MTV VMA AFK: Jack Black Is Eddie Riggs

Today’s AFK comes to us from the MTV Video Music Awards and has Jack Black, renowned comic and star of Tropic Thunder and School of Rock, donning fake muscles, wig and battle axe as Eddie Riggs, lead character in Brutal Legend. Enjoy the pic of Black hamming it up as the video game character to which he lends his voice, and look for the game in October


AFK: The Beatles In 8-Bit

From 8-Bit Operators:

Almost 2 full years in the making, the 8-Bit Operators’ “Wanna Hld Yr Handheld” Beatles tribute focuses on the glorious avante-garde and electronic side of the Fab 4 with over 20 of the biggest international names in 8-bit chip music, all utilizing re-tooled, classic Game Boys, Ataris, Commodore 64s and Nintendo Entertainment Systems!

Today s AFK is just a little bit of blip-bop for the weekend, and we guarantee at least one of these tunes will get stuck in your head.

[listen up]

Is Farmville The Future Of Gaming?

From Gamespot:

On the third and final day of the 2009 Penny Arcade Expo, Andrew Mayer delivered a talk titled “The Future of Gaming: You Don’t Know What You’re Going to Get.” A game-industry vet in the more casual and social-gaming spaces, Mayer currently serves as a user experience consultant for MediaShifter.

Mayer’s forward-looking session began with a look at the past and present, namely as it pertained to hardware. According to Mayer, hardware has traditionally driven innovation and evolution in the game industry, but it’s reached a point where technical capabilities are no longer driving the market.

Mayer s session continued with the thought that bite-sized games are now becoming more significant revenue drivers than traditionally big-budgeted titles, thus changing our entire perception of where the users are. Case in point: Farmville has 18 million users while World of Warcraft has 12 million.

Read the rest of the analysis of Mayer’s session at Gamespot.

5 Keys To Successful Game Marketing

Originally posted on IndustryGamers

Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube. We all know our consumers spend a tremendous amount of time on these social networks but how do game marketers reach them? Why do some campaigns become a viral tidal wave that takes consumers along for a ride while others barely make a ripple? Click-thru rates continue to drop overall. How has that affected the value of online advertising?

We at the Ayzenberg Group recently wrapped up our 2009 annual invitational [a]list summit presenting emergent advertising and marketing trends to an audience of senior game industry executives. Among what was covered, and for some uncovered, by this year’s agenda are trends being driven by the changing web, the changing face of advertising, and most of all by our ever-changing game consumer.

For game makers and marketer, this is our five easy pieces to catch up on trends, revisit some fundamentals, and reinvigorate campaigns aimed at our savvy consumers.

Social Media

The emergence of Web 2.0 has empowered your consumer. He or she now dictates how your brand is communicated and has powerful tools to influence their social circles. We can ignore this emerging media and continue to try and force the conversation, or we can adapt and engage. The traditional approach to marketing online is done with display banners. At the onset of social media sites we just assumed that these were just new destinations to plunk down our banners. Boy were we wrong! Sure click through rates on the Internet are dropping overall, but on social media sites they are non-existent. Simply put, traditional banner ads on social media outlets don t work. So what does work? As we continue to learn how to tap into the communication power of these new portals, consider these the first lessons learned:

i. Be authentic- Nothing can derail and sabotage a campaign like deceiving your consumer. Consider that on a social site the same mechanisms helping you communicate to so many consumers can turn on you. Once turned it can be an unstoppable sinister force against your campaign.  The risks are too great.  Do not pretend to be something or someone you’re not.


ii. Engage in the conversation- Your consumers are going to talk about your products whether you like it or not. You can choose to let them have their way with your message or you can get involved, inform and influence it.


iii. Add value to the discussion- Adding value can mean many things. It could be as simple as offering a community an exclusive offer such as a discount or coupon.  Even more effective is to deliver something compelling such as entertainment, providing something that engages and in turn evokes a response and desire to share.

Read the rest of Steve s piece at IndustryGamers

It’s About Dialogue

From Media Post:

One client recently tracked the number of visitors who came to a promotional site via a shared link sent to them via email, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. The company found that over 50 percent of all people who converted came to the site via a shared link. What’s more, the visitors that came to the site via shared links were1.5x more likely to convert than visitors that came from other sources including search.

So what does this mean for marketers First, it means you have to start thinking about how to create content that invites engagement and encourages sharing; shift your thinking from “broadcast” to “dialogue”, and from traditional ad spending or “paid media” to the free “earned media” of shared links. Campaigns that contain compelling offers, entertaining video, games, contests, the ability to create and share user-generated content, and other social interaction features will generate the most sharing.

Like we’ve said before, it s all about the dialogue you have with your users. It’s not enough to have an RSS feed or some random PR updates on your Twitter or Facebook feeds, but instead to genuinely take the time to have a conversation with your users.

It may not be as easy as before, but the engagement and brand loyalty gained from these efforts is extremely valuable in the longterm.

Media Is Changing In A Social World

From Creativity:

Mike Hoefflinger, Director of Monetization Product Marketing, Facebook, Daniel Graf, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Kyte, Michael Lebowitz, Founder and CEO, Big Spaceship and Ben Palmer, Co-founder, CEO, The Barbarian Group join Ad Age editor Jonah Bloom to discuss how media is changing as we become more digital creatures.