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August 1, 2012

Channel 9's Olympic Coverage & their Facebook Page


Someone at Channel 9 is running around stressed. Meetings are happening to discuss how to handle this and the social media monitoring companies, the social media commentators (me included) are already gearing up for another "How to handle a social crisis" Slideshare deck.

Australia's biggest TV channel and Olympics broadcaster channel 9 is being "smashed" on their Facebook page over their coverage. Mostly around the coverage, or over coverage, of swimming. In heir defence, swimming is usually the area where Australia does the best in the medals so 9 probably over invested in their prep around swimming.

The page is getting around 10 angry posts a minute and I found a lot of them funny. There's even some memes (both good and bad) popping up.

coverage meme.png

The example below sums up Australia's youth well.

equistrian fan.png

But it's not all young kids there's also some people that will pick out any fault whether it be the pronunciation of a country or even when the channel accidentally broadcasts old footage. Whoops.

comm games post.png

What surprised me was this "Dear Channel 9" post by Matthew Taylor which has since reached 94,000 likes and 4,000 comments. It's as if it was posted by Lil Wayne himself.

dear channel 9.png

Foxtel, Australia's only pay TV provider, must be loving it. If they don't have a reactive ad coming out soon to capitalise on this I would be surprised. Foxtel's games profile, Follow The Games* is dedicated to the games in this period.

It'll be an interesting few days to see how Channel 9 respond to this and how the other networks cover it. Oh and more importantly how the "social media experts" say they should have handled it.

It also begs the quest does Australia's largest television network have anything to gain by running a Facebook profile for the channel itself? Sure their shows desrve a place for fans to chat but people don't like a channel, they like the content on it. Their 54,000 fans are nothing compared to their viewership and unlike brands they already have a channel to reach and engage people with, it's their own network.

January 4, 2011

2011 Digital Predictions

This is our digital predictions for 2011 and it also covers all the other agencies and sites and their predictions and trends for 2011 at the end.

This is a 63% serious and we also tried to steer away from the very obvious ones. If you have a presentation or link to your predictions post them in the comments. We'll do another Bannerblog predictions round up mid Jan.

December 27, 2010

10 Real Predictions for Gaming in 2011

After reading the 7 predictions for gaming in 2011 on Mashable I was shocked that at some of the predictions and how badly researched they were. So many huge topics in gaming were missed. Social gaming being the most obvious.

Even the topics covered there is nothing in the predictions that is not completely obvious (iPhone games continue & Angry Birds sequel) or totally misguided (Apple to make a gaming console & Gears of War to break sales records).

So while I would contacted various developers, publishers and the gaming media for their opinion and then put together a detailed predictions post I don't have the resources. So here is my personal list of 10 Real Predictions for Gaming in 2011.

1: Companion Gaming will be huge

It already started in 2010 but companion gaming will continue to be hot with game publishers in 2011 and beyond. AAA titles will now be backed up with a social, browser or mobile game to match. I know this as I'm working on one of these right now for a major title to be released in Q4 2011.

Ubisoft has had huge success with Project Legacy and Assassins Creed: Brotherhood (400,000 active players) as did EA's Dante's Inferno. Bioware and EA dabbled with it for Dragon Age and their Flash game Journeys but are ramping it up for 2011 with Dragon Age Legends.

Microsoft titles such as Crackdown 2 which rewarded players special "duck" grenades for playing a simple puzzle game on Facebook while Fable 3 players could earn coins by participating in the location based game Kingmaker.

I'll even throw Dead Rising Case Zero into this mix which became the fastest selling XBLA & PSN game ever and was basically the games demo which you paid for. The full game itself went onto be a huge success for Capcom.

Other publishers won't ignore reports like that. They are already planning their payable demo or companion game right now. Expect more of the same and some bigger ambitious projects in 2011.

2: Indie vs Big Guys on the iPhone

With the recent release of the Unreal Development Kit for the iPhone expect to see more large developers getting serious about iPhone games. With Infinity Blade pulling in $1M in 5 days, other developers will look to have their huge development teams develop smaller games in between their 2-3 year AAA projects. The small indie guys with big hits like Half Brick (Fruit Ninja) and Rovio (Angry Birds) will continue to have hits as they utilize their established install base. I expect an Angry Birds TV show to be locked in also.

3: Social Gaming Overload

Who will buy Zynga? How will EA and Disney leverage their purchases in 2011? All I know is that Social Gaming will, like it was in 2010, be huge with ad agencies, media companies and brands take a lot more interest in in the scene.

There are no brands with a top ranking social game but expect that to change in 2011.

