games people play

American Express Issues Branded Prepaid Cards to Woo League of Legends Gamers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 13, 2013 06:48 PM

American Express is attempting to woo elusive Millennial customers by going where no one would have predicted the venerable credit brand to ever go—online gaming. AmEx is targeting the millions of digital gamers that play League of Legends, a wildly popular online game from Riot Games that entered the market early-on in 2009. 

The initiative is driven by AmEx's prepaid debit cards, which will award users with Riot Points for purchasing characters and other extras inside the game with the card, which will feature images of characters from the game. For instance, signing up earns a user 1,000 points, while pre-loading $20 will earn an additional 1,000 points. Points continue to accrue with every dollar spent on the card, which features no activation fee, no minimum balance and no credit check. 

For American Express, digging deeper into the $425 billion prepaid card industry was a no-brainer, but critics warn that such a partnership could contribute to the "addictive quality of games"—surely a result that AmEx wouldn't be able to argue with as long as users are swiping their branded debit cards.Continue reading...

games people play

Console Gaming Brands are in Denial Over Mobile Game Growth

Posted by Ben Berkon on July 3, 2013 05:15 PM

In June, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (otherwise known as E3) exhibited the latest and greatest from video game console giants like Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft. Even though Microsoft's Xbox 360 outsold Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii U in the month of May, serious gamers were only concerned about the newest consoles to hit the market: the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

But while E3 was brimming with fans eager to hear why Microsoft decided to focus on the non-gaming, and internet and social connectivity features of the Xbox One, as well as how PlayStation 4 will offer free games and even support developers creating lower-priced console games, perhaps the greatest majority of new gamers were not present at the event. 

The new generation of casual gamers are people who enjoy the likes of Words With Friends, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, and other simple downloadable games for mobile devices like iPhone and Android smartphones, most of which are free or cost under $2. Considering the PS4 and Xbox One consoles will retail for around $399 and $499, respectively—with games costing another $59.99 each—it's not terribly surprising that video game hardware and software sales have been down around 10 percent since May 2012.Continue reading...

games people play

Expedia Tries Gaming to Promote Rewards Program

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 21, 2013 03:39 PM

Expedia is trying out a gamification element to its travel services to help raise consumer awareness of its rewards program. 

Around the World in 100 Days is a 15-week contest where players can earn up to one million Expedia Rewards points by going to the microsite, choosing one of four travel personas—City Slickers, Escape Artists, Adventure Addicts or Culture Buffs—and registering or signing in.

Players take a "pre-defined virtual journey comprised of distinct, exciting travel destinations," said Julius Lai, senior director of loyalty marketing at Expedia.Continue reading...

games people play

KLM Readies Full-On Social Gamification with New Aviation Empire Game

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 13, 2013 04:46 PM

For a 93-year-old airline, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is pretty savvy when it comes to social marketing. In its latest social tie-in with its travel services, Dutch airline KLM is giving consumers a chance to experience the rush of running an international airline.

As announced at the Corporate Social Media Summit today in New York, on June 27th KLM will launch Aviation Empire, a Sims-like simulation game for mobile devices.Continue reading...

games people play

Microsoft Reveals TV-Integrated Xbox One

Posted by Beya Likhari on May 21, 2013 07:56 PM

After 8 years, Microsoft's Xbox announced it’s newest gaming console—Xbox One. The new console has taken the initiative to bring gaming back to the living room—a feat that faces some steep challenges in the name of smartphones and tablets. 

However, the most significant reveal ties into a top-of-mind trend that is impacting television broadcasters and mobile carriers across the board: second-screen. At the reveal, General Manager, Phil Spencer stated, “We believe that the television screen remains the most relevant screen in the home.” Microsoft understands that users are sitting in front of the television with tablets and mobile phones and has used this fact to bring back the focus to the television screen, allowing users to seamlessly toggle between surfing the web, watching television and playing a game in a feature called 'instant switching' on the Xbox One.Continue reading...

games people play

Sony Taunts Playstation Fans with Possible PS4 Tagline Leak

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 17, 2013 12:37 PM

The video game industry’s largest trade show, E3, doesn’t kick off till June 11, but it appears that one piece of news is leaking out early: the ad tagline for the much-anticipated Sony Playstation 4 and the script for its first commercial, reports. Sony Computer Entertainment America has filed a trademark request for “Greatness Awaits.”

The site notes that the planned commercial features “a lone man walks down an empty street asking the viewer, ‘Who are you not to be great? You, with the imagination of a brilliant child and the powers of an ancient god.’” The man continues to ask viewers questions and the commercial ends with “Greatness Awaits.”Continue reading...

games people play

Pizza Hut Comes to Gamers with XBox Live Ordering App

Posted by Dale Buss on April 23, 2013 06:40 PM

Pizza and gaming are eventually likely to evolve into a single pursuit, like football and touchdown dances or movies and popcorn. Now, Pizza Hut is working with Microsoft Xbox to move the process along a little bit.

Today, Pizza Hut is debuting an app for Xbox Live that lets users order a pizza through their Xbox 360 with just the game controller, voice input or Kinect gestures—once they've chosen the nearest pizza parlor. Custom orders are also available.

"If you look at our audience, they love pizza," said Xbox's Larry Hryb, according to Mashable. "I mean, who doesn't? It has international appeal, and Pizza Hut is a recognized brand that matches up well with the Xbox brand."Continue reading...

games people play

NBA’s Warriors Prepare to Shake Up B-Ball Fashion

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 22, 2013 05:12 PM

Sports teams are always looking for new revenue and having their players wear alternative uniforms or caps have proven to be a nice moneymaker. Usually, those alternates are simply different colors or throwbacks to the uniforms of yesteryear, however the NBA’s Golden State Warriors are going a different direction Friday evening.

The Warriors will take the court tonight in short-sleeved jerseys—the “adizero NBA short sleeve uniform system”—the first such shirts worn in the NBA since probably the 1940s when the Boston Celtics donned them. Made by Adidas, the shirts could start a fashion trend, former NBA All-Star and current New York Knicks assistant general manager Allan Houston tells Bloomberg. “The younger guys set the trends and set the market,” Houston said. “If they embrace it and everybody likes it, then it could catch.” Those younger guys were the same ones who helped the trend of longer shorts replace the short shorts that had been worn for years back in the mid-’90s, Houston points out. Continue reading...

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