Archive for June, 2012

NIKE Football + USC’s Camp Kiffin

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Camp KiffinPhoto Credit: On Site Retail

The first three days of Nike Football + USC’s Camp Kiffin proved a great success. The Kicking Camp, OL/DL Camp and Skills Camp brought in numerous young athletes over the weekend – all looking to leave their mark amongst the impressive roster of USC Coaches .  The Athlete Village included a digital photo booth, product trialing, retail and  DJ booth. Athletes and parents were very excited to see Nike retail onsite and with product at such a good price point, retail became the highlight of the weekend.

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June 13th, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Sharing is Caring

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At the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced integration of Facebook and Twitter into their mobile and desktop operating systems.
Whether it is an fascinating article, a photo of friends, or where you are on a Friday night, Apple is making it easier to share with a click of a button and the swipe of your finger. Did I mention that Siri can help you out?
In addition to full system integration of Facebook and Twitter, Apple also announced that the “Like” button will be making its debut on the App and iTunes Store. Users will also see which friends have liked a particular app, song, movie, or TV show – bringing social influence to one of the most popular digital retailers.
Just when you thought no one would find out that you purchased Justin Bieber’s new song, now your whole social graph knows…

Facebook and Twitter iOSPhoto Credit: Apple.com

At the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced integration of Facebook and Twitter into their mobile and desktop operating systems.

Whether it is an interesting website, a photo of friends, or where you are on a Friday night, Apple is making it easier to share with a click of a button and the swipe of your finger. Did I mention Siri is there to assist!

In addition to full system integration of Facebook and Twitter, Apple also announced that the “Like” button will be making its debut on the App and iTunes Store. Users will also see which friends have liked a particular app, song, movie, or TV show – bringing social influence to one of the most popular digital retailers.

Just when you thought no one would find out that you purchased Justin Bieber’s new song, now your whole social graph knows…

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June 12th, 2012 at 7:00 pm

MKTG @ E3

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E3Photo Credit: nintendolife.com

June means many things to many people; end of the school year and beginning of summer freedom, less work and more vacation, longer days and warmer nights.  But when it comes to gamers, June only means one thing… E3.

From June 5th – June 7th, downtown Los Angeles transformed into a gaming mecca where industry insiders and professionals went to experience the future of interactive entertainment.  A reported 45,700 attendees made it out to the convention this year in search of the next big thing, and you bet MKTG INC was there to check it out.

Gaming giants Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony each made some big announcements during their pre-convention conference.  Nintendo followed up on their 2011 E3 announcement of Wii U, the successor console to the hugely popular Wii that incorporates a touch pad controller.  The conference unveiled a 23 title software line-up and visits from top video game publishers and developers.  A separate online conference was held to discuss the latest and greatest in store for the Nintendo 3DS platform coming this year including New Super Mario Bros. 2Scribblenauts Unlimited, and the highly anticipated Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.

Everyone expected Microsoft to unleash updates around Halo, their biggest and most successful franchise, but the big shock came when they announced the next big thing on the XBOX horizon…SmartGlass.  SmartGlass will essentially be a collection of apps that can be added to PCs, tablets and smart phones, enabling these devices to be used as a second screen and controller for the XBOX 360.  Additional updates surrounding Kinect and other gaming entertainment features on the XBOX 360 were also revealed during the conference.

Sony had a strong focus on software with the announcement of Beyond: Two Souls, The Last of Us, and Wonderbook: Book of Spells (a Harry Potter inspired game that turns the Move controller into a magic wand).  Far Cry 3, God of War: Ascension, and Assassin’s Creed III were also among the top titles featured in the press conference.  The PS Vita was highlighted by the announcement of plans to make use of its front and back touch screens with the PlayStation 3 console.

Once the clock hit noon on Tuesday, the show floor was flooded with people eager to experience the hardware and software firsthand.  Game developers Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Activision showcased large booths with stunning game trailers and what seemed like endless lines test their new products.  One of the most anticipated software titles of the conference was Watch Dogs, which allowed appointment-only demos of the game in a private room.

Celebs like Danica Patrick and Snoop Dogg were among convention attendees as they promoted new software titles and strolled the convention floor in search of their next favorite game.  There was even an area dedicated to the video game history showcasing the evolution of gaming (Atari anyone?).

Overall it was a successful year at the Electronic Entertainment Expo even though mobile gaming was less prevalent on the show floor as some would hope.  Needless to say, we’ll be back again next year!

