MediaPost reports about the Entertainment Expo that took place last week in Los Angeles. During the event marketing managers had the chance to discuss advergames’ potentials in prototing a brand. More and more advertisers are looking at video games and advergames as an important vehicle to reach 18-to-34 years old males. A part from a recent research by Gartner G2, we haven’t many numbers to confirm the trend is going to bring positive results. We have the “feeling” things are going well but, sometimes, I think there is a “me too” effect. I do like advergames and I would encourage marketers to adopt them but, at the same time, I always fear the “low quality menace” that could annoy consumers and consequently harm the entire industry. On Mediapost there’s actually another article, by Ross Fadner, who considers the question from gamers’ perspective. The discussion isn’t about advergames, rather about in-game advertising. Product placement in videogames has raised several polemics, claiming that a lot of sponsorships usually bring no value to games. P.J. MacGregor, vice president and partner, Play–the Starcom MediaVest Group said:“Advertisements need to ‘add value or some layer of realism’ to be accepted by gamers”.
Jupiter Research has announced last week a new research report “Portable Games Devices – Forecasting Growth in Anticipation of Intensifying Competition” in which it forecasts that the audience for portable gamers will grow from 23 million in 2003 to 43 million in 2009, with revenue growing from $1.6 billion in 2003 to $2.7 billion in 2009. I don’t see this as a strong growth, I would have expected bigger numbers. I have the sensation we are going to face a saturation in consumers’ interest in gaming. There are too many devices out there (consolles, pc, mobile phones, PDA and all dedicated devices like GameBoy N-Gage and Zodiac) and some industry’s players will surely be disappointed by the challenge on the gaming market.
The Detroit News dedicates an excellent article by Nick Bunkley to carmakers and their investments in online advertising. According to a report by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, in 2003, the world�s 15 largest automakers spent $160.3 million on Internet advertising, a 70 percent increase over just two years earlier. The news isn’t good as in apparently sounds, since, despite that growth, automakers still spent only 1 percent of their total advertising budgets on the Internet, far less than companies in many other industries. However the Internet is seen as very helpful for targeting specific groups like gay people. DaimlerChrysler invested nearly 1 million $ on Gay.com, while General Motors spent on the same web site about 624,000 $. On the contrary Ford spent only $1,000 and did not advertise on any other gay-oriented sites. Who did the right thing? Unfortunately the article provides no answer.
“Style-up” is the slogan of the styling contest just launched in Germany by Sony Ericsson and ProSieben. Everyone can partecipate sending up to three MMS pictures of their “stylish” friends, with an original look, gaining the possibility of winning a stay in Paris during the Fashion Week, or a bunch of mobile phones. The campaign has started last Saturday, it will last six weeks and will be promoted with a online advertising and an email marketing campaign to ProSieben’s subscribers.
Unicast is ready to launch on the market a new version of its video commercial. The new Flash based format will be interactive, allowing for side-by-side interactive elements during and after the video presentation. As explained in the press release, Avenue A, Ogilvy Interactive, and RPA are developing campaigns for advertisers using this latest version of the Video Commercial, the first campaigns are expected to go live in mid-June. Richard Hopple, Unicast Chairman and CEO, commented:“The Video Commercial with companion interactivity extends this tradition by ushering in the first generation of truly ‘interactive’ Television advertising. Never before has a single ad unit been able to unite advertisers’ brand and direct response objectives in so compelling a manner.”
Big companies are starting considering the Web as part of their advertsing mix. I’m sure it’s not the first time you hear such a sentence. It’s probably a sign of the online advertising industry trying to convince itself it’s alive and healthy. The latest “motivational” article has been published by Reuters, quoting opinions from DoubleClick, eMarketer, aQuantive and CNET Networks.
Scandinavian carrier Telia will offer its customers the possibility to experience the Olympic Games via their mobile phones. As explained in the press release, thanks to an agreement with Sveriges Television (SVT), which owns the broadcasting rights in Sweden for the Athens Olympics, Telia will be able to to offer SVT material from the summer Olympic Games via mobiles.
Mobile carriers and content providers are looking with extreme attetion at the upcoming Olympic Games in Athens and at the European Football Championship in Portugal. Sports and football in particular represent the perfect hook to get people attention (and money) with mobile services. T-Mobile, which is official sponsor of Euro 2004, has presented last week a series of interactive services that will constantly keep football fans updated with Sms’ during the matches, as well as with video content and Mms’. As Silicon explains, marketers will take advantage of summer’s sport events to make users discover the attractiveness of MMS. According to a new research by NOP, in the UK, 79 per cent of mobile users have never sent or received an MMS, a number which is pretty high, even if we have to say that a lot of people still haven’t the technology to send multimedia messages. I’m not actually sure technology is the only issue preventing users to send MMS. The service’s price is also very important but the main reason that comes into my mind is: usefulness. Do users really have things to communicate that require a picture or a video? SMS already do an excellent job allowing people to keep in touch in a fast, cheap and immediate way. Do I need an MMS to tell a friend that I’m late? When I’m on vacation, do I really need an MMS to tell my friends I’m having fun? MMS’ are a cool service for news and entertainment, but I’m not sure they will be as successful in peer-to-peer communication.
A new research by consulting firm Zelos Group found out that the wireless data and entertainment industry isn’t paying attention to women and young adults. Despite the segments’ interest in paying for mobile content, the services offered by the market aren’t meeting their expectations. As RCR Wireless News explains, a significant number of mobile games are focused on standard male interests like sports and warfare, while only a few pay attention to what women want.
Eight out of ten mobile phone users in Europe wouldn’t mind receiving promotional offers and marketing messages via SMS. The surprising information comes out of a recent research by Empower Interactive, which found out that people will accept promotions about local entertainment and retail operations. Despite this trend, only few brands have started using mobile marketing as part of their promotional strategy. The news is reported on Revolution Magazine but the article lacks of important information to make the whole industry happy. People might be willing of receiving mobile coupons, messages concerning text & win campaigns, but we can’t consequently assume they want to get messages simply saying “the new XXX product is out” or “wash your hands with XXX they will be softer than ever”. So the research doesn’t come up with good news for the entire mobile marketing industry, rather for small medium businesses with a local reach.
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