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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Hype Cycle 2009

Gartner Inc has published the 2009 “Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies,” its effort to chart out what’s hot or not at the cutting edge of hi-tech jargon. It’s just one of an annual phalanx of reports that handicap some 1,650 technologies or trends in 79 different categories for how likely the terms are to make it into mainstream corporate parlance.
gartner_hype_cycle

Jackie Fenn, the report’s lead analyst and author of the 2008 book “Mastering the Hype Cycle,” delivers the main verdict: “Technologies at the Peak of Inflated Expectations during 2009 include cloud computing, e-books (such as from Amazon and Sony) and internet TV (for example, Hulu), while social software and microblogging sites (such as Twitter) have tipped over the peak and will soon experience disillusionment among corporate users.”

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Ryanair v Luggage, Microsoft v Wii

Ryanair is considering asking passengers to load their own luggage into aircraft holds to save money on baggage handlers, according to reports. Ryanair’s move to explore the option of using passengers as baggage handlers comes as it posted its first loss since it floated 12 years ago.

ryanair

Sony, Microsoft Motion Controls Will Beat Wii at Its Own Game
Nintendo Wii‘s role as king of motion gaming consoles is at risk. Sony and Microsoft have both previewed motion control systems at the E3 video game expo, and both systems knock Wii clean off the throne–even though neither has announced when their controllers will become available to the public.

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Women Prefer Apple, Young People Prefer Microsoft?

Does rather beg the question “what about young women then?” That said: we read that:
“Apple ranks as the top technology brand among women in the US, who were asked which tech brand or company they admired most, according to a study from Solutions Research Group (SRG). Apple was followed by Sony, Microsoft, Dell and Hewlett-Packard (HP).”
“The Laptop Hunters commercial campaign that Microsoft is pushing seems to be working. Young people in the 18-34 demographic see a laptop running Microsoft Windows as a better value for the money than an Apple laptop running OSX. Apple had dominated consumer mindshare in the winter, but has since fallen behind Microsoft.”
microsoft v apple
Photo Credit
PS I am still fascinated by the The Apple Tablet. “More evidence of the Apple Tablet surfaced today. We first wrote about the device at the end of last year when OEMs in China started hearing about the device. Details are still thin, although probably not because of a lack of leaks. Rather, Apple may still be locking down important specs like screen size.”
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Crispin, Twitdoc, Chinese Ugly Betty, 3D

Crispin Intern Auction Gets $17,65
From Alex Bogusky (bogusky) on Twitter: “Intern Auction ended. Winning bid was $17,655. Congrats to the winner and the interns. Stand by for more info on the winning client.”

crispin interns

Twitter isn’t only for sharing links and news – with TwitDoc users can now share documents, from PDFs to Microsoft Office docs. Simply enter your account and choose the document or photo you want to send, attach text and blast the document into Twitterverse.
As it goes into its third season as a smash TV hit across the mainland, the Chinese version of “Ugly Betty” is also pioneering new levels of product-placement clutter. The show is set in an advertising agency rather than a fashion magazine, which enables the program to focus on all manner of products and their attributes. Mateo Eaton, who heads the branded-content division of Mindshare North Asia, acknowledged that the dense placements are a bit over the top, but advertisers — and the TV producers they’re paying — aren’t complaining at all.
Artist John Pugh creates fantastic trompe l’oeil murals on the sides of buildings that look as if they are exposing a 3D fantasy world inside. Mail Online has a gallery of his work.
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Experiential: Sony Fashion Week

Sony Uses Fashion Week to Promote P-series PC
Watch out for texting mannequins later this week at Grand Central Station. In a bid to show off its stylish side in the run-up to Fashion Week, Sony wlll position well-outfitted “live mannequins” on New York streets accessorized by its sleek, colorful and tiny Vaio P-series computer. “It’s an innovative product that really deserves to go to market in an innovative way,” said Alberto Escobedo, director-brand messaging, Sony Electronics. The P-series “lifestyle notebook,” which made its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, is a diminutive 10 inches by 5 inches and weighs 1.4 pounds.

sony-live-mannequin

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A Superb Rant From Stephen Fry

I (s0mewhat belatedly) just came across this excellent rant by Stephen Fry on the mobile industry, which is also published on his website. The bumbling incompetence he talks about at the companies below put me in mind of characters in the ’90s sketch show “A Bit Of Fry And Laurie”…

Here is the choicest part of the rant:

“Ever try to connect to a wireless network on a Sony Ericsson P series or WinMob smartphone? The contempt implicit in these foul, fiddly behemoths was breathtaking. The profound ugliness of Nokia’s e range, the horrible underpowered nightmare of Sony’s UIQ devices, the quite staggeringly insulting ghastliness of Windows Mobile… for two years I kept believing that the manufacturers and software developers in this field would eventually get it right and produce something as truly usable as the old Psions, the old Palm Pilots and Treos, while utilising the newer technologies and capabilities of the 21st century. The only major player an enthusiast like myself could genuinely admire was RIM, because the BlackBerry was everything it aspired to be. It deliberately had no camera, (secret business meetings, factory visits and so on often necessitate the leaving of cameras at the door, like guns in a western town being cleaned up by James Stewart) and never embarrassed itself by pretending to be a media player. It did what it was supposed to and refused to pretend to be anything other than what it was.

So there we were. They all left an open door through which Apple charged. And now, with unblushing fanfare they each attempt to bring something similar to market. This is good. Apple have shown that there is a huge demand for exciting, innovative, lovable and imaginative consumer devices. All the rivals have to do is to … is to what? To produce cut price lookalikes or truly to pioneer and innovate? Well, the latter is what they should do, but the former is what most of them will do of course, because these dumb firms never ever learn. They are afraid to be good. They will blame stockholders, consumers, anyone but themselves.

Don’t you sometimes long to be CEO of a company like Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia or Microsoft? So that you can say to your coders, your designers, your development teams and your software architects: “Not Fucking Good Enough. I haven’t said ‘Wow’ yet. I haven’t gasped with pleasure, amusement or admiration once. Start again. Not Fucking Good Enough.”

And (forgive this ranting sidebar) how one would lay into the packaging department! “Nowhere near Fucking Good Enough. I’m not enjoying opening this. It’s clumsy, dumb and contemptuous. I’m in product-opening hell. Not Fucking Good Enough.”

Oh, yes Stephen. That’s all very well, but you try being a CEO in the real world of share prices and financial officers. Bullshit. Any CEO who hides behind his shareholders isn’t worthy of their job: I’ve met enough business leaders to know that the good ones lead, they don’t follow. Isn’t that kind of what ‘leader’ means? I seem to be straying. But it’s all relevant really and it all needs saying again and again. Managers, corporates, finance people, executives in tech companies – they all need to understand for the sake of their pride and happiness as much as their success, this simple rule: ‘That’ll do’ won’t do. ‘That’s good enough’ is never good enough.”

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