Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Harrah’s Premieres Online Casino

CM Comment: Looks like Harrah's wants to be ready if Internet gambling is legalized in the U.S.

December 7, 2009: summarized from Online Casino News -- Land-based American gaming giant Harrah's Entertainment has finally made its move into the world of online casinos with the launch of CaesarsCasino.com and it is offering new players a full matching first deposit bonus up to £500.

The Dragonfish-powered online casino is not accepting players from the US or Germany at this time with competitors from America being redirected to a page listing Harrah’s land-based gaming properties.

For those able to gain admittance, Gibraltar-licensed CaesarsCasino.com features three different types of blackjack alongside roulette while there is also a selection of over 30 video slots. This is in addition to 16 slot machines and card and table games such as Caribbean and three-card poker, craps, baccarat and casino hold’em alongside a range of special games and instants.

To qualify for the full first deposit bonus at CaesarsCasino.com, players must deposit £500 before playing through 30 times this amount. In addition, bets placed on baccarat, roulette, blackjack, craps and video poker do not count towards the introductory bonus. However, competitors do receive 1.5 comp points for every ten dollars that they wager with 150 points able to be exchanged for one pound.

The domain is also offering a Happy Hours promotion on the last day of every month for four hours starting at seven o’clock in the evening London time. In order to qualify, players must deposit at least £50 before receiving a bonus equivalent to ten percent of that sum up to a maximum bonus of £50. However, in order to cash this bonus, customers need to bet at least 20 times its amount.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/6NAJ8H

Don't Create an IPhone App for the Online Buzz Factor

CM Comment: Most important fact is that only 7% of U.S. wireless subscribers use an iPhone. Meaning, probably not a marketing channel that’s ready for prime-time.

December 4, 2009: summarized from AdAge.com -- For all the love that marketers show iPhone apps, these micro-utilities and tools actually generate surprisingly little buzz in return.

A study for Ad Age by PR firm Porter Novelli and its partner Crimson Hexagon looked at a handful of branded iPhone apps that came online this year and found that their launch didn't generate any big spike in the volume of online chatter about the apps. And any uptick in conversation volumes tapered off quickly in the days after the apps' rollout.

And brand perception, as measured by improvements in positive conversations about the brand, barely budged in the months after the apps launched. In effect, these utilities didn't arouse much passion in either direction. The conversations around them were largely neutral, along the lines of: "X brand has an app now."

Of course, the findings also reinforce that apps should not be built simply to goose some short-term brand buzz; rather, they should be a way to deepen engagement or drive revenue. Still, said Joe Russo, Porter Novelli's global research director, he would expect some improvement in brand affinity around the time of an app launch. He suggests part of the problem is that the sea of iPhone apps -- now numbering more than 100,000 -- is swallowing the prospect of building any significant buzz.

"There's so much clutter and just such a flood of apps out there that unless you're really looking for them, or [receive] a pre-announcement that is meaningful to you, you won't even know about it," Mr. Russo said. One could also attribute the lack of pervasive conversations about the apps to that only about 7% of U.S. wireless subscribers use an iPhone.

Read more at http://bit.ly/8J1SZQ

New Innovations in Games and Sweeps

December 3, 2009: summarized from Promo -- Pulling players deeper into a brand experience for longer periods of time is high on the list. One new technology, Augmented Reality, has the capabilities to do that and is being tested by a number of marketers. The online application allows players to interact using a Web cam in real-time with computer-generated imagery, says Matt Kates, vice president of strategic services at ePrize, LLC.

Papa John's used the application last summer to let players download and print an icon of founders 1972 Camaro. When the icon was recognized by a webcam, users virtually drove the Camaro. Built into game play will be more ways for players to contribute, such as designing a character or syncing up a player's voice to a character. The goal here is to increase time spent and viral sharing.

As an example, HBO and ePrize got players to spend an average seven minutes creating "fashionistas" by choosing different clothing, shoes and accessories in a promo to build excitement for the premiere of the HBO movie "Sex and the City." Players unlocked additional fashion items by entering codes received from viewing video content on affiliates' sites.

The use of digital channels—microsites, social networks, video sharing sites and mobile—will increase as marketers continue to interact with consumers when and where they like to spend time. Viral components will be built into most promotions. Many will include a prize for the most viral player.

Measurement criteria is migrating from the basics—like how many people registered and played—to time spent, a more meaningful measure of engagement with and interest in the brand. Kates says. Costs will continue to be more efficient and affordable as technology became more established, efficient and scalable. Six-figure games will be more popular because they offer the richer experience, complexity and multiple channels that marketers are looking for, Kates says.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/6cvnfR

Farmville, Social Gaming, and Addiction

CM Comment: The power of social gaming at work.

December 4, 2009: summarized from Gamasutra -- Facebook bragged to the public this week that Farmville, a farming sim game hosted on their site, is now more popular than Twitter, with over 26 million daily users and in excess of 69 million monthly users to its name.

Farmville's popularity is impressive on a few levels--more people are playing it than World of Warcraft, than ever bought a Wii, and a look at my own Farmville friends list indicates it's seducing players to the joys of gaming who would never even pick up a video game under normal circumstances.

Granted, Farmville exists with a very different business model than most video games: you don't pay by the month to play it, you don't even shell out a one-time payment to play: you play for free, and then the game tries to sell you in-game perks and a chance to skip the grind to unlock all of the game's content by spending money rather than time.

It exists in a social rather than solitary space, while it's not an explicit pyramid scheme like some online games such as mybrute that rely on referrals, Farmville locks you out of some content unless you have enough friends playing Farmville with you, and having friends in your network playing Farmville is a reliable source of coins, experience, and gifts, the main resources of the game.

Farmville leverages the social aspects of Facebook very effectively: every time you so much as sneeze in Farmville, a message pops up and asks you if you would like to share with your friends how much fun you're having sneezing and and encourage them to come sneeze in Farmville with you.

The game is also more than happy to bribe players for participating in its viral spread: cute lonely animals will show up on your farm periodically and as a player you face a dilemma in sentencing them to virtual abandonment and death unless you post on your Facebook wall that you need one of your friends to start playing Farmville and "adopt" the adorable little self-promoter.

The genius in how Farmville has succeed in getting so many people addicted comes down to how it handles commitments on a player's time: every time you play Farmville and plant a crop, you're making a commitment to come back during a 12 hour window or so to harvest your crop, or else you forfeit your investment.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/66vD3d