Tag Archives: facebook

Activision Viral Video Outed

Activision, Inc.
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This sort of thing just tickles me: A video was posted to YouTube containing a (pretty obviously fake) news report showing a failed assassination attempt on a Russian scientist. While obviously an attempt at a “viral” video, it was not immediately clear who was behind the scenes.

Well, if they were hoping to remain hidden they’ve failed.  What I love is how one dogged blogger found them:

I attempted to discover who is hosting the site, but all I was able to uncover was that it is hosted by mediatemple (great hosting service, but this tells me nothing). I then did several searches for content from the site: MIR 12, Nikolai  Demichev, etc and was once again unable to turn up anything.

I moved on to MIR 12’s twitter account, and finally got somewhere. The first twitter followers were all from LA. After a few minutes looking at their profiles, and doing a few linkedin, and facebook searches, I realized that the followers were comprised of employees of the LA office of ad agency DDB, and viral video seeding company Feed Co. A quick look at DDB’s site reveals Activision as a client – the most likely client to approve this type of work. Also, Feed Co has collaborated with Activision in the past, and worked on the recent Bike Hero viral, which I covered in an earlier post.

It all lead very cleanly right back to Activision, who is hoping this viral campaign will build buzz for their upcoming game.  The question is whether or not knowing who is behind the video matters in terms of marketing potential.

Oh, here’s the video:

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Facebook Suspends Whopper Sacrifice after 250,000 De-Friended

A hamburger with a sesame seed roll.
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Looks like a whole lot of people think a Whopper is worth more than 10 friends.  Since Burger King introduced the Whopper Sacrifice application on Facebook, which gets you a coupon for a free whopper if you de-friend 10 people from your profile, almost 250,00 have found themselves dropped for a burger.

Now, Facebook has suspended the application.  They say it is temporary and due a violation of certain privacy terms but it seems to me that they just weren’t very pleased to have so many people de-friended.

This raises the more important question – if 25,000 people are willing to drop 10 friends for a burger what would it take for someone to drop Facebook altogether?  What if Ford offered you a car if you canceled your Facebook account completely?

On a side-note, “de-friended” is a pretty terrible Web 2.0 word…

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I Love Scene Kid LOVE

Quick thanks to Tilzy.tv for turning me onto “Scene Kid LOVE” a dead-on satire of the Facebook generation with a brilliant combination of love and snark.

This series is racking up an impressive 300,000+ views/episode and holds those numbers steady over time.  The writing and acting is fantastic and reminds me in some ways of the UK’s “Absolutely Fabulous” but I can’t say they are actually similar.

Anyhow, it is a fantastic example of speaking to your audience and not trying to reach the lowest-common-denominator.  This is where webseries really shine. (see: The Guild)

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Top 5 My Media Musings for Tuesday

Cinema 4 at HOYTS, Forest Hill Shopping Centre.

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Every day I probably scan a few thousand bits of information via email, RSS, surfing, chatting and even the occasional tweet.  Here are the top five things that caught my eye:

1) MGM putting up movies on YouTube – This is really only big news because YouTube is the biggest provider of video on the web.  I like the point made by TechDirt:

“You don’t see movie studios today looking to do exclusive deals with one chain of movie theater to distribute their movies. No, the idea is to get the movie seen in as many places as possible to make it as convenient as possible for whoever to watch it. The same should be true of studios who realize that they want their movies available for free online.”

2) Project Playlist vs. Labels – Project Playlist is another music site hoping to help people discover new music and are in the news because they just hired Owen Van Natta (formerly #2 at a little site called Facebook).  Question is whether or not they can survive on ad revenue and whether their linking to music is yet another form of music copyright violations.  As the NYT points out:

“The record labels have indeed proven themselves quite willing to settle lawsuits and license their catalogs to up-and-coming Web sites, so long as the sites pay a nine-figure upfront fee, a penny or so for every song played, and often a big chunk of stock as well.”

