2013 Trends – Consumer :: Media :: Technology

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Social Media meets FMCG: God of War + Mountain Dew, Bagels + Facebook

God of War III,” the latest installment in one of Sony PlayStation’s premier franchises, is gearing up for battle, and it’s enlisted as allies 7-Eleven and Mtn Dew. It’s the first game in the series that can be played on the PlayStation 3, and though it won’t hit shelves until March 16, the marketing campaign begins next week. Starting Feb. 1, fans of the Greek mythology-based action game can head to 7-Eleven when the Kratos Fury Slurpee flavor, created by Mtn Dew and the convenience-store chain, debuts. The drink will also come with a choice of four different “God of War” artwork cups. The cups will give each buyer a code that allows them to download a variety of content including behind-the-scenes video of the making the game, an animated theme of Kratos’ face, wallpaper for PCs and virtual items that unlock armor to use inside the game. Hanging neck tags on all Mountain Dew two-liter and 20-ounce bottles will also include codes that can be redeemed at slurpee.com.

Get a Free Bagel With Friendship in Facebook’s First Digital Coupon Campaign
Be my friend, get a free bagel! That’s the message Einstein Bros. Bagels is telling potential customers on Facebook, and, at least in visible numbers, it’s paying off. The bagel-and-schmear giveaway started less than three full days ago, and already the bagel chain has increased its Facebook fan count from a measly 4,700 to a massive 336,000-plus. According to the company, this is the first instance of a Facebook advertiser providing a free offer though instant digital coupons. Is free the social media marketing campaign of the future?

National Bagel Day Freebie (suddenlyfrugal.com)
Incredible God of War Collection announced for PS3 (Update) (destructoid.com)
Buy the Kratos Fury Slurpee at 7-11, get free GoW III DLC (destructoid.com)
Einstein Bros and Noah’s Bagels Newest Facebook Promotion: Free Food (insidefacebook.com)
God of War III Slurpee tastes like Kratos’ fury; it’s delicious (joystiq.com)

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Alternative Currencies

No matter how complex and diverse our online communities are, and how sophisticated and evolved the new ways in which we interact with one another seem, buying and selling still remains at the fore of the online world. Though the basic act of commerce has not changed, many entrepreneurial minds have envisioned new ways to facilitate our transactions, and bring business beyond cash and coin.
3_sell
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The Sims 3 Sidekick

I was alerted to the new Sims 3 campaign by Alina. I was underwhelmed by their mandatory Facebook, Twitter, YouTube pages, but was intrigued by the Sim Sidekick (for a couple of minutes anyway). You can choose from six characters on the website, and the one you pick follows you around the web, interacting with site-specific responses designed for different sites. (The abovementioned  Twitter, MTV.com, YouTube and so on.) I took a random sidekick for a spin. He liked my blog (apparently) but wasn’t a huge fan of Facebook…

sims 3 avatar

sims 3 facebook

sims 3 twitter

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Gaming: Moms, Girls

The Xbox 360 is utilizing a marketing strategy that is reminiscent of the Tupperware and Mary Kay Cosmetics parties of old and despite the radical change in product, the target audience hasn’t changed. To that end, Microsoft recently invited 1,000 women from around the country to host events in their homes as a way of showcasing many of the Xbox’s new web-based games and services to their family and friends.
tupperware_92

Girl Gaming
Until recently, gaming has always been regarded as a male-dominated activity, especially as games ripe with shooting, action, sports or racing continue to break sales records with their mass appeal. Due in part to the popularity of the Nintendo Wii and the portability of the Nintendo DS, new data suggests that the girl gaming market is bigger than first thought and has room to grow. Research also suggests that girls tend to favor more social and collaborative games with less competition and more opportunity for personalization and nurturing.

gossip_girl_site

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Anomaly Leaves Second Life

Yes, I can announce that the Anomaly avatars have left the building … their “Company HQ” in the Tenjin sim has been vacated. Unbeknownst to many (they didn’t talk about it much) Anomaly were actually fairly early adopters of Second Life. They bought a plot (near to PSFK Island, as it ‘appens) back in 2005 I think. If they called themselves an Ad Agency, they could probably claim to be the first to have built an office in this part of the metaverse. I discussed it briefly with Anomaly partner Johnny Vulkan, who by that stage was fairly dismissive of the opportunities the virtual world offered marketers. Their only client to venture in to Second Life was Enviga (against Anomaly’s advice). Enviga eventually built a large green Enviga-drinking robot in Anomaly HQ and left it at that.

anomaly

Purple pundit Piers Fawkes of PSFK (indulge me in my aliteration) was also eventually underwhelmed by Second Life. Anomaly neighbour and virtual pioneer Piers at one stage referred to himself as a “big time property developer” and “marketing consultant” in Second Life. He was quoted some time later as saying that “Second Life [wasn’t] much good for marketers“, presumably something he had learnt from experience. That said, his (rather ramshackle looking, slightly vandalised) virtual island HQ remains.

psfk-second-life

Who else is left? Crayon’s slightly stalinist-looking and underpopulated sim (traffic count: 32) remains. Crayon claimed to be the first agency to launch in Second Life (and indeed, the launch itself was actually held there). To my knowledge Crayon’s only Second Life client engagement was Coke’s Virtual Thirst, an effort which received mixed reviews at best.

crayonville

Leo Burnett at one stage built a giant tree (replete with caged birds and apples) but they have now also departed. Their space was apparently envisioned as a place for international collaboration.

burnett-sl

BBH built a (rather bland looking) office back in 2006 – also claiming to be the “first” – and said office for the moment is still there. It actually looks fairly well maintained, if unevolved and sterile. The only evidence of client involvement is a rather large Levi’s poster.

bbh-second-life

My views on marketing through Second Life? Well, I’d start by saying “don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”. There seems to be a dichotomy between those who piled in to Second Life without thinking it through particularly well (net result: lots of money spent and little to show) and those who rejected it out of hand (net result: nothing spent and nothing learned).

As with any marketing experience, success depends on objectives. Want to reach a lot of people quickly? Second Life probably isn’t for you. Want to reach and connect with tech-savvy 30-something virtual world enthusiasts (hey, someone might) then it might make sense.

Thoughts?

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Links for 2008-04-01 : Digital Billboards, Creativity, My Starbucks Idea, 3-D Internet