STALKER, 51% of Americans, Brands Most Likely To Disappear, Ford Bloggers, A Magazine Just For You, GEELY GE

Costumed players highly devoted to recreating the drama of popular first person shooter video game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. congregated en masse in the southern Russian village of Sengileyevskoe ( 3.25.09). Around 70 super fans joined forces to show off serious costume flair, simulate knife fights and generally engage in good natured post-apocalyptic theater. The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. videogame (Scavenger, Trespasser, Adventurer, Loner, Killer, Explorer, Robber) retails for $20, but you can’t put a price tag on the cosplay experience. In tough times, amped escapism is just what the doctor ordered. Truly devoted fans crave ways to live their favorite stories and cosplay gives them the power — provided they’ve got a healthy sense of imagination and taste for the dramatic.
As the recession deepens, economic forces continue to drive consolidation in the retail industry, debt comes due and increasingly discerning consumers buckle down on discretionary spending, an analysis by 24/7 Wall Street predicts that a number of well-known brands are likely to disappear before the end of 2010. To determine which brands are most likely at risk, 24/7 Wall Street examined 100 large brands it believes are in trouble and, for each, looked at public financial records, sales information, analyses from industry experts, the competitive landscape in each’s industry and the likelihood that a brand could be sold off in the case of parent-company financial trouble.
In an aggressive social-media program that goes far beyond what Ford has done in the past — and reaches beyond just the marketing department — the automaker is counting on 100 bloggers to introduce its new Fiesta, which is set to reach U.S. dealers in early 2010. The idea behind Fiesta Movement is to get the model’s target audience to drive and, hopefully, chatter about the car for months to come.

A Magazine Just for You Arrives With Glitches
A custom publishing experiment from TIME Inc. and Lexus, in which readers pick the content and the automaker-tailored ads are based on the articles chosen, has been a mixed success. Nearly all of the 31,000 free print magazines have been requested, but fewer than 30,000 of the 200,000 online editions have been taken. The project also had a few glitches, including first issues that had articles from magazines not requested by the reader and too much “evergreen” content.
GEELY GE: The Ultimate Chinese-Made Luxury Car / Knock-Off
For the ultimate in China-made luxury cars, GEELY has introducted the GEELY GE, which has a striking resemblance to the Rolls Royce Phantom. One of the most distinctive features of the 17.5 foot long GE is a 2+1 seating arrangement with a single seat throne for the rear passenger. The GE is being unveiled at this week’s Auto Shanghai Exhibition.

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