Monthly Archives: June 2010

Are Banner Ads Dead?

Written by: Digitally Approved
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MSBNC.com‘s new site design featuring fewer banner ads prompted MarketingVox to pose the question, Are banner Ads Dead? Fanscape CEO, Larry Weintraub, answered this question and was featured in the MarketingVox story.


Weintraub points out that banner ads and other graphic-based ads won’t soon go away, but they should become more appealing by featuring content that pertains to readers’ needs based upon where they live and what other websites they’ve recently visited.

Click HERE to read more

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Zynga and the success of social gaming

Written by: Digitally Approved
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With Zynga growing in popularity and VC’s lining up to help fund this social gaming giant, Fanscape CEO, Larry Weintraub spoke with Internet Evolution about the company’s success and the future of social gaming.

An excerpt:

First, a fast recap of what Zynga sells, which are multi-player games such as MafiaWars, primarily on Facebook. Lately, Facebook has expressed some annoyance with Zynga’s games. They definitely aren’t core to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for the platform.

Further, Facebook has muscled in on Zynga’s revenues by insisting Zynga players spend Facebook credits on such necessities as virtual cows (for FarmVille) or virtual bullets (for MafiaWars). In the process, Facebook has demanded 30 percent of Zynga’s action on such purchases. Ouch.

So why the VC love — at the very moment when the primary distribution vehicle is showing powerful signs of annoyance?

Click HERE to read the full story.

Social Media Jobs – Fanscape has ’em

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Looking for a great job in Social Media Marketing or know someone who is? Fanscape is always on the look out for the best and brightest to join our team. Please see the list of available opportunities and brief descriptions below.

Account Director

The Account Director serves as the primary client contact for existing accounts. He/she will work with clients to determine business needs and objectives. The Account Director is responsible for all client communications and compliance on client deliverables. He/she is responsible for fostering and strengthening all client relationships for existing accounts as well as serving as counsel to the client on best practices in Digital Marketing and Social Media.

Manager, Social Media Marketing

Fanscape is looking to fill both full-time and freelance social media marketing positions to implement effective digital marketing tactics for our Fortune 500 brands including website and blogger outreach, coordinating online contests and sweepstakes, communicating with consumers in social media networks, managing a brand’s social media properties/communities, monitoring online conversations, developing relationships with websites and online influencers, creating and distributing online content, and assisting with overall social media strategy development and tactical plans.

Office Manager / Executive Assistant

Fanscape requires an extremely detail oriented Office Manager who will also serve as the Executive Assistant for our small executive team. The ideal candidate needs to be incredibly organized and personable. You will be responsible for answering the company phones, managing executive calendars, making travel reservations, ordering office supplies and be our go to person for all corporate office needs.

Interns

Fanscape is also looking for a few good interns in the Business Development and Marketing/Communications departments.

Business Development Intern – Research & Proposal

The Business Development intern will assist the Business Development team with various pitching, presentation and proposal needs including potential client research, strategizing, and reviewing proposals to help secure new business and leads for Fanscape. You will play a vital role in assisting the Business Development Team to secure new business while running as smoothly and as organized as possible.

Business Development Intern – Creative Strategy

The Business Development intern (creative and strategy) will assist the Business Development team with brainstorming and conceptualizing client campaigns, proposals, presentations, marketing & promotion strategies as well as general research, administrative tasks, organization and keeping abreast of industry dynamics, trends, and opportunities. Previous coursework (preferably a major) in marketing or advertising is required.

Marketing /Communications Intern

As an Interns you will assist our communications team with projects and ongoing programs that include knowledge documents, byline articles, company newsletter and communications strategy.  Your duties will also include various administrative tasks such as internet research, target list creation, and database management.

Check out all of Fanscape’s available positions and how to apply right HERE.

E3 2010 – Loved It

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Fanscape loves games and absolutely loves E3. The annual gaming expo is the promise land for gamers and technofiles looking to check out upcoming releases, the newest platforms and to just plain geek-out.  I checked in with all the Fanscapers that attended E3 to see what they enjoyed the most from this year’s gaming extravaganza.

Liza "checking in" to her first E3

Cool was a big word coming out of the mouths of Fanscapers at this year’s E3 and topping that list was Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360. The sports games looked extra cool and it’s pretty amazing everything that can be done without a controller. We are very excited for this to hit retail! Sony’s Move also got a lot of Fanscape attention with special note to the some of the games that are specific to Move coming out in September, especially Sorcery.

Liza testing out Sony's Move

3D Gaming – Nintendo 3DS with no glasses needed is going to be a pretty hot item and KillZone 3 in 3D is amazing.

Just Dance was fun to watch. Didn’t actually demo this, as we didn’t want our mad dancing skills on public display just yet. We still can’t wait for this one, as it looks like loads of fun.

