Thursday, April 30, 2009

Discovery and Hasbro Bring Toy-Driven TV to the Masses

Hasbro and Discovery Communications are partnering to create a reformatted cable channel with programs based on popular toys such as My Little Pony and G.I. Joe. The 13-year old Discovery Kids Channel will be replaced by this venture, but it has yet to be named.

This is a huge opportunity for Hasbro to bring its classic toys to life in a new way, and it revives the Discovery Kids brand.

Source: NYTimes

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's an App, App World

Greystripe, a rich media mobile advertising network, just published their quarterly Consumer Insights Report. It shows that users average 9.6 minutes of engagement per session on free iPhone applications -- not to shabby. Based on data generated via the 600 free, ad-supported iPhone apps in their network, consumers access apps 19.9 times over before discontinuing use. I'd say that's about how many times I used iFog and TipStar before they fell off the face of the (iPhone) earth.

Additional findings worth noting:

  • 42% of the firm's free iPhone app users have an HHI of $78K+
  • 15% earn $165K+ (extremely affluent)
  • 91% are involved in their household purchasing decisions
  • 65% of Greystripe's users said they would interact more with an ad if it were an interactive ad, as opposed to a static ad
Greystripe has made a name for themselves as the only mobile ad company that offers full-screen Flash ads on the iPhone. One of these formats is the Tailgate rich media ad format that the user interacts with before they access the actual game before they download. Basically, this is an advergame for the iPhone with the benefit of reaching a wide audience.

Source: FierceMobileContent Tries to Get the Word Out is a new virtual world that allows users to "grow up" inside the world itself. It's catered specifically to the 9 - 13 year old group and uses a level system that allows players toage up from 10 to 18. Within the game, people use avatars to socialize, play mini-games and hang out with others.

When a "birthday" rolls around, users gain access to new features -- age 11 means they can own virtual pets; age 16 brings their first car; 18 allows them to vote. In-game currency called spenders is used to buy everything from clothes, hair styles, furniture and gifts.

Users are also connected with an in-game cell phone which shows the status and location of any of your online friends. Even if they are offline, you are able to leave them messages and send gifts (acting like a standard social network).

SuperSecret says that tweens were involved with the development of this virtual world, and parents also have an immense amount of control over chat filters, player blocking and the ability to moderate. With so many other major players in the space (NeoPets, ClubPenguin), it will be interesting to see if the "growing up" idea is enough to set SuperSecret apart.

Source: InsideSocialGames

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Like Pop-Up Video, But For Twitter!

Squidder's Twitter Feed augmented reality t-shirt allows your tweets to have a little more impact in the real world. Printed on the front of the shirt is a special marker (almost like a bar code) that contains your Twitter user name. When an "appropriate sensing device" (phone, laptop) is pointed at it, your Twitter update will virtually appear.

Oh the things you can do with 140 characters...

Source: PSFK

PaperTweet3d: Augmented Reality T-shirts from squidder on Vimeo.

Honda Insight Lights Up The Web

I am honestly a sucker for great site takeovers. Not the synced banner ads that Apple does all over the NYTimes (yes, I do think those are cool too), but the truly unique, innovative, how-did-they-do-that takeovers -- the ones that, in some ways, Wario himself started.

Honda Insight is the latest brand to capture my attention with one of these. By partnering with Vimeo, they created a fully immersive video page takeover that dims the lights and shows you a pretty cool sunrise. And, it's all in sync with the music. Check it out!

Mo' Money, Mo' Video Advertising

IPG's media and audience research group, Magna, forecasts a 32% increase in online video ad spending this year. With more networks and cable TV stations pushing premium content online (as well as higher broadband penetration*), online video is becoming very appealing to advertisers. Spending money on user-generated content is often risky, but aligning brands with premium content from Hulu or Fancast can be a smart addition to any digital plan.

Source: ClickZ

*Reportedly, broadband now reaches over 75% of US households.