Monthly Archives: September 2010

Fanscape Loves: GetGlue

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Those who are social media savvy are no strangers to the  geo-location applications such as Foursquare, Loopt, and Gowalla. These check-in applications are turning into the new digital loyalty card. If you’re able to check-in to any place you go, what about anything you watch? A new social application, GetGlue, aims at bringing the idea of checking-in to the entertainment world, giving users a way to comment, share, rate, and discover new music, TV shows, movies, and even books. And we’re loving it.

GetGlue is in many ways very similar to the other check-in applications we’re already so familiar with. You begin by either linking your Facebook account online at the GetGlue website, or downloading the application to you phone (iPhone, Android, and iPad compatible). Once logged on, you are asked to begin rating your favorite movies, books, and music to help build your GetGlue profile. Users then can begin checking-in when they listen to music, watch TV, or go to the movies, all updating their profile in real time. Their check-ins and ratings help the GetGlue site tailor suggestions based on the users individual tastes in an attempt to help you find “your next favorite thing”.  Badges are rewarded much like other check-in applications, and points are occurred based on frequency of use.

But what does this kind of service mean for the entertainment industry? Why would networks like MSNBC and HBO — for example — sign up and partner with a service like this? The answer is simple; the same reason that restaurants and retail stores are partnering up with Foursquare, Loopt, and Gowalla – to help build consumer loyalty.

GetGlue seems to have two main objectives. On the user’s side, it helps connect people with similar interests, build up profiles based around individual tastes, and suggest new music, shows, movies, and books to its users based on viewing and listening history. On the industry side, it helps to create show loyalty, as well as encourage live tune-in.

In addition, entertainment companies such as Fox are able to tap into the GetGlue database and effectively market new shows to users based on their viewing history, check-ins, and Likes. People who repetitively check-in to different shows are much different than people who “Like” a show on a social network, providing television networks with the ability to see who the die hard fans are, and who just watches a show once in a while. Recommendations are then handed out according to the users views and the entertainment companies get to target a niche market directly.

GetGlue has been gaining popularity since its original conception earlier this year, and has been rightfully dubbed the “Foursquare of Entertainment”. With more television networks and entertainment companies jumping on board, it’s no doubt that the entertainment check-in is one of the more innovative social media concepts within the last few months.

Fanscape Loves: Gaming

Written by: Digitally Approved
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With the growing popularity of social networking and social gaming, it’s no wonder companies from all across the board are jumping at a chance to get a piece of the action.

Zynga, hailed as the number one social gaming company, reports worth of up to $4.5 billion, with sales of virtual goods expected to exceed $2 billion by the year 2012. They are not alone in realizing the profit behind the social gaming madness, with competitors Electronic Arts and Playdom following them close behind.

But with the sudden boom of social games online and the vast selection of mobile games for those users constantly on the go, what games are really worth playing, and what games could you do without? We here at Fanscape thought we might be able to help you narrow down which of the games are worth playing.

NFL Superstars (Facebook) Free

If you’re as crazy about the NFL as we are here at Fanscape, then this game is the game for you. Madden NFL Superstars, one of the most highly anticipated social networking games to date, allows you to coach your very own team to the winning title.

The game allows users to create your own franchise, draft your own players, build up your stadium and increase your fanbase. Keep your players fit by scheduling practice sessions, and try to get them into the Super Bowl!

Ultimate Fan Game (Facebook) Free

Just launched is another awesome football-related game. Ultimate Fan is a game on Facebook, focused entirely around football fans themselves.

Ultimate Fan isn’t a football simulator or a fantasy league based game. Ultimate Fan allows fans to be fans, letting them root for their favorite team, predict game scores, and allows them to even host a virtual tailgating party with other fans from all over the country.

Plants vs. Zombies (Online/Mac/iPod/iPhone/iPad) $2.99

The love affair with this game started the minute it was downloaded.

The game Plants vs. Zombies follows a simple concept – you must protect your house from an oncoming zombie horde, using plants you plant in the ground as weapons. Each plant has a different ability, and you utilize sunshine you collect to plant more plants. As the levels get harder, you gain more plants, and more difficult situations come your way. Starting off during the day, the sunshine is more abundant, but as the levels progress, you begin to play at night, in the fog, around a pool, and eventually on the roof. Be warned though, this game is highly addictive!

Fruit Ninja (iPhone/iTouch/iPad) $.99

Slashing its way on to our favorites list is a game that will keep you occupied for days. Fruit Ninja, released by developer Halfbrick Studios, is a must have for anyone looking for a fun way to kill some time.

