CREATIVE: Facebook’s Ode To Modern Love

Facebook’s latest spot titled “Say Love You Better” looks at messaging on the social platform with the same romance as any penned letter. This is communication and love in the modern age. The ad employs animated stickers and also highlights how Facebook Messenger is more than text– it’s music, videos, pictures and real-time video chatting.

This isn’t Facebook’s first foray into ads. There’s the “Chairs” ad and the spot to promote Facebook Home, but this one really gets to the root of what Facebook really is for us: network of those we care about.

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Good Gaming Exec Discusses Opportunities In Video Game Tournaments

Good Gaming, a subsidiary of CMG Holdings, has launched its first online tournament — the $10,000 Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Open Invitational.  The subscription-based site will allow all of its members to compete in the Open Invitational Tournament with the 300 Top Tournament Finalists vying for cash prizes. In addition, qualifying Good Gaming members who participate in the tournament will also have the option to compete for much larger prizes in future seasonal and annual tournaments.

Samuel Schwieters Good GamingSamuel J. Schwieters, co-founder of Good Gaming

The new site has been designed to give aspiring eSports fans a chance to connect with other pro gaming fans, learn from eSports pros and improve their gaming skills. Samuel J. Schwieters, co-founder of Good Gaming, talks about the role this new site, and its tournaments, will play in the growing eSports field in this exclusive interview.

We’ve seen companies like Virgin Gaming enter online eSports with a lot of money and then leave the space. What are the challenges of online tournament gaming today?

Most new ventures and organizations face the common challenges of credibility, awareness, and education when they first enter a new space. The eSports industry is no different. We have a lot of respect for organizations like Virgin Gaming that have the courage to take those first steps into “uncharted waters” and shed light and experience for all of us that follow. That being said, we are hosting our debut opening amateur level tournament playing Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. We have a ten thousand dollar prize pool and you can watch the semi-finals and finals on Twitch at on October 26.

What differentiates Good Gaming from other offerings?

Good Gaming is a multi-game, multi-console platform.  Most other sites focus on a single game and/or a single aspect of gaming; we will be the proverbial hub for the most popular commodities associated with eSports.  Good Gaming is currently on release 1.0 of our Web platform, and will continue to grow and update the platform with community help and suggestions by design.  While most similar sites go live with the feature set they will have for the life of the site, with a few tweaks here and there, we thought it extremely important to build a robust back end that allows us to rapidly add features and experience improvements with the community, instead of just giving lip service to the concept of a “community site.”  As a start, we are offering tournaments, guides, news, and streaming, allowing us to deliver something for every eSports enthusiast.  We believe our Mercenary system is a unique and innovative offering. It allows gamers to trade and barter their goods and services in an efficient manner. As gamers become more comfortable with the Mercenary system we think they will use it in amazing and creative ways that we can’t predict, and that is exciting to us.

What impact has the rise of professional eSports opened up for the amateur market?

The rising fame of eSports has given the amateur level gamer something to aspire for. Professional eSports is seeing popularity that rivals that of the World Cup, and the amateur level gamer wants, more than anything, a piece of the fame, fortune, and notoriety. Good Gaming aims to be the bridge between amateur and professional, essentially creating the minor leagues of gaming.

What are the opportunities for sponsors in amateur eSports given Coke’s involvement in the League of Legends minor league system?

Given the audience of eSports enthusiasts numbers in the tens of millions worldwide, and given over 90 percent of them are amateurs the opportunities for sponsors is immense. Many amateurs have enjoyed partnerships with Twitch, as well as sponsorship from companies like; Razer, Red Bull, Monster, nVidia, and Logitech to name a few. eSports in our opinion has for the first time in history become  an activity that reaches across socioeconomic, race, gender, and national boundaries and speaks to a virtual standard of life with a universal language  and a common goal– gaming!

What has Twitch opened up for you company?

Drawing in audiences that rival those of the Stanley Cup and World Series, Twitch has shown the world that eSports isn’t just a fad and that eSports is here to stay. Twitch has provided Good Gaming an excellent medium to showcase our sponsored talent and allow all gamers an opportunity to view and share that experience in real time. Twitch has opened up many avenues for not just our company, but the entire gaming industry as a whole. It has raised eSports awareness, created a clean and innovative platform, given millions of people a voice in the massively growing gaming community, and changed the experience of gaming, social interaction and entertainment.  A very respectable quality of Twitch is the design of their platform, allowing quality of work and individual dedication to be the driving factor of success for their broadcasting.  In other words, it’s all about your skill, not who you know or how deep your pockets are.

