games people play

American Express Goes Gaming on Xbox

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 5, 2012 10:02 AM

In the challenging world of gaming console marketing, American Express has launched a co-branded experience that combines activity-based advertising and digital partnerships, building on AMEX's success with Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter.

The blue chip brand is taking its Card Sync technology to Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE’s “Halo 4” to unlock content and offers for U.S. cardmembers and for U.K. cardmembers.

Cardmembers can sync their Card to their Xbox LIVE Gamertag on their Xbox 360 console by logging in here (U.S.) and here (U.K.) to receive an Access Code, real-time, to enter in the American Express digital experience tile in the Game Marketplace in the Games section of the Xbox 360 dashboard, then share their Xbox LIVE Gamertag to be directed to the offer dashboard.Continue reading...

games people play

Nintendo Kicks Off US Wii U Marketing

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 1, 2012 02:02 PM

Following last week's UK kick-off, Nintendo released its Wii U campaign today for the US, with the spot above touting its new home game console (and a view of the future in which players apparently live in cubes). It also kicked off a cross-promotional partnership with Burger King: between now and December 2nd, kids can collect ten Wii U and Mario themed toys with the purchase of a Kids Meal. The Wii U, a follow-up to the Wii, will debut on Nov. 18 starting at $299.

games people play

Call of Duty: Black Op 2s Expands on JJ Abrams Tie-In

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 23, 2012 04:55 PM

When Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops video game went on sale back in November 2010, more than 5.6 million units had been sold. The United States was responsible for 4.2 million of those sales, which passed $1 billion after only six weeks.

And now, hold onto your joysticks and step to the side, here comes Black Ops II. Set to be released on Nov. 13, the next installment is on track to be another blockbuster. The trailer above has received more than three million views since it was released on Oct. 16.

To mark the occasion and generate even more interest in the gamer world (as if it needed any), Activision and JJ Abrams' BadRobot Interactive collaborated to develop a new update to the Action Movie FX app, which allows gamers to get some of their weapons for the game earlier than its release.Continue reading...

auto motive

Ford Looking to Sustain Social Buzz, But No More Prelaunch in Primetime

Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2012 04:02 PM

Ford has taken some arrows as the auto industry's social-media-marketing leader, most notably around a staged press conference in Sept. 2011 that was pushed out on social media. But for the most part, the automaker's social aggressiveness has helped it conquer new territory. Becoming an acknowledged trailblazer in the arena also has helped Ford sidestep potential problems that can attend companies if they get too far out on social-media limbs.

"Ford being well-respected ... in the social space, has given us an added level of credibility and it has given us a legion of fans who actually act as our eyes and ears and who can flag stuff for us," Scott Monty, Ford's director of social media, told Business Insider. People are "looking out for our best interests and will say, you know, 'You guys might want to take a look at this.'" Including, evidently, the company's CEO.Continue reading...

games people play

Is It Game Over for Zynga?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 9, 2012 12:06 PM

Back in 2008 it made sense for Zynga to piggyback with Facebook and offer a games portal for the social newcomer on the desktop. But as gaming machines got more powerful and home consoles proliferated, simple click-click games gave way to those more complicated, more easily replicable by other game developers, and clicks got more costly.

Now games like Farmville and Cityville, once Zynga’s bread and butter, are being left in the digital dust as droves of players spend more time on smartphones than on social gaming and paying gamers now comprise less than 5% of Zynga’s user base. 

The billion-lapping Facebook garnered 14% of its revenue in the first six months of 2012 from Zynga, but according to CNBC, analysts are warning that “social gaming on mobile devices is growing at the expense of desktop, which is where FB derives the majority of its payments revenue.”

Its stock price has fallen more than 70 percent this year from its December IPO price of $10, and it's seeing executives such as its head of poker games, CMO, COO and Chief Creative Officer exiting for greener pastures. Is it Game Over for Zynga?Continue reading...

branding together

May the Birds Be With You: Angry Birds Teams with Star Wars

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 8, 2012 10:08 AM

The Angry Birds juggernaut has already gone into orbit with Angry Birds Space; now Rovio is extending the franchise into a galaxy far, far away. 

On November 8, the Angry Birds and Star Wars universes will collide in what Rovio is calling "our best game to date." Naturally, there will be "a whole host of toys, animations and other Angry Birds Star Wars goodness to enjoy" as the game-maker announced this morning. Check out the trailer below, and watch Rovio's Tumblr for more.Continue reading...

brand collaborators

Fiat Passes Go In Monopoly Game, While McDonald's Launches M Channel TV

Posted by Dale Buss on September 28, 2012 12:43 PM

For any foreign brand that wants to become better known in America, partnering with one that already is renowned and made in the U.S.A. can be a great strategy. So that's what Fiat is doing by participating in the 20th anniversary of the Monopoly Game contest at McDonald's.

And, of course, Fiat hasn't chosen to partner with America's leading fast-food chain on just anything. The Monopoly promotion — in which customers peel game pieces from drinks and other selected menu items to collect property sets or win instant prizes, in-store and online — has become as iconic in its association with McDonald's as the Big Mac and Mayor McCheese.

That's just the point for Fiat. The brand and its minicars, new to the U.S. market over just the last year or so after a many-year hiatus, still are seeking more traction in American media and culture, competing with many other brands and against the fact that Americans still tend to favor bigger cars.Continue reading...

retail watch

Toys R Us Woos Holiday Shoppers With Hot Toy RSVP Service

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 20, 2012 04:06 PM

Nobody wants to relive the days of folks getting trampled for Cabbage Patch Kids or engaging in fistfights for Tickle Me Elmo dolls. Perhaps to avoid such awfulness, which of course brings bad publicity for whatever retailer is involved, and to pick up a few bucks along the way, Toys R Us is letting consumers reserve specific toys before the holiday season — with a catch.

In addition to announcing its list of the 50 “hot toys” (which includes Hasbro's version 2.0-edition Furby, a $70 Laloopsy doll, One Direction dolls) that kids, apparently, are clamoring for this holiday season, the toys' prospective buyers will be informed when the product arrives. That way, nobody has to get trampled.

That’s not to say that Toys R Us isn’t going to do everything it can to get as many people into its doors during the crucial holiday shopping season as it can. Indeed, the Hot Toys RSVP checklist must be downloaded from the Toys R Us website and then printed as a PDF and delivered to a bricks and mortar Toys R Us store with a 20% deposit to hold the item for pick-up. The better to woo you with impulse purchases, my dear.Continue reading...

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