For only .99 cents, Fruit Ninja is a definite bargain. Players of the game slash various tasty looking 3D fruits with their fingers, trying to see how many they can slash to bits without slashing the occasional bomb. Hit multiple fruits in one slice for extra combo points! Be careful though, miss three fruits and that’s game over.

Bonsai Blast (Facebook/iPhone/iTouch/Android) Free on Facebook, $.99 as a mobile app

For those of you looking for a more classic approach to games, take a look at Bonsai Blast. This award winning puzzle game will have you addicted for hours!

The concept of the game is simple, yet takes some skill as the levels progress. Players shoot marbles to match three or more in a row which causes a chain reaction. The game features 90 different levels, the ability to swap between multiple shooters, and many other features.

Wrath (BlackBerry) $2.99

The game Wrath for the BlackBerry takes the player back to the days of retro arcade shooters.

Guide your fighters ship through space using the phone’s built in accelerometer, and take out any enemy’s that come your way. Fly over power-ups to wield more powerful weapons to ultimately take control of space!

Skies of Glory: Battle of Britain (iPhone/Android) $4.99

Although this game’s price tag is slightly higher than most, it’s well worth it. This game started out on the iPhone and became amazingly popular. Just recently, Skies of Glory has been ported over to the Android line of smartphones, and now allows iOS and Droid users to take to the skies and fight one another in real-time – something that is considered a rare feature with mobile gaming.

Must.Eat.Birds (iPhone/iTouch) $.99

Must.Eat.Birds is by far one of the most ridiculous games I’ve ever played on a mobile device. Players take turns launching what the game calls “Nomsters” at greedy birds parachuting down to eat the delicious looking cakes and sweets you’ve laid out for your picnic.

The game includes 9 different stages as well as four different challenge stages, Must.Eat.Bird will keep you entertained and occupied and is well worth the price! Check out an online version of the game here!

Ka-Glom (BlackBerry) Free

A good puzzle game worthy of downloading for your BlackBerry device is called Ka-Glom. Originally developed for BlackBerry back in 2006, Ka-Glom has remained one of the more popular games to date.

Ka-Glom is played much like Tetris. If you group four of the shapes of on color together, they are destroyed and you are awarded points.

FarmVille (Facebook/iPhone) Free

When talking about online social gaming, perhaps no game has or will ever achieve the amount of social gaming success that Zynga’s FarmVille has gotten in just one single year. Zynga is leader in online social game creation, having created of many similar titles such as PetVille, FrontierVille, YoVille, and FishVille. After is release in June of 2009, the FarmVille fan page boasts a whopping 24 million fans, and reports over 60 million active users.

The principles of the game are simple; run a farm, plant and grow crops, sell the crops, and make money to buy more farming stuff. The game, which originally started out online only but recently released an application for the iPhone, is Zynga’s most successful game to date. Seamlessly integrating into the player’s Facebook data streams, it allows users to swap, trade items, and even help each other out.

MafiaWars (Facebook/Online/iPhone) Free

Another really popular game from Zynga is Mafia Wars.Players in this social game take to the mean streets of New York City, Cuba, Moscow, Bangkok, Paris, London, South Africa, Mumbai, and more recently Las Vegas, to battle it out – Mafia style!

A highly addictive game that is seamlessly integrated with your facebook interface, players battle for control of cities by doing jobs, earning money, gaining respect, and ultimately building a large Mafia Empire.

These are some of our current faves. Feel free to share yours.

Branded Entertainment – The Fanscape Q&A

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Fanscape Q&A is a new feature, where CEO Larry Weintraub talks shop with top industry professionals. In our inaugural edition, Larry speaks with Funny Or Die’s, Mitch Galbraith and Davie Brown Entertainment’s, Marc Gilbar.

What is your definition of the term: branded entertainment?

Marc Gilbar: Branded entertainment encompasses any piece of content (scripted or unscripted, comedy or drama, series or one-off) that is made with a brand’s personality, positioning and marketing objectives in mind. Branded entertainment has the brand’s essence baked into the core of the content idea.

Mitch Gilbraith: For Funny Or Die branded entertainment means multi-faceted advertising campaigns built around custom-created videos.  When done right, the resulting videos aren’t commercials, they are funny videos – made by the same team that makes FOD’s original celebrity classics – that happen to contain a brand message.  The videos are supported by comprehensive distribution, promotion, and advertising via Funny or Die, Funny or Die channels (e.g. YouTube), and Funny or Die social media outlets (e.g. our 1.6M user Twitter following).

What is the difference between product placement, product integration and branded entertainment?