How will you utilize livestreaming moving forward?

Livestreaming is a fundamental communication tool of eSports, it allows you, the viewer, the ability to almost step into the players shoes, experiencing the glory and passion for gaming as a whole. Livestreaming affords the viewer a very personal interactive experience. In other words, Livestreaming is not just about watching, it’s also about interaction which directly affects your experience and the experience of others who participate in the livestream.

What are the challenges of being found through the crowded livestreaming space today?

Sheer numbers, there are countless people that stream everything from eSports bigs like League of Legends all the way down to Mario 64, the most difficult part is generating traffic. On a platform such as Twitch, that has so many unique and talented users, it’s often hard to get noticed or get your message out. At Good Gaming, we think one of the ways of solving this problem is listening to the community, understand the wants and needs and trying to address those wants and needs the best we can.

What role will social media play in building your brand and tournaments?

Social media plays an extremely important role in advertising, branding and sharing information in general.  Social media allows us to connect to millions of people in a split second.  This is something that would be near impossible in any other way.

What’s it been like working with Blizzard and Hearthstone?

For anyone old enough to remember the first Warcraft title, they remember that instant adrenaline rush and excited feeling that something amazing just happened. More importantly you knew that without a doubt gaming had changed forever.  We love Blizzard, we have been playing Blizzard games since 1994.  Matter of fact, the Good Gaming founding members became friends because of Blizzard’s game World of Warcraft.  We couldn’t be more excited to be debuting our first tournament using a Blizzard game, let alone it being Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.  We are excited to be working with Blizzard and hope to work with them for years to come.

What other games do you hope to add to your online tournaments?

We will be hosting tournaments for multiple titles, such as League of Legends, World of Warcraft, the Call of Duty Franchise, the upcoming Heroes of the Storm, Starcraft 2, and many more. Our aim is to provide any game that interests or provides value to the community either in whole or in part.  Whether it is building in Minecraft or dominating your opponents in combat, we want to be part of it.

How do you go about choosing game publishing partners?

Honestly, we approach game publishers whose content and work we enjoy. We are avid gamers ourselves, with thousands of hours of gaming under our belts.  So for Good Gaming, we are looking at the same things our membership is when it comes to picking and playing a game.  Summed up in three words, “What is cool.”

What do you feel eSports can learn from Valve having its players fund most of its $10 million Dota 2 Championship?

If that proves anything, it’s that gamers crave more tournaments and they are willing to be the driving force behind funding and populating future tournaments. It is proof through action that the gaming community is self-supporting and that is something we have every intent of reinforcing.

How do you see the money through online tournaments growing over the next five years?

Good Gaming sees future prize pools continue to rise as eSports continues to grow. We think the more important issue and one we are working very hard at is how the space between amateur and pro level gaming develops. In our opinion, it is crucial to the long term future of gaming, and the livelihoods of millions of people around the world that we build a solid and supportive infrastructure for gamers. Not just for our current generation but the generations that follow. We truly believe that the gaming community has a unique opportunity right now to shape the future and redefine the face of professional sports.

Yahoo! Grows Search Ads, Tumblr Ads

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer revealed during the company’s latest earnings call that Tumblr’s ad sales could reach an estimated $100 million by next year, according to Adweek. This is in response to critics who had questioned Mayer’s move in acquiring Tumblr. Mayer defended the move by stating, “We’ve come really far, really fast” in reference to Tumblr.

Still, the real bright spot for Yahoo! is the fact that the company has finally exhibited growth, albeit a meager 1 percent rise to $1.15 billion in the third quarter to beat analysts’ estimates. Yahoo’s overall quarterly revenue has not increased over the previous year’s mark since the fourth quarter of 2012, so this reversal is a welcome event for investors.