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June 11th, 2012 at 9:18 pm

A new way to meet people (minus the awkwardness)

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GrouperPhoto Credit: joingrouper.com

It’s no wonder why people are so reluctant to find true love through online dating websites like match.com and eHarmony; they ask too many questions, take hours to complete, and only give you the chance to interact with one person at a time.

The online dating game is now changing thanks to sites like Grouper and Circl.es where hopeful romantics are matched based on their Facebook profiles and then set-up on a group date along with their pals (genius, right?).  A close friend of mine recently gave Grouper a whirl and while there are a lot of good things she had to say, some of the situations can be… uncomfortable.  Here’s her take:

The Good: Since you are with a group, there’s a lot less pressure for being locked in a conversation with one person the entire time. That being said, the date is much more relaxed and a lot less serious (hello moral support!), so even if the connection isn’t there, you can still have a fun night out with your friends.

The Bad: Since there are 3 guys and 3 girls, there’s a good chance that you and your friend(s) take a liking to the same person.  In this case, just hope no beer muscles or cat claws come out in a fit a jealousy.

Overall, the good outweighs the bad in this situation, so if you are “single and ready to mingle,” definitely give this new way of dating a shot–no pressure!  After all, there are always more fish in the sea…

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

June 8th, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Introducing Airtime: A Chatroulette with Pants

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Photo Credit: Airtime.com

Photo Credit: Airtime.com

If only Chatroulette had a mandatory clothing policy…

Thanks to former Napster founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning that dream is now a reality.  Courtesy of a product-launch yesterday complete with Snoop Dogg, Olivia Munn, Jimmy Fallon, and more (it’s amazing what having Justin Timberlake play you in a movie can do for your street-cred), the duo introduced Airtime, a peer-to-peer- video conferencing service that integrates with Facebook and possesses far tighter restrictions on inappropriate user behavior.

With the service drawing on learnings from existing video sharing sites like Chatroulette, Skype, and even Google+, the comparisons to these platforms are inevitable.  Parker and Fanning cite Airtime’s ability to provide connection to Facebook friends as one of the distinguishing factors from previous platforms, while pointing to numerous flaws with Chatroulette from a lack of restrictions (to prevent inappropriate behavior), to a lack of foundation for interaction as items that have supposedly been corrected with this new interface.

While it’s tempting to give in to the allure of a sexy-new product launch with A-list-ish celebs and two entrepreneurs with major name recognition, there are a few reasons to take a wait-and-see approach.  First of all being that yesterday’s launch was plagued by a number of glitches and a system crash. The second and arguably more important question relates to whether or not the site truly fills a need for the consumer.

Parker and Fanning point to the inappropriate behavior found on Chatroulette as the main reason for it’s decline, and while that’s certainly a legitimate deterrent, I would argue that the novelty would have worn off regardless.

The internet thrives because of anonymity.  From smarmy Youtube commenters to soul-bearing Tumblr sites, people open themselves up to content sharing on the Internet because there are no real-life consequences or judgments as a result of their actions.  That being the case, video chatting serves as a relatively intimate experience for the standard internet user, and one that is typically reserved for connecting with close friends of family.  While Parker and Fanning may boast about the connection to Facebook and the inappropriate behavior it may curb, it also serves to create accountability in a world where there is none.  Also, one quick look at my profile and I realize that I wouldn’t want to video chat with 75% of my so-called friends (no offense guys).  On the opposite end of the spectrum, Parker’s serendipitous goal to bring strangers together  a la Chatroulette still seems like something better suited for real world interaction than for the anonymous Internet crowd.

After all, perhaps there’s a reason that Chatroulette degraded into a community of pants-less deviants; all of the normal people were off meeting people the old fashioned way (drinking).

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

June 6th, 2012 at 8:29 pm

From Sea to Shining LEDs

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bay_bridge_villareal_hires-300-660x371Photo Credit: Wired.com

San Francisco recently celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. While the 20 minute fireworks display awed thousands who watched, the show was too quick to leave a lasting impression.

If it is up to Leo Villareal, an artist known for his light installations and displays at Burning Man, the Golden Gate’s counterpart, the Bay Bridge, might see something more permanent in the form of programmable LED lights. Inspired by water, traffic, and local weather patterns, the LED lights will cover the bridge’s wires, but be invisible to drivers on the bridge.

And while you might imagine that a light installation of this size would need a large server room to operate, the whole light installation would be controlled by a computer the size of a Mac Mini!

The project is still looking to raise $1.8 million in funding and has setup a Causes page for donations. Find out more about the project at BayLights.org and a recent article in Wired.

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June 5th, 2012 at 5:51 pm