Mitch Gilbraith: We think of product placement as inserting a product/brand into a video, or series of videos, without integration into the story line.  This isn’t the approach we take.  We aim to deeply integrate the product / brand, often starting as far back in the process as concept creation.  For instance, we’ve built branded entertainment campaigns around several videos in Zach Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns series.  Even though Between Two Ferns was a pre-existing concept, you can see the products were made a highly integrated centerpiece of the videos – not just the proverbial soda can on the table between the two actors.

Marc Gilbar: Product placement places a product on screen whereas product integration integrates a product into the story. Branded entertainment, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily have to include either. The amount of branding and product placement/integration will depend on the idea. Sometimes the branding will be minimal because the content speaks so closely to the brand personality and messaging that the partnership itself is valuable enough.

Please tell us a little bit about how FOD has gone about integrating products into your original comedy videos and what sets you apart from others in your space.

Mitch Gilbraith: We built our first BE campaign for the Major League Baseball Player Association back in early 2008.  Since then we executed dozens of successful campaigns for a bunch of top brands like HBO, Mini, Starter, Paramount, Anheuser Busch, Frito-Lay, Axe, Sony Universal, Quiznos, Pepsi, and many more.  We feel our success comes from a unique combination of assets:  top-notch and highly cost effective in-house Writing & production, a world-class dedicated sales team to walk the brand/agency through the process every step of the way, strong connections to celebrity talent, powerful distribution, and demonstrated expertise in making successful online comedy videos.  If you want to make comedic branded entertainment for the web Funny or Die should be at the top of your list.

From concept to production to uploading the finished product, what is the typical length of time of the whole process?

Marc Gilbar: It always depends on the idea, but assuming we already have a relatively simple concept nailed down the process usually takes 2-3 weeks. Technological advancement in filmmaking has raised the production values while lowering production costs, so everything seems to move faster these days.

What are some of your biggest challenges?

Mitch Gilbraith: At a high level, educating clients about branded entertainment is our biggest challenge.  branded entertainment is still new to most brands and many want to apply what they know about making TV commercials.  Most big brands and their agencies have lots of experience making commercials and very little experience making viral videos and there are some important differences.  Our biggest successes have come when the brand and their agencies allow us to lead the creative process within basic parameters they’ve set.  It can feel like a loss of control compared to making a commercial, but it enables our creative team to do what they do best – make funny videos for the web.

Marc Gilbar: The single biggest challenge is getting brands to experiment on an emerging platform. We don’t have the same measurement infrastructure that TV/Radio/Print media has, so it can be harder to track results. However, by creating original content, brands can tell more engaging narratives, reach their target more effectively and have the ability to become a viral phenomenon.

What do you see as the future of Web content?

Mitch Gilbraith: We think it won’t be too long and there really won’t be such a thing as “web content.”  Instead there will just be content and the web will facilitate its delivery to whatever screen (laptop, mobile, TV) is most convenient to the user.  There will likely be some interesting twists and turns between then and now, but in the meantime, we’re staying focused on producing the best comedy possible whether that be for funnyordie.com, one of our TV shows (Funny or Die Presents on HBO, John Benjamin Has a Van coming to Comedy Central, and others in the works), or feature-films (we are in pre-production on our first).

Marc Gilbar: I believe that it’s our understanding of “the Web” that will change. Content is content no matter how it’s delivered to you or where you watch it. Television and movie studios make content and sell advertising around it, we make content and integrate the brands into the story. Ultimately, what matters to consumers is that the content is entertaining.

Meet Fanscape’s Manager of Social Strategy

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Andrew Germer is Fanscape’s Manager of Social Media Strategy. In this recently created position, Andrew oversees the company’s team of graphic designers, large-scale custom developers, programmers, technology partners and vendors. Andrew is central to Fanscape’s strategy department, providing recommendations for ways clients can bolster their social presence and improve the customer-centric experience.

Andrew received his MBA from Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business. When not maintaining his (Foursquare) Mayoral status at Fanscape, Andrew can be found rooting for his beloved Angels, mastering the art of Rock Band or catching his favorite dance music artists when they come to town.

Fanscape: We know you love Foursquare, but what are some of your other favorite social applications or widgets?

Andrew: It’s not a new app, but the MLB At Bat app was recently updated with a “ballpark check-in” feature that allows you to view stats, scores, and other highlights from all of the games that you attend live.  It’s a huge upgrade over saving my ticket stubs and looking up box scores.  I also love WorldCard, which scans business cards and turns them into contacts.

Fanscape: What are your favorite websites?

Andrew: In the social world of course I love Mashable and the newly revamped Digg.  I also grab news from ReadWriteWeb and for my Angels baseball news, I go to my favorite blog Halos Heaven.

