Tag Archive | "halloween"

27 Million Pinterest Users Pinned Halloween Costumes (Infographic)

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Holiday shopping has become a long tail affair for consumers and businesses alike. With the influence of Black Friday spreading into earlier weeks and months, marketers are starting their campaigns sooner and sooner. During this creep, it’s possible that marketers may be forgetting about the truly creepiest holiday of all: Halloween.

An infographic from influencer marketing platform The Shelf examined just how much consumers love Halloween.

When it comes to spending, consumers will likely spend $8.4 billion this year, which is a $1.5 billion increase compared to last year. All-in-all, 171 million Americans are expected to take part in Halloween this year, spending $3.1 billion on costumes, $2.5 billion on candy and $2.4 billion on seasonal decorations.

During consumers’ lengthy planning and shopping sessions, they use social media at every turn. The infographic showed 72 percent of smartphone shoppers research items before purchasing them, 40 percent of Pinterest users plan Halloween months in advance and 40 percent of people said they made a purchase online after seeing a product used by influencers on Vine, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

There are many ways to engage consumers during their Halloween-planning process, from direct product placements to influencer campaigns, to retargeting efforts and incorporating user-generated content into your Halloween strategy. For more detailed tips and advice for strengthening your Halloween campaign, view the infographic below.


Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Pokemon Go: Earn Extra Candy in Halloween Event

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Niantic previewed a Halloween event coming to Pokemon Go, which will allow players to earn extra Pokemon Candy and catch more “spooky” Pokemon than normal for a limited time.

Specifically, from Oct. 26 to Nov. 1, the game will have “increased global encounters” of Drowzee, Gastly, Gengar, Golbat, Haunter, Hypno and Zubat.

In addition, for every Pokemon players capture during this event (including non-spooky Pokemon), they will receive six Pokemon Candy instead of three. On top of that, when players transfer Pokemon to the professor during this event, they will receive two Pokemon Candy instead of one.

Finally, as players train their Buddy Pokemon during this Halloween event, they will receive four Pokemon Candy instead of one.

In a statement, Tatsuo Nomura, senior product manager at Niantic, commented:

It’s been incredible watching people explore their neighborhoods and catch wild Pokemon all summer. We would like to trick-or-treat in our own special way by giving trainers the chance to catch more Pokemon and earn extra candy this Halloween.

Pokemon Go is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Pokémon Go’s first ever in-game event ups the candy count for Halloween

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The Sims FreePlay Receives Halloween Update for 2016

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EA Mobile released a new update for The Sims FreePlay on mobile. The update includes Halloween content, free clothing items and more.

With this update, Sim Town has been taken over by tiny monsters, and users can complete the Night of the Candy Monsters quest. It’s worth noting that this quest was also a part of the Halloween 2015 update.

Elsewhere, users can now have their Sims participate in the Woodworking hobby to earn new Country Homestead furniture, including kitchen island benches.

In addition, the game has been updated with new clothing items, which are available for free.

Two additional updates were mentioned in the game’s patch notes on iOS:

  • Enjoy a brand-new feature for Professions at the Sim Town Market, with events and prizes-a-plenty.
  • Keep calm and have another go at the Day Spa Community Event—it’s back due to popular demand.

The Sims FreePlay is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, the Amazon Appstore and the Windows Store.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

This DIY Stranger Things light kit will make you forget about Barb

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Fallout Shelter Updated With Theme Workshop, Room Themes

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Bethesda released the latest update for Fallout Shelter on mobile. The update allows users to craft visual themes for their Vault rooms based on the four factions in Fallout 4.

Specifically, users can now build the Theme Workshop in their Vaults for 3,200 Caps. Users will be able to find theme recipe fragments on quests, and as they collect the required recipe fragments, they’ll be able to create and apply themes to fully merged and upgraded Diners and Living Quarters.

Fallout Shelter Room Themes

The game’s first four themes are based on the four different factions in Fallout 4: the Minutemen, the Railroad, the Brotherhood of Steel and the Institute. Once themes have been applied to rooms, players can turn the themes off and on at any time.

In addition to room themes, this update brings new quests to the game, including upcoming holiday quests.

This update also includes new stickers for iOS 10 users to use in iMessage, including a set of Halloween-themed stickers.

Fallout Shelter Halloween

Finally, later this month, the game will be updated with Halloween-themed outfits, which players will be able to win as quest rewards. Users will also be able to unlock “spooky” room themes, which will be available for a limited time.