LittleBigPlanet2 made some nice character upgrades and now has the ability to have four players on one screen. Very cool!

Terry Dry giving Tron a big thumbs up

Plenty of nostalgia was at this year’s E3 as well: Epic Micky, Tron, Pac Man and Golden Eye 007 to name a few. Fanscape President, Terry Dry commented that the Tron game has visuals 100 times that of the original film and the arcade game. He was also impressed with “Battle Royal” as part of the 30th anniversary of Pac Man – loving that now four players can play at once with the goal of destroying the other three players. No more chasing ghosts, you chase your fellow players. The first look at Golden Eye 007 was exciting for all at the Nintendo presentation with Fanscaper Eric overheard saying, “My Childhood,” when he saw it.

A few of the Fanscapers also visited the Target Lounge to take a little break from the action and because it was a WiFi Hotspot. Thanks Target!

Eric with Destructoid

Eric was excited to have played NBA Jam 2010 with Fanscape CEO, Larry and President Terry Dry. Sorry, no pictures of this epic event, as Eric was playing and not able to capture the moment. You’ll just have to take our word for it that it happened.

Until next time.

To see more of our E3 pictures, click HERE.

Gaming Goes Social and Social Goes Gaming

Written by: Digitally Approved
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E3, the world’s largest video game conference is upon us. We are very excited to be attending and it prompted us to take a look at the way the gaming world has progressed in the social media space.

Numerous game publishers, console manufacturers, and retailers, such as GameStop are taking to social media to further engage their avid fans. Since last year, Facebook has become the primary destination for social gamers, and a videogame, Modern Warfare 2, became the biggest entertainment launch in history, thanks in part to social media and an increasingly engaged consumer.  And as we move into the second half of 2010, we are seeing more opportunities to continue the conversation.

Facebook, MySpace and other social sites have opened their platforms to publishers like Zynga (e.g. Farmville, Mafia Wars and the most recent FrontierVille), Playfish (e.g. Hotel City and Pet Society) and Playdom (e.g Social City and Sorority Life), allowing for games to be built that leverage the networks’ existing user bases. In less than a year’s time, those three publishers alone have amassed more than 300 million monthly active users. Even with Facebook’s recent changes in notifications and requests that eliminated a significant amount of the free advertising these apps have enjoyed, social gaming applications are still a force to be reckoned with.

Console gaming has incorporated social network integration at a slightly slower pace, but is making strides. As mentioned in our September 2009 article about the socialization of gaming, nearly all handhelds and consoles introduced since 2003 include a social element. It was only recently that Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 integrated with Facebook and as of right now the experiences are focused mostly on publishing virtual accomplishments and purchases. Most games with an online component do, however, include a built-in chat room or forum to connect players of the same title. Few games have attempted to make a true tie-in to social media; Sony’s LittleBigPlanet 2 aims to be an exception.

Dubbing itself the “platform for games” (rather than a “platform game”), Sony’s LittleBigPlanet 2 lets users create levels and other game content that can be shared directly with friends via Flickr and YouTube. This allows players to tag, rate and try out user generated content, all while enjoying the benefits of viral sharing, crowdsourcing and mass content organization. This integration also makes it much easier for users to share content via their other social profiles on sites like Facebook and Twitter, to promote their creations and elicit feedback. The users of the first iteration of LittleBigPlanet created more than 2 million custom levels, further adding to the great promise of social integration into the next version.

At the moment, third-party gaming sites like Playfire.com offer the best solution for gamers who seek a social network that is platform agnostic. At Playfire, users can import data from their existing gaming profiles to connect with each other and schedule online games, meet similar gamers, build a group website, quiz each other and discuss tactics. It can be expected that such features will be built into console titles in the near future, but for now, external solutions will have to suffice.

With the impending release of Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 (formerly Project Natal) and Sony’s PS3 Move motion technologies, both companies are making its hardware more personal and interactive. Other hot trends such as 3DTV will also have a profound effect on the way games are designed and played, but don’t expect to see social media be a key feature for right away.

Taking a step away from the platform and games themselves; retailers are taking to social media to build excitement around title releases. GameStop, the country’s biggest gaming retailer, has been keeping its followers up to date on the latest deals and promotions via Twitter and recently launched its Facebook page with announcements, title information, and community discussions. Publishers are also taking to the medium to further connect with its fans and to build awareness surrounding titles and developments. EA, Rockstar Games, Square Enix and many, many more have jumped into social media to connect with their core fans and to further brand its products – indicating that it is only a matter of time before social is fully integrated into the gaming experience.

With a community that welcomes the interaction, gamers and social media are a natural fit. As game developers, console manufacturers and retailers move toward a more social experience, the time for meaningful engagement is here and we can’t wait for what’s next.