Yahoo! pointed out also that revenues from mobile exceeded $200 million, to show how the company is making progress on this all-important area. Also important is Yahoo!’s progress with search ads, as the company revealed its search advertising is now outpacing its display ads. Revenue from search advertising grew for the third straight quarter, this time by 4 percent year-over-year to $452 million. The click-throughs haven’t increased, but Yahoo! has managed to boost the fees paid by advertisers by 17 percent more on average for each of those clicks.

Display ads continue to be in decline for Yahoo!, with revenue falling 5 percent year-over-year to $447 million in the third quarter. The average price advertisers paid for a display ad dropped by 24 percent even though Yahoo sold 24 percent more banners than it did a year ago.

Still, Yahoo! is in good shape, especially with its $6.3 billion in Alibaba shares boosting the company’s cash reserves. Mayer sees the company’s moves as continuing in the right direction, and she is bullish on Tumblr. Tumblr will generate big numbers, according to Mayer. “More than 260 of the world’s top brands have a Tumblr presence,” she explained.


Vdopia Launches Programmatic Marketplace For Mobile Video Ads

by Sahil Patel

Vdopia has launched a programmatic marketplace dedicated entirely to mobile video advertising.

The platform, which goes by the name Chocolate, uses the company’s proprietary .Vdo technology, which enables advertisers and publishers to run video ads on mobile websites and apps without requiring Flash or plug-ins. Chocolate will provide inventory from more than 10,000 mobile apps and sites, altogether providing a potential audience reach of more than 150 million unique users in the U.S. alone, said Vdopia CEO Saurabh Bhatia.

Chocolate is device-agnostic and compatible with all major mobile operating systems. It’s also plugged into both Nielsen (mobile OCR) and comScore vCE, and all ads served through it are VAST compliant, Vdopia said.

“One of the unique advantages of Chocolate is the capability to provide real-time bidding to demand partners which have only basic VAST support but no RTB capability,” adds Srikanth Kakani, CTO of Vdopia.

Available now in the U.S., Chocolate will soon expand across Europe and Asia-Pacific.

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.

CREATIVE: FKA Twigs’ Stunning Ad For Google Glass

FKA Twigs proves to a multi-talented artist, using rescored versions of her songs “Video Girl” and “Glass & Patron” to elaborate choreography, showing Google Glass to be a creative tool as much as it is useful in queuing up a song. The result is both a music video and a promotion for the wearable device. Using an of-the-moment artist like FKA Twigs is another way Google is looking to eschew Google Glass’ nerdy connotations, beyond redesigning the frames.

The campaign uses the hashtag #throughglass, and this video alone has gotten nearly 300,000 views in a day. It will surely be interesting to see what else is lined up for the #throughglass campaign and what other artists have been tapped.


Online Video Viewing Zooms

There’s one thing that’s clear with today’s audience on the Internet — they sure enjoy watching videos.

A report from Adobe indicates that more users are watching videos than ever before, with an estimated 38.2 billion free videos viewed online during the second quarter of 2014. That’s a whopping 43 percent leap forward from the same quarter in 2013. In addition to that, the company reports that 60 percent of those videos were viewed via smartphones, rather than conventional computers.

Advertisers have been paying attention to these trends, though. Adobe reports that they have spent 25.8 percent more funds than the previous year, with an average of two video ads per free video shown, such as on YouTube. Unique visitors have also risen, increasing by 146 percent in the one-year period, according to VentureBeat.

Many would think that free videos would be the bounty of this survey, but, in fact, paid viewership, via “authenticated viewing,” also saw an increase, with a huge 388 percent leap over 2013, as well as an 85 percent increase in the number of people who actually watch the programming.

Meanwhile, Adobe also noticed another trend. While smartphones and tablets are quite popular with viewing, set-top boxes and game consoles have seen an increase over using a desktop computer, although specific percentages weren’t reported in this particular field.

With the report, Adobe gathered information from sites utilizing both Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime. That leaves many numbers unreported, so the audience could actually be bigger than what the company reported here. Specific sites like YouTube and Netflix weren’t mentioned, but they seem to weigh in on the overall factor of the survey. An Adobe spokesperson explained that “the report encompasses date from over 1,300 media and entertainment properties, including virtually all major ones in the U.S.,” stopping just short of confirming sites.

More specifics about the survey can be found here.

