloads the game, and that hasn’t really changed through any of this. Our promise to core gamers is that we’re making games that are worthy of their time and attention. Whatever device they’re playing on, the game is played between their mind and the mind of their opponent, and that’s really what it should be for any of these competitive strategic games.

The scarf Tommy Krul wore has become a Twitter sensation . . . was that planned?

Kristian Segerstrale: It’s the subtle art and exact science of well-planned social PR. Tommy can speak for himself, but I did not call that one.

Bo Daly: I did not know that was going to happen. He may have had it all planned, but I haven’t a debrief with him.

Coming Soon: Smart Ads For Apple Watch That Won’t Interrupt

With the introduction of the Apple Watch, we expect wearables to grow exponentially as an electronics category. No matter how innovative Google Glass was when it was introduced, it, lacked, well, something.

Apple has the opportunity to change the perception of the whole category with Apple Watch. As usual when it comes to Apple products it’s the seamless integration of hardware and software as well as its compatibility with other Apple devices which makes it more than the sum of its parts.

Ad dollars are already flowing to mobile advertising and the possibility of creating native advertising for the Apple Watch is certainly something that excites me. The most common use-case scenario being painted is the following: You walk down the street to meet a friend and as you walk by Starbucks and check the time, you are served a coupon for two-for-one on lattes on your Apple Watch. You go into the store and pick up a latte for you and one for your friend, using your mobile wallet to pay and then post to Facebook about what a great deal you just got.

However, there is so much more you can do. If you think about the opportunity around fitness and health apps. Take note of what Apple says about this device. They call it “their most personal yet” points to features such as “Digital Touch” including a built-in heart rate sensor as well as GPS and Wi-Fi from your iPhone to provide a comprehensive picture of your daily activity. Also other more practical applications such as boarding a plane with a Passbook boarding pass, control your Apple TV or get directions while riding a bike or driving a car.

The challenge for us marketers and advertisers is to figure out how we can seamlessly integrate marketing messages in these use-case scenarios that do not interrupt what the user is doing but enhances it, as in the coffee-coupon offer I described earlier.

Apple has introduced the WatchKit, providing new tools and APIs for developers to create unique experiences designed for the wrist. I can’t wait to see how this interface and an even smaller screen than on the cell phone will affect the way that we communicate and create.

Messages are going to be even shorter, using subtle graphics and taptic motion, yet need to be instantly recognizable and leave a lasting impact.

Welcome to the future, marketers. Let’s continue to innovate!