Expect social gaming to capture all the headlines in between how much money the latest game franchise made

4: 3DS = Fail

I'm going to go out on a limb and say the Nintendo 3DS will fail. You can't advertise it properly as the 3D won't display and the 3D is a gimmick. The DS was a breakthrough and created games that could not exist on any other platform and the 3DS will just be 3D. It'll sell like crazy in Japan but fail to take hold anywhere else. The 3DS does have a gyroscope so that is probably more interesting to developers than the 3D feature.

5: Battle of Big FPS

After making so much money from first person shooters I'm going to stay on safe ground and say that the big developers will stay within that familiar and well paid territory as they announce their new titles in 2011.

Activision with the biggest gaming franchise Call of Duty, will announce a paid subscription game (probably to be released in 2012) in addition to the next installment into the franchise for 2011. EA will announce the title from Respawn Entertainment (ex Infinity Ward) that will tear the Call of Duty fans in half. Bungie will tease their new non Microsoft, non Halo IP towards the end of the year. Insomniac Games will announce their first multi-platform title thanks to the EA deal and knowing them it could be any genre.

6: Cloud Gaming

onLive and Gaikai will both be fully launched but like most new technology might be a little ahead of it's time. Looking at onLive's game collection they will need to increase the titles to make it attractive to real gamers. Also Australia won't see either until it's $50B National Broadband Network is ready in 2018-2020 and by that time another similar start up will have launched and crushed them both.

7: Browser 3D Games FTW: (Unity and Molehill)

Between Unity (which is getting much more mainstream acceptance since going free for Indie developers) and Flash 10's Project Molehill, expect to see a lot more browser based 3D games in 2011 and beyond. Yes HTML5 can do a nice little platfomers but people want to see stuff like this below.


Why work hard to grow in the saturated western game market when your existing titles have huge growth potential in the Asian market? Expect to see publishers going hard at Asia (mainly China and Korea) in 2011 and beyond as they try and adapt and create franchises to fit this huge but totally unique market.

Activision have already made moves and even on the social side Zynga ported it's Farmville over to Chinese. Even on the flash side of browser gaming Mochi Media (the largest casual games media network) was bought by Shanda games in 2010 and has been pro-active in porting flash games over to Chinese.

9: Motion gaming all about Kinect

Sony are all about 3D in 2011, while Microsoft will all be about Kinect. Families, fitness and moms were the core focus at launch but expect to see Kinect titles aimed at the more hardcore gamer in 2011. Will we see a COD Kinect? Probably not, but we won't see the same level of shovelware that the Wii endured. Expect to see titles having Kinect features that allow controller and Kinect to work together. Well, persoanlly that's what I'd like to see.

10: Video Game Based Movies will still suck

Look at the box office records for video game adaptations and see that comics is where the money is. Leave video games alone or give the IP to real writers and directors. A Halo movie with an Alex Garland script or a God of War movie without Brett Ratner would suit us.


Disclaimer: This post has been created as an unbiased and personal view of Ashley Ringrose. He currently works with the following companies via his role at Soap Creative: Xbox Australia, Activision, Ubisoft, Namco Baindai, Insomniac Games and Naughty Dog. You can check his gaming credentials here. No privileged or sensitive information was used in the preparation for this post.


Also here's a quick review of the predictions from Mashable. I'm sorry I expected more from the Senior Editor.

1: On the Road Again

Yes mobile gaming will continue in 2011. That's a easy one. Windows Phone will get some noise but what about the other Android handsets too? What will the new tablets bring to this mix and how does the Nintendo 3DS fold into this? What a waste of a predictions

2. Backfield in Motion

Motion gaming sales wont keep up with the titles. Agreed, and this is like any new console launch it takes a few years to build up the software catalogue and have developers get used to the software. Kinect porn? It'll be there as a hack but Microsoft will never allow this to be officially released.

3. Flash Crash

HTML5 games will dominate browser-based gaming? Way to bring out the hyperbole. We'll see more social games using HTML5 but Flash will dominate for many more years to come. Why? The sheer number of developers out there. A framework like Impact may be leading the way but it's very early days and doesn't have any Mochi Games type support to allow developers to make any money. Unless they want to develop an iPhone app and in that case they might as well learn Objective C than this new framework. Also who hates HTML5?

4. Wii Want HD

Would that be the Wii2? Why not put it out there that a new console will be announced in 2011. With the 3DS coming it will be very hard for Nintendo to ship to pieces of hardware in the same year so expect a Wii2 in 2012.

5. Bringing the Pain

Oh dear. A whole prediction on Gears of War 3? "Its sales are practically guaranteed to break all records." That would be XBOX360 sales only right? What a joke. No mention of the plethora of other gaming titles coming out Killzone 3, Uncharted 3, new COD, COD MMO, Resistance 3? Just list through the VGA award announcements if you're having trouble.