‘John Wick’ Joins ‘Payday 2’ Roster

Movie promotion tie-ins are pretty common with games, as you could see from the inclusion of Halloween‘s Michael Myers and the self-titled Predator in last year’s Call of Duty: Ghosts, as add-on DLC. This week, John Wick will get a turn in a video game role.

Wick, the lead character in the forthcoming Keanu Reeves film of the same name, will be added to 505 Games’ multiplayer shooter Payday 2, which is currently available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. The move is part of a partnership between Lionsgate, Thunder Road Pictures (in collaboration with Payday‘s development team Starbreeze Studios) and 505 Games.

In the add-on content, which will be available tomorrow, players get to control Wick as part of the Payday robbery gang. He will play his park with a new Hitman perk system, as well as a new custom pistol and knife melee weapon, as well as sunglasses and other customizable gear. The add-on will be free of charge, as part of the game’s latest update

“We’re big fans of Payday 2 and the team at Starbreeze, and we’re thrilled to kick off our partnership with such a cool movie,” said Lionsgate EVP of Digital Marketing Danielle DePalma. “The hyper-real action sequences in the film almost make you feel like you’re watching an insane video game, so we cannot wait to see John Wick in theaters as well as experience him in the game.”

“We continue working with great partners, this time with Lionsgate and their movie John Wick,” said Starbreeze Chief Executive Officer Bo Andersson Klint.  “We’ve finally got a real hitman on our team. Being able to play as John Wick in Payday 2 ahead of the movie’s release is a great reward for our loyal Payday 2 community, which reached the final milestone of 1.5 million members in our Payday 2 Steam group before our 12-day Crimefest event.”

“Lionsgate’s entry into the game space is continuing to build momentum with the addition of another great partner and a tremendous piece of IP,” said Lionsgate President of Interactive Ventures & Games Peter Levin.  “We’re delighted to capitalize on this opportunity to collaborate with a world-class partner like Starbreeze whose unique action community includes millions of our target fans.”

John Wick arrives in theaters October 24.

Everything We Know About Millennial Consumption Habits

Figuring out the spending habits of millennials can be quite a task for certain advertisers. However, Digital recently reported on findings from comScore, Noise/TheIntelligence Group’s Cassandra Report and nScreen’s Media report “What Millennials Want From TV”, that could help clear a few things up.

First up was the question of social media being an important source for news and current affairs, compared to mainstream sites. Out of the over 3,000 millennials polled, 60 percent came back and said it does make a difference, while 21 percent said no, and 19 percent chose to neither agree nor disagree.

Next up was the question of what sort of communication method millennials prefer when it comes to divided countries, either by text or images. For the most part, they came out almost even in countries like Indie, China, Spain, and the United States, but moving on to Germany, Brazil, and South Korea, text showed increased popularity. Only Italy showed a greater preference to images over text.

The third survey highlighted the most popular apps amongst millennials, counting into the triple-zero digits. Out of the apps chosen, Facebook led the charge, followed by YouTube, Pandora Radio, Facebook Messenger and Google’s Play and Search services. Instagram and Gmail also made the list, though a little lower down.

Millennials also opted to explain how news and information sources are ideal for usage on desktop and mobile devices. Out of those polled, the Huffington Post Media Group News page took the top spot, followed by Yahoo-ABC News Network, CNN Network, Buzzfeed and Gannett Sites. Other networks also rounded out the top 10, including NBC News Digital, CBS News and Fox News Digital Network.

Lastly, despite different spending habits, millennials seem to have some interest in paid-TV subscriptions, with nearly 60 percent stating they still subscribe to services. Still, that’s a smaller number than casual viewers, and a whopping 20 percent never subscribed to the services at all.

Companies could learn from these statistics, and maybe try a little better to get into the minds of a millennial audience.

Console Game Revenue Forecast Lowered

The latest video game consoles have been selling very well indeed, but as the latest NPD numbers show, software sales have been lagging far behind. Software for last generation consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have been below expectations, while the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One titles have not reached the same blazing numnbers that the hardware has set. Based on the latest data about game sales on consoles and other game industry sectors, DFC Intelligence has revised its forecast for game industry software revenues through 2019.

A new report, posted via GamesIndustry International, shows the revised numbers for the report that DFC posted earlier this year, when it said that the worldwide video game software market would reach $100 billion by 2018. The new numbers show even greater strength in mobile games, but substantially lower the numnbers for console games. Total software numbers are still likely to come close to that number, but not quite pass over it until 2019, with an estimated $102.9 billion in sales.

