Today in Social

I’ve linked to several different stories about social media advertising today. Twitter is beefing up its staff devoted to advertising, and touting results and return customers. Measurement companies are making fantastic claims about mobile app audience size. Meanwhile, Microsoft appears to be shutting down Massive, its acquisition that placed advertising inside of video games. Delivering big audiences is one thing, but social media companies will have to prove their ad inventory delivers the engagement and pass-along that are unique to the medium, and provide benchmarks and comparisons with other media.

Obama Campaigning on Xbox 360?

This is either a brilliant Photoshop job, some canny viral political campaigning, or both: An Xbox 360 gamer playing Burnout Paradise spotted an Obama campaign billboard with a “Paid for by Obama for President” caption as he whizzed by in his turbocharged sports car, Game Politics is reporting. The site was unable to confirm the ad’s authenticity with Burnout publisher Electronic Arts; I’ve left messages with both EA and the Obama campaign and will update this post if we get confirmation either way.

Its veracity aside, the virtual billboard raises an interesting question: Are political ads in video games a good idea? Read More about Obama Campaigning on Xbox 360?

Google’s Game-Focused Advertising Initiative To Launch This Month

[qi:002] Google’s (GOOG) long-rumored, game-focused advertising initiative is going to come to life later this month, according to sources familiar with the Mountain View, Calif-based company’s plans. Google, which bought in-gaming advertising company, AdScape, earlier this year for about $23 million, will unveil its game-focused strategy in two steps, these sources tell me.
First, Google will launch a beta test with Redwood City, Calif.-based casual gaming startup Bunchball Games. As part of this test, Google is going to embed 15-second, “video-type” pre-roll and mid-roll ads in some of Bunchball’s casual games. Bunchball in recent months has started offering casual games as Facebook apps. Google is likely to announce this sometime next week, I’m told. Both Bunchball and Google declined to comment.
The second step in Google’s game-focused advertising strategy will take place in December, when the company will, I’m told, will offer an ad-supported version of the PC game Psychonauts. This will be a downloadable game and will have 30-second pre- and mid-roll video ads, according to my sources.
Read More about Google’s Game-Focused Advertising Initiative To Launch This Month