6. Apple Console

Why would Apple try to enter the console market when it already dominates the handheld gaming market? Once they release their desktop app store this should turn any Mac into a gaming machine anyway.

7. Avian Anger

An angry birds sequel or DLC packs. It's obvious that the #1 selling game which has released a couple of expansion packs this year will continue the ride.

July 24, 2010

Sony PS3 Ad Ripped off by NZ TV3

I would have expected to see this on Mumbrella but TV3 thought they could
copy one of the most popular campaigns of the last 12 months and get away with it. It's bad to copy TV shows but the commercials.... yeah lets go with it.

Here is the ad in question. You can't get much more of a copy and paste job than this.

And the original

What did Sony do? send threatening legal letters? No they had Kevin Butler send a great response via the Playstation blog (which is one of the best blogs in the industry)

"It's been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If so, color me flattered. However, I do have some constructive criticism for the work that I would like to share.

1. No title for your guy? VP of Big Bigness? PS3 Commercial Tribute Manager? Details, folks.

2. The TV3 version was completely lacking in PS3 video game footage. Clips from Uncharted 2, MAG, God of War 3, or even clips of our upcoming releases Killzone3 and Twisted Metal would have really added some epicness to the spot.

3. The beard. I think it should have been longer.

4. I did like the slow motion effect at the end on the guitar solo. Way to plus it out.

5. Two-color mylar confetti > rainbow paper confetti. Just sayin.

It's clear to me that TV3 appreciates great advertising and I'd like to thank them for their efforts. In fact we'd like to help them out and make our ENTIRE LIBRARY OF COMMERCIALS available for them to copy in order to promote their programming. I only ask that TV3 doesn't use our actual footage, but all future homages of this sort are now Kevin Butler sanctioned.

You might be asking, "What's in it for you, KB?" Well, I asked that too, and here's what I've come up with: I'd like TV3's support in making the PS3 the OFFICIAL GAME CONSOLE OF NEW ZEALAND. I see this as the only way to make it right with the world. Our super hero team-up could bring the benefits of incredible HD games, Blu-ray movies and the wealth of content available on the PlayStation Network to billions of New Zealanders. Only a total victory in that fine country will satisfy this situation. That, and a box set of Flight of The Conchords sent to the fine creative team in our marketing organization.

Let's do this.

I await your reply via my Twitter account: @TheKevinButler"

To which @TV3nz responded with: "@TheKevinButler sounds like a fair deal to us Mr Butler!"

The issue was raised in an NZ gamer blog Button Masher and then reposted at many other blogs like Kotaku where I saw it.

The whole debacle has now fully played out with TV3 pulling the campaign.

Gamer Justice is served. While 4chan is feared don't mess with gamers. They are just as organised and scary. As seen by the NZ actor Dai Henwood of the TV3 ad getting attacked on Twitter. Fair go he's just a guy earning paper.

Kevin Butler & Old Spice Man


Sony's "Kevin Butler It Only Does Everything" campaign by Deutsch would be the talk of the advertising town if Old Spice Man by W+K didn't come into the picture. The two campaigns are actually similar in the fact we have a fake spokesman with fantastic comic timing with a tight script talking at the viewer. Both resulted in increased sales and both created catch phrases that . Oh and I personally love them both.

If only Kevin Butler responded to real consumers on Youtube instead of just Twitter and fake consumers.

Check out @TheKevinButler & @OldSpice on Twitter and you'll see even more similar tone, probably due to the fact you have just 140 characters to get across the punch line.

And while the entire world loves Old Spice Man, Gamers love Kevin Butler. As seen here with his cameo at the the Sony E3 keynote.

I look forward to many more Old Spice man and Kevin Butler ads in the future and the waft of copy cats to come.

April 15, 2010

AdAge Digital 2010: The 6 Foundations of Great Digital Creative

The presentation below was presented today to in NYC at the Ad Age Digital Conference 2010 by a nervous Ashley Ringrose who in Sydney time did this at 7am. Thanks to the Ad Age team for the opportunity to speak and their support.

If you saw the talk we hope you enjoyed it and have provided the presentation to share the links and also get the extra two article links that were discussed.

We posted yesterday from there about Twitter's new "Promoted Tweets" (not ads but tweets!) and we'll have a roundup of highlights in the next few days. You can get lots of iPad RT's and pull quotes from the Twitter stream.

We'd love some feedback (positive and negative) on the 6 foundations and also if we need more or less or to change them. If you also have some better examples that showcase the 6 let us know in the comments.

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