DFC believes console game sales will rise over the next few years, only to drop back down to the same levels as we’re seeing reported for 2014. That’s a rather depressing long-term trend for those companies whose revenue depends on selling games in retail stores. Meanwhile, smartphone and tablet game software will rise in to $35 billion by 2019.

“The console market is still very robust for AAA products. The concern is losing that second tier audience that made products like Wii, PS2, Guitar Hero, Kinect, Singstar, etc. so successful,” noted DFC’s David Cole. “Basically the more casual audience now has so many low cost options.”

Portable console software will continue its steady decline, with an estimated drop down to $1.68 billion in 2019 from the current $3.55 billion.

When it comes to PC online games, however, numbers will continue to increase, with online consoles tripling to $15 billion in 2019, and PC’s lapping that with an estimated $35.45 billion by that time. Thus the two leading sectors of the game industry in 2019 will be PC online and mobile, and given the way mobile numbers have been revised upward repeatedly in the last few years, it seems like a good bet mobile games will be the single largest segment of the game industry in the future.

“Digital only console game sales are continuing to grow, as are digital sales of retail games, however in terms of overall units the former is still larger than the latter but big AAA retail games are steadily increasing their digital percentage of total sales,” observed DFC analyst Jeremy Miller. “Day 1 digital releases on Xbox One and PS4 are helping the digital shift, but we can’t overlook the value of strong catalog management on both XBL and PSN. Digital catalog game prices have to compete with greatest hits, used games and the bargain bin at retail. It takes smart curation of these digital stores not unlike on the PC with Steam, which has gone through many evolutions in its history and not always smoothly as catalog sales become mostly dependent on discounts. That said, Microsoft and Sony, as well as Nintendo despite the Wii U trailing in next gen hardware sales, recognize the importance of digital sales of AAA retail games though will still have to simultaneously make it convenient and competitive for consumers while keeping retailers happy.”

Brands also play a big part in the numbers, something that developers can learn from. “The biggest leverage area is strong cross platform plays. Think games like Angry Birds and Minecraft,” said Cole.

The DFC study provides plenty to think about for game company executives as they plan development budgets for the next few years.

YouTube Stars Disappear For ‘Ouija’

Universal and Fullscreen joined forces to give everyone the jitters before Oujia hits theaters on October 24. Leveraging an array of YouTubers like Kian Lawley, a member from O2L, Ricky Dillon, Jc Caylen and others, the campaign translated the suspense from Oujia onto YouTube while taking the YouTubers’ followers on a cross-social-network hunt for the wearabouts of a missing YouTuber.

It begins with  the YouTubers posting a video playing with an innocent oujia board. On October 5 some “found footage” was released on Kian Lawley’s YouTube channel showing he might be in dire straits. While usually active on all his Twitter and Snapchat, Lawley had practically disappeared.


It wasn’t until five days later when his worried followers finally heard from Lawley, but his followers still didn’t know where he was, but not without 17.3 million impressions of tweets to find him with #oujiawhereiskian:

Kian Lawley Oujia Chicago PartyFans gather for YouTubers and Oujia party.

The remaining YouTubers got together once more to hold a seance. The oujia led them to a haunted house in Chicago where 600 of their fans were gathered to celebrate his return.

The stunt generated over 5.6 milliion video views and more than 500,000 social engagements, crossing multiple social platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat to tell the same story. In speaking to [a]listdaily, an executive from Universal said “These platforms were leveraged because of their over indexing against the target millennial audience for Ouija.  Promotions on these sites help to drive interest and awareness in the film.”

Indeed, Snapchat’s first ever ad was a promotion for the film as we reported yesterday. The focus on mobile-centric platforms was not an accident. “Mobile presence was critical for this film due to the high use and penetration of mobile devices for the film’s target audience,” said a Universal representative.

As the film is targeting the 12-24 year-old female audience, the inclusion of Snapchat was key. In speaking to Variety, Doug McNeil, Universal’s EVP of digital marketing spoke about the campaign’s focus on influencers and their cross-platform fanbases:

“It absolutely met our expectations, and it was the right execution creatively.”