2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

games people play

Zynga IPO: Social Gaming Comes of Age

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 16, 2011 03:11 PM

“The virtual cow is the new cash cow of Wall Street,” writes the New York Times of Zynga's blockbuster IPO today.

Even as its first-day performance is closely watched, Zynga's public debut is being seen as a coming of age for the gaming industry; the largest tech IPO since Google in 2004 and the biggest in gaming history, and an exoneration of sorts for CEO Mark Pincus, who persisted in his vision of the ‘freemium’ model (free basic play with incentives to pay for upgrades) despite derision from investors and critics of his company’s relentlessly hard-driving corporate culture.

Founded in 2007, Zynga now has 230 million monthly active users on Facebook and is a lead player in an explosive virtual goods market worth $9 billion last year.

“Zynga embodies a confluence of trends in the gaming industry. Its whimsical games cater to casual users, who may not own a console like a PlayStation 3. Its games, which are available on Facebook and mobile devices, also use social networks to allow players to share activity with their friends,” summarizes the Times.Continue reading...

games people play

Jeep, Mountain Dew Answer Call of Duty with Epic Trailers

Posted by Michael Waltzer on November 7, 2011 05:45 PM

Proof that video game trailers are as big a deal as a new movie opening? The trailer above, promoting EA's Need for Speed game (in stores Nov. 15), is seen "through the eyes of Michael Bay." EA tapped the Hollywood action director's special way with SFX to amp up the buzz for the new game, and — from the sound effects, to the cinematography to the close-ups to the visual effects — Bay delivers everything an action fan, movie or gaming, would want in a movie trailer.

But even bigger is the video game launching at midnight tonight, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which brings out some other entertainment big guns: Avatar star Sam Worthington, comedy actor Jonah Hill, and even the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard. The trailer, which you can watch below, features Jonah and Sam in a live action version of the game.Continue reading...

culture club

BroCon: Bros Marketing Bros

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 4, 2011 04:02 PM

The first thing you need to know about the third annual BroCon Summit (Oct. 28 in New York) is that it was hosted by the GuyRilla Marketing (get it?) Group.

Moderated by ESPN, BroCon 2012 featured marketing executives from Nike, the NBA, NHL, NFL, Microsoft, EA, and Maxim magazine discussing the latest trends in "Marketing to Men."

The after-party was held at The Russian Tea Room. Did we say Russian Tea Room? We meant Hooters. The after-party was held at Hooters.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Pringles, Facebook, Dodgers & more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 2, 2011 08:55 AM

In the News

P&G delays $1.5 billion sale of Pringles.

Facebook struggles to get advertisers to pay for exposure.

Los Angeles Dodgers are for sale, owner Frank McCourt confirms.

Apple sees new CEO Tim Cook make it his own.

Bank of America blinks and withdraws $5 debit-card fee.

Bloomberg Businessweek ad campaign pitches personality.

BMW may see profit lead evaporate as new 3 Series eats into earnings and is topped by Mercedes-Benz in U.S. October sales.Continue reading...

logo-a-gogo

It's On: EA vs. EA Logo Dispute

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 6, 2011 10:06 AM

Want to “enhance nerve function and improve balance and flexibility”? Florida-based Energy Armor’s wristbands, which contain “negative ions infused with harvested volcanic ash” could be just the thing for you.

However, you may have to wait for your wristband for a bit. Because it has as an EA logo on it that the folks over at big-bucks video-game maker Electronic Arts think looks a little too much like their own logo.

And so Electronic Arts has filed suit against Energy Armor, according to the Gamasutra blog.

Part of the problem, the complaint points out, is that “Energy Armor advertises its health and fitness products by associating them with sports and professional athletes, ‘which is similar to how Electronic Arts advertises and markets its EA Sports products.’”Continue reading...

brand bites

Brand Bites: China's Angry Birds and Apple Sneakers, Ride It Like Beckham & more

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 16, 2011 12:02 PM

After China's fake Apple stores debacle, Apple moves to open real Apple store in prestigious Peking University library. (Not so fast, say officials.) And scoring two knock-offs in one, Chinese consumers are now being tempted with fake Converse sneakers bearing Apple's logo. They sell for about $5; click here for the fall lineup.

Below, check out legit branded kicks exclusively for the China market — Angry Birds sneakers! — and more.Continue reading...

games people play

Electronic Arts’ Best Game: Avoiding Taxes

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 12, 2011 12:58 PM

When you contemplate the generous — some would say scandalous — tax breaks enjoyed by large companies, the benefiting brands you probably recall are multinational conglomerates like GE or “too big to fail” financial firms like Goldman Sachs.

But in addition to the kinds of brands that keep PR armies constantly marching in defense of their reputations, one sector that’s enjoyed extraordinary joy every April 15, according to the New York Times, is the gaming industry.

The Times focuses on Electronic Arts, which over the last five years paid $98 million in taxes – which sounds like a painful tax bill until you compute that if EA paid the full official US corporate tax rate of 35 percent, it would have shelled out $420 million on its $1.2 billion in profits.

Conspiracy theorists could claim that IRS agents are huge fans of EA’s Madden football game franchise, but the reality is that the company can take advantage of its three-headed brand identity: it’s a software-development brand, an entertainment brand, and an online retailing brand.Continue reading...

branding together

EA Sports’ NBA Jam Adds European Flair with Turkish Airlines Euroleague Basketball

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 31, 2011 11:57 AM

When Turkish Airlines signed on for five years of being the sole sponsor of Euroleague Basketball, the professional basketball league in Europe, it likely had no idea that it would (a) be getting a lot of press because current NBA players have either signed or are considering playing there this season if the NBA’s lockout continues, and (b) had no idea their name would be plastered onto one of the world’s most popular video games: NBA Jam.

SportBusiness.com reports that Euroleague Basketball has signed a licensing deal with Electronic Arts to use its players and teams in NBA Jam. This is the first time that European players and teams are featured in the game, beginning with NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, according to the EA/Euroleague press release on the partnership.

“All fans will be able to choose any of the four participating teams in the last Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four,” said a statement from the league. And if video-game players get bored of playing with the Carmelo Anthonys and Kevin Durants of the NBA part of the game, they can get a little dose of international flair and take control of such players as Dimitris Diamantidis, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, or Carlos Suarez.Continue reading...

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