Fallout Shelter is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

EA Mobile Previews Next SimCity BuildIt Updates

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EA Mobile revealed two updates that are coming to SimCity BuildIt this month.

First, on Oct. 5, the game will be updated with the new Contest of Mayors Seasons. With this update, Mayors who have reached at least rank three in the Contest of Mayors feature will be able to complete new challenges in an eight-week season that will feature a series of “exclusive, limited-time-only rewards.” These rewards will include an Old Town Stronghold, a City Fortress, a Citadel of Contess and more.

The Contest of Mayors feature was added to the game earlier this year. It allows users to compete against other players in order to climb the in-game leaderboard and earn prizes.

In addition, EA Mobile announced that the game’s Halloween update will launch Oct. 16. The update will include six themed decorations and buildings including a Graveyard, a Scary Carousel and a Mansion of Horror.

SimCity BuildIt is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store, Google Playand the Amazon Appstore.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Artix Entertainment Prepares to Launch AdventureQuest 3D on Mobile

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Artix Entertainment announced that AdventureQuest 3D will launch in open beta in October. The massively multiplayer online role-playing game will allow users to complete quests, explore dungeons and more on iOS, Android, PC and Mac.

AdventureQuest 3D is officially a reboot of the original AdventureQuest, a 2-D flash role-playing game released in 2002. In AdventureQuest 3D, users will be able to complete quests in a variety of areas within the world, such as the home city of Battleon, a spooky forest and so on. While the game will have an overall storyline to experience, each main environment will also have its own storyline to complete.

AdventureQuest 3D

As users explore environments, they’ll be able to battle enemies to complete quests and gather loot. Players will be able to select a starting class for their characters, and each class will have special abilities that players will be able to activate during battles. In addition, users will able to change their class when they’re outside of battle.

When the open beta launches next month, users will be able to choose from three different classes: Warrior, Mage and Rogue. However, in a recent interview with SocialTimes, Adam Bohn, president at Artix Entertainment, said the goal was to eventually offer more than 60 different classes for players to unlock and choose from.

As users progress, their characters will level up and become stronger. Users will also be able to collect or purchase better gear and weapons for their heroes over time.

While users will be able to complete dungeons and quests on their own, they’ll also be able to team up with their friends and complete dungeons together. The game will support cross-platform multiplayer, so users will be able to play with their friends even if they’re on different platforms.

To help users easily find their friends, the game will include a Summon system, which will allow users to instantly teleport to their friends’ locations by typing generated summon words. Specifically, a user will be able to share a summon word with their friends, and when these friends type the word, they will instantly teleport to the original user’s location.

Finally, Bohn said the team plans to add content updates to the game every week after launch. For instance, an upcoming Halloween event called Mogloween will allow users to complete a special Mogloween Haunted House dungeon.

AdventureQuest 3D Halloween

In a statement to SocialTimes, Bohn commented:

We are equal parts excited and terrified to release AdventureQuest 3D’s open beta on Steam, Apple and Android devices so everyone can play this October!

While Adventure Quest 3D will be free to download and play, users have the option to purchase a special Guardian Package for $19.99, or a Dragon Guardian Package for $49.99. Both packages include access to the Guardian character class and a special Guardian Tower location, among other items. The Dragon Guardian Package also includes extra items, like an exclusive dragon armor set.

Readers: Will you try AdventureQuest 3D?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Marc Benioff is returning to Disrupt SF

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Marc Benioff at Disrupt

Putting Online Video Advertising In Context

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By 2018, eMarketer projects that cord-cutters and “cord-nevers” will represent around 20 percent of the U.S. population, while more than 53 percent of all television viewers will also access programming online.

Digital video viewers, more broadly defined as those consuming any form of online video content, will be near 70 percent of the total U.S. population, and video ad spending will top $13 billion.

For companies looking to produce online video as part of a broader campaign, it’s important to understand that online video and video that is online are not the same, even if they’re intended to accomplish similar objectives.

Content and context are everything

Context is extremely important–where and how video ads are being viewed, whether the audience is captive and what the consumer is expected to do next are all points that need to be considered.

It is important to understand that the term “online video” encompasses more than the obvious. Take Home Depot, which has a strategy for meeting consumers in the micro-moment that relies heavily on the production of detailed, multipart “how-to” videos that cover everything from installing a ceiling fan to tiling a fireplace.

