Content Watch

January 21st, 2013

Target’s Mobile Snack Bowl, Digital Magazines, ‘Parks and Rec’ Busy

The Strategist picks the day’s most relevant and interesting stories about the world of content from around the web. Here’s what you should be reading today:

Target’s Mobile Game for the Super Bowl

Instead of spending money on a Superbowl ad, Target has chosen to put out a mobile game, according to Mashable.

It’s called Snack Bowl, and it can be played on iPhones, Androids, and mobile web browsers.

The rules of the game, writes Lauren Indvik, are as follows: “You’re awarded points for tossing a carousel of branded snacks, including DiGiorno pizza and Coke Zero, to your jersey-wearing guests, who are inexplicably running across your living room one by one. Your guests move faster and faster, making the game increasingly difficult. Fail to feed three of your guests and it’s game over.”

Magazines’ Foray into Digital

Keach Hagey of the Wall Street Street Journal writes about magazines and their leap into the digital space. 

Magazines are charging sometimes double or more than double print subscriptions prices for digital editions. Hearst, for example, charges $19.99 a year for Cosmo on the iPad, and only $10 for the print subscription. The industry wants to rid of deep discount subscriptions and raise revenue through the digital space because of the decline in ad dollars.

According to Conde Naste President Bob Sauerberg, print subscribers who also signed up for digital magazine copies renewed at a 25% higher rate than subscribers who didn’t.

“Parks and Recreation” Engaging with Fans Online

According to Lisa Lacy of ClickZ, while “Parks and Recreation” is in the off-season, fans can go online and connect with content from it in the meantime.

One campaign is for Rent-A-Swag, the made-up company of one of the characters. It has its own Pinterest page, along with images of the outfits. It also has a Tumblr, Facebook page, photo gallery on NBC.com, and a website.

There are other Pinterest pages created from the show, including Leslie’s Wall of Inspirational Women and Ann’s Boxes Full of Exes. An e-newsletter about the show is sent out, and there is a website for one of the characters that also plays the saxophone.

YouTube Eyes Vevo

According to PaidContent, YouTube might be trying to buy a minority stake in Vevo, the biggest video publisher on the site.

Vevo, which plays music videos, is owned by major record labels and saw nearly 565 million video views in December of 2012. Janko Roettgers says he thinks that since Vevo monetizes its mobile and connected apps, and YouTube doesn’t, the latter company may seek to make money off the former.

Condoleezza Rice Working at CBS

According to the New York Times, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is going to become a regular contributor to CBS News.

The chairman of CBS News, Jeff Fager, along with President David Rhodes, hired Rice. Since former President Bush has been out of office, she has been teaching at Stanford University.

Branded Content on News Platforms

Jeff Sonderman of Poynter writes about what publishers should determine before posting branded content.

He says that the sponsored content must fit in with the editorial standards and be put on the same level as regular content. There must be one person who knows these standards and can either pass on or decide to publish a piece.

The ultimate question is: Would I consider running this content if it wasn’t sponsored? If the answer is yes, great. You’ve found a way to serve your audience, within your core mission, while also creating value for the sponsor. If the answer is no, that’s a sign you may have compromised your normal values because someone paid you to.”

What Kind of Content Works?

Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute writes about studies that have shown how marketers want to create more content, while consumers want less of it. 

Marketers need to understand which channels consumers actually do want to see content on (email newsletters, websites, and Facebook) and that they need that content to be helpful.

Pulizzi says brands must have mission statements in place for their strategies and figure out where customers are hanging out. In addition, marketers must take their “own personal behavior out of the equation before you make any type of content marketing channel decisions.”


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