A good friend has released Teleporter, a travel quiz game for the Apple iPhone and a fun, virtual way of traveling the globe. With challenging questions, scenic photos and entertaining YouTube videos about travel destinations worldwide, Teleporter is designed for people who love travel and want to learn more about fascinating places and people on the 197 million square miles that make up Earth.
The Application is available in the Apple App store in iTunes, in both a free and premium version.
Three of Tiger Woods’ sponsors, Nike (NKE), Gatorade and Gillette, have expressed their support in the aftermath of his automobile accident and rumored affair. CNN 11/30/09
The founder and former president and CEO of Jones Sodahas founded BoxB, a company that will create nonalcoholic private label beverages for distributors. Owning their own brand eliminates the risk associated with building non-owned brands and then losing the distribution when they become a hit. Brandweek 11/28/09
With Christmas less than five weeks away, Borders (BGP) and Barnes & Noble (BKS) are concerned that the weak economy will depress sales, despite best sellers from Dan Brown, Stephen King and Sarah Palin. wsj.com 11/25/09 May require subscription.
Dress Barn (DBRN) has completed its merger of Tween Brands, owner of the Justice brand that caters to children from the ages of 7 to 14. It will operate as a subsidiary of Dress Barn. Chainstoreage.com 11/25/09
AOL is adopting a new brand identity next month when it spins off from Time Warner (TWX). The triangle is gone, and the uppercase “AOL” is now upper & lower case, punctuated with a period: “Aol.” NYTimes.com 11/22/09 via Media Bistro
Tide has introduced “Stain Brain,” an iPhone app that offers simple solutions on the spot and allows people to share cleaning tips. The move coincided with the launch of Tide’s Stain Release in-wash booster, designed to be added into the regular laundry load to remove a host of stubborn stains. CMDGlobal.com
Last week we posted about TechCrunch's expose of social gaming companies, such as Zynga, who make hundreds of millions of dollars on Facebook and MySpace by scamming players who accept offers for in-game currency. The problem is that the special offers are really lead generation scams. One example: a “Farm IQ Quiz” offered by Offerpal rewards the user with Farm Cash for taking the survey---and signs them up to a $9.99/month mobile subscription without the user’s consent.
A previous video of the Zynga CEO, Mark Pincus, has surfaced showing him saying:
“I did every horrible thing in the book to, just to get revenues right away. I mean we gave our users poker chips if they downloaded this zwinky toolbar which was like, I don’t know, I downloaded it once and couldn’t get rid of it.”
The video is below: if you're viewing it at work, turn the volume down; Pincus drops the F-bomb in it.
Social gaming companies are making hundreds of millions of dollars on Facebook and MySpace. But in a series of posts, TechCrunch says some of these gaming companies, such as Zynga and Farmville are making money by scamming players who accept offers for in-game currency in exchange for special offers that are really lead generation scams. One example: a “Farm IQ Quiz” offered by Offerpal rewards the user with Farm Cash for taking the survey---and signs them up to a $9.99/month mobile subscription without the user’s consent.
Another example provided by TechCrunch: Users are offered in-game currency when they sign up to receive a learning CD from Video Professor for just $10 shipping. But a different page, separate from checkout, tells them they will be getting a full set of CDs at a cost of $189.95 unless they return them.
TechCrunch notes: “Here’s the really insidious part: game developers who monetize the best (and that’s Zynga) make the most money and can spend the most on advertising. Those that won’t touch this stuff (Slide and others) fall further and further behind. Other game developers have to either get in on the monetization or fall behind as well…The games that scam the most, win.”
The posts have generated a firestorm of reaction, from companies who provide the offers, such as Offerpal, who called the assertions “shit, double shit and bullshit,” to commenters who say they’ve been victimized by the offer scams. Companies who have participated, or who have been approached to participate in offer scams, have commented that this has been going on for awhile without much notice from the media or social media sites.
A Rasmussen poll finds that 51% of U.S. consumers say they won't buy a car from an auto maker that is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Thirty-one percent said they’d be okay with it, while18% said they weren’t sure. Phoenix Business Journal 12/13/08
What are the most effective means of reaching consumers in social media spaces? A report from Netpop Research, “Social Networkers U.S., Who They Are And What They Mean for Next-Generation Online Advertising” provides trending data showing the growth of social networking users since 2006, including a comparison of social networkers to non-social media users, and categorization of broadband users segments. While now is not the best time for marketers who haven’t used social network advertising to experiment with (during challenging economic times it’s best to stick with proven ROI), the report provides useful insights on social media users. Download the report, free until 1/31/09. Clickz 12/12/08
Nearly 30% of online adults will immediately leave a website if they perceive it to be cluttered with ads, and more than 75% of those who remain on cluttered sites pay less attention to the ads there says a study from Burst Media. Marketing Charts, 12/11/08
The financial crisis has spawned a new generation of mattress stuffers, aka New Mattress Stuffers, boomers “who have lost their faith in the housing market, the stock market, their bank, their big corporate employer, their auto company, and their last president,” and they’re waiting for the next shoe to drop. The new mattress stuffers are trying to create “safe havens” by investing in U.S. Mint gold coins, purchasing safes, vaults and guns, and eschewing plastic for cash. Wall Street Journal 12/10/08
Retailers can help consumers make a decision, and prevent the loss of a sale by introducing “decoys, loss leaders, or other products similar to the ones they really want to market.” When consumers are trying to choose between two highly desirable options, its easier for them to make a decision when a third, less desirable option is introduced, according to research conducted by Akshay Rao, marketing professor at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. Using the example of a consumer trying to choose between two attractive sweaters, adding a third, less attractive sweater serves as a “’decoy’” that makes the other sweater appear more pleasing than before.” Science Daily 12/14/08 University of Minnesota (2008, December 14). Inside The Consumer Mind: Brain Scans Reveal Choice Mechanism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 13, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2008/12/081211141846.htm
Looking to Reach Mall Shoppers? Look no further than this recent Nielsen study that shows that Adspace Mall Network reaches 47% of mall shoppers viewed content provided on the Adspace Mall Network. The network plays a six minute programming loop that mixes consumer content and advertising messages displaying the 10 best deals in the mall and the 10 best sales on Smart Screens. The study showed that 34% of viewers had an average recall of specific ads they saw on the network.
According to the survey, shoppers viewed SmartScreens an average of 3.3 times per visit, had an average total viewing time of 114 seconds, with an average length of each view at 34 seconds. Teens were even more likely to watch the Smart Screens (57%) and devoted more time to doing so.
NeoEdge Networks provides game publishers, portals and advertisers with safe, simple and profitable ad-supported game play through its NeoARM™ technology suite and NeoAds™ Game Advertising Network.
The company offers advertisers rich video game commercials and enables a new ad-supported business model for game publishers and portals. The company also offers a ‘free to play’ casual games website at MostFun.com.
The UGame Network, an online gaming social network and community designed to enhance the user’s enjoyment of their online gaming experience by providing them with a place to interact with others, meet and make new friends, share, play and use services.