Saturday, 9 October 2010

McDonald's FarmVille Promotion - Brands and Social Gaming

Electronic Arts recently (Sept.14th, 2010) revealed results from a study conducted by The Nielsen Company, which shows the degree to which brand advertisements within video games can boost real life sales.  The study, commissioned by EA on behalf of Gatorade, shows that in-game advertising increased household dollars spent on Gatorade by 24%, and offered a return on investment of $3.11.  Gatorade had a variety of product placements within EA games including arena signs, players' water bottles, score updates and other call outs.

With social networks permeating our daily lives, entertainment is being redefined and is going back to its roots.  It’s getting social again.  Social games already alter the way people use Facebook .  Gamers stick around longer, use more of their online time on Facebook, and log in more regularly.  Facebook Connect will only make things even more pervasive.

Case in point - McDonald’s just created a branded farm on Farmville in a special one day event. Essentially, McDonald’s will become a “Neighbour Farm” to every player in the world for a day, this allows players to come and work on the McDonald’s Farmville Farm, helping to grow things like tomatoes and mustard seeds.  Players will be rewarded with all sorts of virtual McCafe items that allow them to grow their own farms twice as fast! Plus, they also get a McDonald’s hot air balloon flyover for their efforts.

The exposure is seriously huge for McDonald’s, who gains almost instant exposure and potential brand interaction to the near seventy (70) million active Farmville players around the world. The only other brand to have partnered with Farmville was Microsoft’s Bing earlier this year.

Advertainment is a relatively new form of advertising medium that blurs conventional distinctions between what constitutes advertising and what constitutes entertainment. Branded content is essentially a fusion of the two into one product intended to be distributed as entertainment content, albeit with a highly branded quality. Advertainment, unlike conventional forms of entertainment content, is generally funded entirely by a brand or corporation rather than, for example, a Movie studio or a group of producers. However, it can be argued that this is just a new name for the same type of marketing that was pioneered by soap manufacturers in the early days of radio and television with the soap opera.  What do you think?

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Friday, 8 October 2010

The Evolution of Brand Iconography - Corporate Logo Redesigns

Let’s be honest.  Sometimes we can’t figure out for the life of us how a brand landed on a specific image or font in the first place.  Let alone why, in some cases, they had a great logo that was working for them and decided to change it (Gap)?  But one things for sure, as an old friend from Mississippi used to say, “while beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, I think we can all agree on what ugly is (Gap).”  ;)  

That said, here are thirty examples of corporate logo’s redesigned to become more relevant.  Which ones do you love?  Which do you hate?  Which brands out there are in desperate need of an overhaul?

Thursday, 7 October 2010


Overall adoption of social technologies has effectively reached saturation. We’re now at the point where more than 80% of US online users engage with social media.  So what’s the buzz this week?

Target is now selling gift cards for Facebook credits redeemable in over 150 Facebook games and applications. - Iconoculture

PetSmart is asking Facebook fans to upload their best photos of their pets dressed in Halloween costumes for the chance to appear in a TV commercial. - MediaPost 

Cosmopolitan discusses how they're using Facebook Connect to let fans upload photographs to be a part of the magazine's new promotional video that simulates a photo shoot. - The New York Times 

Budweiser, as a part of their latest campaign, is planning to partner with Facebook to give fans turning 22 years or older a free beer on their birthday. - USA Today 

Research In Motion (RIM) is using social media to connect with their BlackBerry customers to provide awesome online customer service. - Blog World 
Lincoln's new "Best of California Road Trip" campaign is following the Lincoln MKX as it drives through California, stopping at several historic locations. Videos of the trip will be posted to YouTube, and fans are invited to vote for their favorite location on Facebook. - PR Web 

Toyota's new web series, "Standup Stories," features comedians sharing their first-car experiences and includes a Facebook tie-in inviting fans to share their stories. - Break 

American Express, in their "Action for Education" Facebook challenge, is vowing to donate up to $1 million to when pledges towards improving local education reach 100,000. - Tonic 

Dell is combining user interests and reviews in their new Facebook application for social feedback. - Facebook 

Chevron shares how they are taking social media monitoring to the next level to build awareness of energy issues. - Vimeo 

Goodbuzz Inc. is a Digital Ad Agency that creates social media campaigns that entice consumers to play, create, and share brand experiences. Note: Any / all product names mentioned in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies and are hereby acknowledged.