Wednesday, July 2, 2008

OnlineSpin: Gaming Trend Watch

Last week David Berkowitz's post "Ten Questions Not To Ask A Social Media Panel" received a good number of comments.

Janet Johnson wrote in response, "As we're entering into this new phase of communication, it's easy to laugh off the (relative) un-measurable nature of social media; but it's extremely painful for businesses - especially F100 execs - who are trying to get their arms around how to be relevant in the shifting communication sands.

I see a huge payoff today, though, in social media use for those who are smaller, private, and not as encumbered (yet) by regulations.

I've personally observed ROI (expenditure = time) mostly in the following areas:

1) Improving collaboration for virtual teams scattered around cities, countries and such - Twitter is especially great for that.

2) Lead generation for consultants - especially in the areas of RSS, infrastructure and social media (big duh, but it's true).

3) Awareness and thought leadership - especially for those whose markets serve early adopters/18-35 year olds today, although the baby boomers are adopting to, and using the social web quite quickly...."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Gaming Trend Watch
By Cory Treffiletti

Did you know the average age of the online gamer is approximately 40 years old? Did you know that the gaming audience is 50/50 male vs. female? If you didn't know these simple facts, you need to pay attention, because you're about to see even more gaming come into prime-time media consumption!

The numbers for online gaming are staggering, especially when you examine the total dollars spent in the U.S. on gaming and the budgets gaming companies spend on advertising to U.S. consumers. Beyond the actual numbers, gaming has become a part of the popular zeitgeist in ways that no one could have expected until the last two years. Consider for just a moment:

  • Ever heard of the "Madden Curse"? Ask Donovan McNabb, Marshall Faulk, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, Daunte Culpepper or Shaun Alexander. They'll tell you what it is. Or check this out:

  • Ever heard of "RockBand" or "Guitar Hero"? If you haven't then you need to get yourselves indoors quickly and in front of the television. Forget about being social outside, you can now be social and have rock 'n' roll parties at home!

  • Have you seen ads for the "Wii Fit" from Nintendo? These are ads that get gamers to exercise by playing a game (No. This is for real). Ten years ago this would never have happened. The precursor was "Dance Dance Revolution," for those geeky enough to have witnessed people playing the game in the past.

  • Have you noticed the recent ads for the Nintendo DS handheld system featuring Liv Tyler, Carrie Underwood and other popular female celebrities taking time for themselves to play their favorite games? These ads are targeting young girls rather than the typical audience of boys that are targeted for gaming in the US.

  • Ever heard of "Halo"? To quote Stan Lee, 'nuff said!

    The gaming market is growing and fast becoming a part of the mainstream media. Even at the Apple WWDC just two weeks ago, one of the highlights for the new 3G iPhone was the slew of games that were being developed and played on the new model handset using the faster connection than the current model. Gaming is everywhere, and it is growing far beyond the initial borders of men 18-34.

    Of course our industry can be myopic and tends not to pay too much attention to ideas and categories we don't fully understand. Gaming does not command a large portion of our ad dollars because the model is not easy to understand nor is it easy to implement. A quick examination of the category will reveal that there are many ways to get your message in front of the target audience using gaming. There are "standard" advertising opportunities for rotating ads into games, whether they're casual strategy games or first-person shooters. There are also integrated, more complex ways to get your message into the game, including embedding into the landscape via advertising or providing tools and content, such as automobiles integrated into racing games, etc.

    Advertisers are afraid of the category because they hear the term "gaming" and they think of long lead times for integration and many hundreds of thousands of dollars for development. They also tend to think of skinny, pasty 16-year-old boys who don't leave their rooms and waste away the day playing "Mario Brothers" -- but with the continued proliferation of online gaming, there are many ways to ad-serve into the platform and change creative on a regular basis to reach the audience you are looking to reach!

    Don't get so married to the old ways of doing business that you overlook these new opportunities. If the Nintendo DS campaign is any indication, then the business is going to get more widespread in a very, very short time.

    Cory is president and managing partner for Catalyst SF.

    Online Spin for Wednesday, July 2, 2008:

  • You are receiving this newsletter at as part of your free membership with MediaPost. If this issue was forwarded to you and you would like to begin receiving a copy of your own, please visit our site - - and click on [subscribe] in the e-newsletter box.
    For advertising opportunities see our online media kit.

    If you'd rather not receive this newsletter in the future click here.
    email powered by eROIWe welcome and appreciate forwarding of our newsletters in their entirety or in part with proper attribution.
    (c) 2008 MediaPost Communications, 1140 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001

    No comments:

    Blog Archive