News Overview of the Week 04.04.08

By April 11, 2008General, Industry News

trevor mcdonald gives the news

It’s been another busy week for most people – us included – and, for those who may have missed things, here’s our take on the more interesting news from the last several days.

With each week more and more news comes in of web-based initiatives, link ups and ad campaigns – the future appears to have arrived. Here are a couple of the most recent and interesting campaigns coming up.

News International is investigating a strategy for driving young readers onto its mobile site with the use of quick response (QR) codes being mooted. QR codes, which are already widely used by printed media in Japan (where the concept originates), look like a barcode and contain information that can only be decoded by the camera on a mobile phone. These codes will give one-touch access to information when the consumer takes a picture of them with their camera phone. A QR code placed at the end of an article could link to a video or more background info.

Whilst no time frame is yet firmly in place News Digital’s head of mobile strategy is quoted as suggesting it could happen within “18 months to two years”.

The ramifications for advertisers with this new technology will be great and we’re expecting a very close eye to be kept on developments.

Keeping with the technological aspects of advertising Codemasters is promoting its latest computer game by setting up a Facebook site in the name of a man who almost killed Winston Churchill in 1931. The viral campaign offers to enter anyone who chooses to become friends with NY cab driver Mario Contasino into a competition to win a PS3 and a copy of the new game – Turning Point: Fall of Liberty.

The launch of the game will also be supported by a print campaign in the national and computer press.

We think this may be the first time Facebook has been used this way…if anyone knows otherwise get in touch! However, with many advertisers and marketers watching you can bet it won’t be the last if it proves successful.

Dennis publishing has this week announced that they are extending their Monkey Magazine web brand into a mobile TV channel. The entirely web-based publication was launched in November 2006 and has recently recorded its third consecutive increase in figures (according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations) since its launch. It now reaches over 270,000 users per week and has decided this is the time to offer free mobile content as well as made-for-mobile features. The launch, with media company Player X, is in conjunction with a tie-in sponsorship deal with 20th Century Fox’s Meet The Spartans.

With most of the print media reporting drops in sales figures this comes as interesting news…and, whilst we’re not going to announce the death of print just yet this provides an interesting juxtaposition.

Finally, another first in the offing – BskyB has launched a multimillion pound campaign to support its Sky One Easter holiday release of Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic.

The campaign includes TV, press, online and outdoor elements as well as the re-release of Pratchett’s synonymous book (the first instalment in the now phenomenally successful Discworld series).

What makes the campaign so interesting is that the book is being re-issued with the Sky advertising creative on the cover and will be sold exclusively through the Borders Books chain. It is thought that this is the first time a multichannel programme has featured on a book jacket in this way…and that’s what caught our eye.

Borders will also be running in-store marketing and Sky has further partnerships with Amazon, MSN, Yahoo! and AOL (there’s that web thing again). National press advertising will run in the largest dailies simultaneously. Furthermore Sky is also launching a Bluetooth zone at Victoria Station, which will give mobile users the opportunity to download video clips, ringtones and screensavers related to the launch. This campaign has been planned by The Red Brick Road company and we’re watch with interest to see how it fares.

Anyway, that’s enough for this week – back again soon!

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