Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Georgia Lottery Awards Website Contract To What's Up Interactive

August 23, 2009: summarized from Atlanta Daybook -- The Georgia Lottery Corp. announced that What's Up Interactive was awarded a contract to provide Web site services for the organization.

"We are pleased to partner with What's Up Interactive and look forward to the Web technology, design, marketing and content development they will provide," said Georgia Lottery President and CEO Margaret DeFrancisco. "Our Web site is a vital tool to keep our players and the public informed and engaged and to ultimately generate dollars for the important educational programs we fund."

What's Up Interactive, a full service interactive marketing agency based in Atlanta, will develop an online marketing strategy and design a fresh, new look for the Georgia Lottery's Web site, which will continue to feature winning numbers, game information, exciting promotions, lottery news and special events. Services will include Web site design and development, search and social media marketing and multimedia like videos and games.

"As a Georgia-based company, we take great pride in our state's lottery and what it has meant to education in Georgia," said Richard Warner, CEO of What's Up Interactive. "Through our partnership, we hope to ultimately contribute to the Georgia Lottery's mission."

More at: http://bit.ly/OvaWV

Tip for Web-Savvy Marketers: Get In The Game

August 23, 2009: summarized from tennessean.com -- Singer/songwriter Joe South wasn't thinking about "Super Mario" or "Madden NFL" when he wrote "Games People Play," but he was certainly on target with the line that said people play games "every night and every day now

There's no doubt that computer and video games are entrenched in the American lifestyle.
Don't assume that game playing is limited to boys and young men wearing out their thumbs on PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo. The gaming universe actually is almost two-thirds of all online Americans ages 12 to 64.

A study done by Parks Associates, a market research and consulting firm, found that 34 percent of U.S. Internet users play online games weekly. That makes online gaming more popular than social networking and online video.

"Gaming isn't just for kids, and it's not limited to boys and men. For instance, half of women 45 to 54 say they play some sort of electronic game at least once a week," Mike Vorhaus reported in a recent edition of Advertising Age.

Advertisers have taken note of this large number of eyeballs, and many have added "advergaming" to their marketing arsenal. The tactic is working.

A recent Nielsen Games survey found that 36 percent of video game players have acted on advertising they have seen in a game, and 83 percent of Web gamers reported a positive association with companies that sponsor free online games.

"Games remain one of the biggest untapped opportunities for marketers, for the simple fact that they are, indeed, engaging, immersive, interactive and entertaining," said Tim Zuckert, president and CEO of Shift Control Media, a creator of branded games such as those for Coca-Cola's "Happiness Factory."

Advergaming takes many forms. Orbitz puts games in its banner ads, and those games have become a leading source of site traffic for the online travel agency. Magazines such as Good Housekeeping and Redbook have added female-friendly game titles to their Web sites. In addition to customizing games such as mah-jongg, Sudoku or solitaire to promote traffic, they offer game popularity rankings, reviews and leader boards to promote return visits.

Progressive Insurance uses games to drive brand awareness. Progressive's logo is part of the environment in the racing game "Electronic Arts Need for Speed: Undercover" and "2K Sports Major League Baseball."

Tactics for all successful advertising in the game environment include:

Start early: Online video that appears before the game starts gets 85 percent viewership.

Keep it quick: Fifteen-second creative units outperform longer versions.

Product placement: Get your product integrated into the game.

Above all, know your audience and the types of games they play. Then you can build an advergaming strategy and become part of your customers' game life.

More at: http://bit.ly/z2BXG

Social Media Is Dead; Film At 11

LM Comment: Commentary on the future of popular social media sites like Twitter.

August 17, 2009: summarized from InfoWorld -- The death of social media is upon us. How do I know this? I read it on the InterWebs.

Let's start with a report by the BBC about a study of random tweets by Pear Analytics, which shows some 40 percent of all content on Twitter is "pointless babble."

To which the obvious reply: Only 40 percent?

Pear conducted this study by dipping into the tweet stream every 30 minutes over a two-week period, and then placing each tweet into one of six categories. Number two behind "babble" was "conversational" (37.5 percent), as in the "I just had a tuna melt and it sure was yummy"; in the third slot at just under 9 percent were tweets containing useful info or links, followed by self-promotional (6 percent) tweets and spam (4 percent).

Think about it, though. Compared to every other communications channel in your life -- phone conversations, email, SMS texts, newspaper articles, blogs, TV newscasts, political speechifying, and so on -- Twitter's pointless babble ratio isn't that bad. Can you honestly say that almost 10 percent of any of those things contains useful info? (If so, maybe you hang out with smarter people than I do.) And who wouldn't kill for a spam rate of only 4 percent? I'm sure that won't last.

Still, I hear from a lot of Cringesters who say they find Twitter 100 percent pointless. I maintain it's something you have to use for a while before you understand it.

Just today I was talking to an analyst at Forrester who covers CRM and customer service issues. She told me what a lot of people have told me about Twitter: At first she pooh-poohed it, thinking it a stupid waste of time. Then she realized she had to start using Twitter because the companies she's been analyzing all were relying on it for customer service. Now tweeting is an essential part of her day. She doesn't think it's stupid any more.

My sermon to the residents of Cringeville today is, if you don't use social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, you're falling behind. You are at least two steps closer to the junk heap than everyone else who does. You're like the crotchety old folks who refused to use touchtone number pads on their phones because, dammit, a dial was good enough.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/QdeJX

GTECH G2 Renews Deal With Web Giant Yahoo!

August 24, 2009: summarized from 24-7 Press Release -- GTECH G2 has renewed its deal with internet search and entertainment giant Yahoo! to provide bingo, poker and soft games for another two years.

G2 is the internet gaming division of GTech and is comprised of Boss Media, Finsoft, St Minver and Dynamite Idea. G2 will supply Yahoo with bingo and a selection of games including scratch cards, arcade and number games such as Monopoly and Cluedo.

Yahoo bingo was first launched in 2005 by G2’s customer retention and back office solutions company St Minver for Yahoo UK & Ireland. Yahoo! denied at the time that it had plans to move into real money poker, but launched real money poker in 2007.

Yahoo! will also feature GTech G2’s new ‘instant win’ games channel through St Minver, and launch download poker in addition to its current Flash poker offering.

St Minver will continue managing player liquidity, tournaments, customer service and promotions for Yahoo! and other clients including the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper and Virgin Games.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/9bVvk