Home improvement lends itself particularly well to online video. Lowe’s much loved #fixinsix series leveraged Vine to distribute creative mini-tutorials on things like cleaning dirty grill grates and stripping wallpaper

And online Halloween giant BuyCostumes.com strategically connected with Halloween DIYers to ask them to post tutorials for improving basic haunted house props.

Online video is content placed within a particular context to achieve a specific end. This goes for paid advertisements, owned media and earned coverage.

Any first step, then, should involve the identification of key goals and the definition of your target audience. Since we are focused on video advertising here, we should start with a brief overview of what we mean when we say “the view,” which is often misused because all views are not created equal.

The view and captive audiences

Broadly, a “view” means that someone has seen your video, or at least some part of your video. They are tallied similar to their living room counterparts, based on the assumption that your message and a particular audience have occupied the same space at the same time.

Views are not impressions. An impression simply means that your content has been delivered to an individual, and does not mean that he or she actually watched it.

And what counts as a view varies by platform.

Facebook, which auto-plays any video appearing before the user, defines “the view” as three seconds of completed video. On mobile devices, only 50 percent of this video screen has to be visible for the video to start and the view to count.

Snapchat, which is much less cluttered but no less prone to casual browsing, counts any loaded video content as a full “view.” As Kurt Wagner pointed out in Re/code, this means that even a half-second of exposure is tallied for the total view count.

YouTube’s in-stream ads are non-skippable pre-roll videos up to 15 seconds long. A view is counted if the user does not navigate away from the page before the video ends, or if they interact with the ad (e.g. clicks on calls to action or companion banners).

YouTube’s TrueView ad format, on the other hand, is skippable after five seconds, and advertisers are only charged for completed views or up to 30 seconds–whichever comes first.

It’s equally important to understand that the viewer will likely fall into one of two broad camps: captive (e.g., beholden to view five or more seconds of ad content prior to their video), or opted-in (e.g., having chosen to view an advertisement beyond the point where it can be skipped).

These are broad strokes, but useful ones. Our goal, ideally, would be to engage captive viewers and make ads worth opting into. On Facebook or Snapchat, we have to make fast work of this. We know that visitors are likely browsing and, therefore, we need arresting content. Online attention is likely to be divided and, unlike television, the screen is not dedicated to one thing.

How to view (and use) online video more efficiently

It’s best to think of online video advertising as an awareness tool. In other words, don’t expect immediate action. This doesn’t mean that you ignore it, but it does mean that you should not automatically assume that clicks equal success. Video’s natural habitat is the upper funnel and its core strengths are awareness and interest.

At R2C Group, we talk about the “assisted conversion,” referring to video’s ability to help build a foundation that may support a conversion further down the funnel.

While unlikely partners, video ads are not necessarily divorced from action. A strong, well-timed offer may be delivered via video and–with the right creative, CTA and landing page–leveraged to influence immediate behavior. It’s important, as it is with any effort, to clearly define success and set appropriate expectations.

There are three essential steps for optimizing video against behavior:

  1. Pick your target audience and put the ad in market: This seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many companies forget to start somewhere.
  2. Look for the behavior(s): This may be an action you’ve already defined (and you should define an action if your goal is to drive it) or something else–full video views, for example. Having a target audience allows you to work with these behaviors, whether or not they’re the behaviors you expected when you put your ad in market.
  3. Optimize for the desired behavior(s): This may include a specific audience, refining a message or creative or adjusting a CTA. If you’re in a meeting with an agency strategizing an online video campaign and the words “target,” “test,” or “optimize” don’t come up, you’re not getting your money’s worth.

Most of the time, as stated above, direct action may be hard to come by. That doesn’t mean you can’t evaluate success. Other key performance indicators might include:

  • Ad recall: How many people remember seeing your ad (usually tracked as a percentage increase).
  • Brand awareness: How many people report having heard of your brand before (usually tracked as a percentage increase).
  • Brand interest: How many people report interest in your brand (usually tracked as a percentage increase).
  • View rate: How many people view your entire spot (can be tracked as a raw number or percentage increase).
  • Further engagement: Clicking through to the site is certainly an action, but it may not be the desired conversion action. Do people who click through to your site view additional content, subscribe to a newsletter or become a fan of your Facebook page?

More than anything, be ready and willing to embrace test and learn as you go. While we know that online video is a valuable method of communications, and that there are good (and bad) examples of its usage, there is no one path to take. There are only good tools to take with you.

Mark Yesayian is the managing director of R2C Group.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

October 2016
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