And we wonder why the music business is suffering…

3) OceanSpray to Replace Charlie Brown – It is becoming more and more common for brands to fully sponsor shows so I guess OceanSpray’s upcoming ABCFamily special “Cranberry Christmas” shouldn’t be so upsetting…but it is. Via MediaPost:

The story is about an antagonist, Cyrus Grape, who won’t let kids ice skate over the local cranberry bog near his home. The hero, a young girl, saves Christmas Day for the children by reclaiming their favorite ice skating spot and discovering the land’s rightful owner.”

Yeah, that’s much more in the Christmas spirit than some red-nosed reindeer.

4) Bond Breaks Free – The weirdly named “Quantum of Solace” has been released first in the UK meaning the larger US market has to wait to see the newer, darker, James Bond, unless they know how to use BitTorrent:

“…despite searching the bags of paying customers, monitoring movie audiences with Bond-style night vision goggles and proffering misinformation, the industry has failed to stop the movie leaking to the Internet.”

Gotta wonder how much people are willing to put up with after paying $12 for a ticket and another $10 for soda and popcorn – Would you rather be treated like a criminal at the theater or actually just be one from the comfort of your couch?

5) Women are Pirates, Too – I love looking at the top “pirated” TV shows downloaded via BitTorrent.  Not only is it constantly surprising to see “Prison Break” at the top of the list (who watches this show?) but I am also fascinated that both “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy” are always in the top 10.  I doubt lots of men are downloading Housewives and that means women are very much in the pirate game.

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Off-Topic Awesomeness – Hamlet, the Facebook Edition

Hamlet (2000 film)

Thanks to the folks over at McSweeny‘s for creating one of the greatest adaptations yet of the bard’s great work.  Behold this tiny snippet from HAMLET – The Facebook Edition:
“Hamlet added England to the Places I’ve Been application.

The queen is worried about Ophelia.

Ophelia loves flowers. Flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers. Oh, look, a river.

Ophelia joined the group Maidens Who Don’t Float.

Laertes wonders what the hell happened while he was gone. ”

Now that is funny.

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Scrabble Scrapped for WordScraper

El S...Image via Wikipedia

I just love how utterly and completely Hasbro has failed in their battle with Scrabbulous, the hugely popular Srabble knock-off that recently got booted off of Facebook by Hasbro.

Not only did Hasbro’s own Scrabble app crash and get hacked but now the people behind Scrabbulous have released a slightly less direct clone called WordScraper.

“Wordscraper had about 80,000 daily users on Facebook as of Sunday night and the Web site Scrabulous.com had thousands of players online on Sunday.

Hasbro’s official version of Scrabble on Facebook, meanwhile, has registered about 91,000 registered users, while a version from Mattel, which owns the rights to Scrabble outside of North America, has less than 15,000.

Unlike Scrabulous, which exactly mimics a Scrabble board, Wordscraper lets players pick a board size and put high-scoring spaces wherever they like — meaning that they can, if they choose, create an exact replica of a Scrabble board.”  (via)


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Scrabble Fumbles Bingo Opportunity

The board of the deciding game in the World Sc...

Just as I suspected, Scrabble was in no way prepared to handle the fallout caused by their forced shut down of popular clone Scrabulous:

“We’ll be back up shortly,” an apologetic error message read. “We’re working on some tech problems and Scrabble will be ready to play as soon as possible!” The game is slated to exit the beta phase in the middle of next month, and some (my colleague Rafe Needleman among them) initially found it to be a better-quality game experience than Scrabulous had been.

But in the wake of a server crash, Facebook users weren’t too pleased, as the message wall for the Scrabble application revealed. “Wow, does this suck,” one Facebook user wrote. “Why can’t you guys work out a licensing deal with the Scrabulous boys? Now we’re back to square one and have to go through all of your debugging process.” (via)

Not only did they fail to provide Scrabulous users with a valid alternative, they increased the level of overall dislike already aimed their way.

Nice work, Hasbro.

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