Fanscape: Share with us one of your must-see pieces of branded entertainment?

Andrew: I think it’s pretty amazing what Trivial Pursuit did with YouTube.  Combining a rich flash-based trivia game and pitting users against viral celebrities is a unique way to brand themselves and appeal to a very wide audience.

Tops In Branded Content

Written by: Digitally Approved
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From Axe and Old Spice to Gucci and State Farm, Fanscape has compiled some of the best in branded entertainment for your enjoyment.

Funny Or Die’s “Between Two Ferns” – Speed Stick

One of the many funny series and videos on FOD is Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns”. In the most recent edition, Galifianakis (as twin brother Seth) speaks uncomfortably with Sean Penn and endorses the product, Speed Stick. With almost 1.5 million people having watched this particular episode in less than two weeks, FOD and Speed Stick effectively pushed the boundaries of product placement.

Axe Detailer – Clean Your Balls

Launched at the beginning of the year, Unilever’s “Axe Detailer – “Clean Your Balls” campaign portrays an infomercial spoof, where Axe demonstrates the importance of keeping your “equipment” clean and showing off the features of the Axe Detailer tool. More than 3.5 million views of this unique online video have been racked up to date.

Gucci – Gucci Guilty

This premier brand has entered the online content market in a big way by teaming up with “Sin City” director, Frank Miller, to create a short film around the launch of its new woman’s fragrance, “Gucci Guilty”.  A trailer for the short was release at the end of August and the worldwide premier was aired during the MTV VMA’s this past weekend.

Old Spice – Old Spice Your Man

The resurgence of Old Spice is one of the best (re)branding stories of 2010. It all started with the commercial heard around the world on Super Bowl Sunday, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” inspired the ad world by creating over 200 individual online response videos aimed at influential bloggers and twitterers. In one day these videos were viewed more than 4 million times – well over 50 million times to date. Even more incredible, Old Spice claims to have seen sales grow 106% during the month of the online campaign.

Gillette – Gillette UNCUT


Gillette partnered with acclaimed rock photographer Danny Clinch to create a series of short films that take an intimate look at what goes through the minds of some of the world’s biggest artists before they take the stage. UNCUT is an introspective video backstage pass that features Will.I.Am, Tim McGraw, Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 and The All-American Rejects.

State Farm Insurance – OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass Video

State Farm teamed up with viral video darlings OK Go to sponsor their Rube Goldberg-inspired music video of “This Too Shall Pass. The video made its worldwide premier on Ustream that kicked off with a live discussion with band members and within the first week had been watched more than 8 million times. Close to 17 million have seen the video to date.

Ikea – Easy To Assemble

In this web series, Hollywood actress, Illeana Douglas is followed as she decides to quit her acting career and work for Ikea in Burbank, CA. The series garnered more than 5 million views and was so popular, it was picked up for a second season.

Proctor & Gamble – “Buppies” and “My Black Is Beautiful”

P&G co-produced two web series for BET to draw attention to the company’s cache of beauty products for African American women. “Buppies” was a scripted drama that featured sponsorship and product integration from CoverGirl. “My Black Is Beautiful” showcased products such as Pantene, CoverGirl and Olay in makeover-type settings. In addition to attracting millions of views, P&G saw product sales increases of 14% for Pantene, 4% for CoverGirl and 3% for Olay.

Edge Shave Gel – “Anti-Irritation Zone”

Edge Shave Gel recently launched a branding initiative with Funny Or Die that features comedian John Caparulo.  The campaign plays off of everyday irritations, and explains how Edge Gel prevents irritation during shaving. In addition to viewing and voting for your favorite “irritation” video, visitors are invited to upload their own videos about things that irritate them for a chance at weekly cash prizes and a grand prize trip to Las Vegas.

Top Job Tips and Success Stories

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If you’re a student, your summer is just about over. It’s time to head back to school and get back into your normal school-time routine. For some, this includes an internship. A few of Fanscape‘s new interns talk about the importance of internships and tips for those of you who are looking for one.

If you’ve already graduated and are looking to start your career or are even looking to make a career change, you probably already know there are a number of online job postings sites you can visit. However, if you’re looking for top-notch positions and tips from real people who have been where you are, you need to visit Monster.com and check out the site’s new community, Success Stories. Get tips from real job seekers, hear about their success in landing a great job using Monster.com and share your own stories. Want to know what to wear to an interview? Want to hear how military veterans use monster.com to find a career post-military service? Want to hear how employers are using Monster.com to find the right candidates? Success Stories has it all.

As our interns said, it’s all about finding the position that’s right for you.