Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, January 20, 2021

I’ve been looking for some higher-res images or video from this daydream/dream bubble television commercial that’s currently promoting New York Lottery’s Mega Millions game:

But if they’re out there, I can’t find them. So I’m stuck with the grainy YouTubed clip above.

Of which I’ll instruct you to watch closely at the 15 second mark, when you might make out, in the background, what looks like a dream-bubbling gorilla, carrying a briefcase as he steps into the subway.

Even within the context of a fanciful commercial set to the lazy strains of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Daydream”, it’s an odd bit of sensory input. I have to admit that, as annoying as the ad has gotten through repeated viewings, I pay special attention to it just to reconfirm the presence of the monkey.

Just to prove that I’m not imagining this little advertising Easter egg, here’s the backstory:

The commercial, now appearing on television stations in New York State, is created by the longtime agency for the Lottery, DDB Worldwide in New York, part of the Omnicom Group. Here is a response to the question from Pat Sloan, a DDB spokeswoman.

“First of all, it’s wonderful that people are paying such close attention to our Lottery commercials,” Ms. Sloan says in an e-mail message.

“While we always seek to promote our games, we are always striving for maximum entertainment value since we are well aware that New Yorkers can be a tough crowd and are apt to see our spots a number of times,” she adds.

“Arcane touches and surprises such as the gorilla with the briefcase become an added bonus for people such as the reader,” Ms. Sloan says, “who was astute enough to notice it, most likely on a second or third viewing of the spot.”

So it’s a sly tactic to counter the rampant overuse of the same spots for the same campaign. More cost-effective than actually producing multiple ads, I guess.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/20/2008 11:07:07 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., New Yorkin'
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Illuminating results from the world of pixels and air-guitars: The latest versions of “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” are proving to be effective cross-sell channels for digital music, with the two games selling a combined 7.5 million tracks in only two months via Web-connected gaming consoles:

By comparison, it took wireless operator Sprint four months to sell 1 million songs on its over-the-air full-song download service. While new digital music services competing with iTunes and free peer-to-peer services have struggled to convince music fans to pay $1 for a single, downloadable tracks for games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero are flying off the digital shelves.

“With such a low installation base, we didn’t think that there’d be 2 million songs sold in eight weeks [for “Rock Band” alone],” MTVN Music Group/Logo/Films division President Van Toffler said. “We live in a rough time around music where our audience struggles to pay $20 for a CD but don’t hesitate to pay $50 for a game. The notion to pay 99 cents or $1.99 to have a song and repeatedly play with it apparently isn’t a big hurdle.”

I think that’s the key way to position it: If you’re already paid full-price for the main product, then the add-ons seem like peanuts. And more importantly, they enhance the gaming experience for these two titles, and are the only option for expanding the gameplay.

That’s also where the limited impact shows through. As I understand it, these songs are for use only while playing “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band”, or at most, while using an Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 as a media player. You can’t burn those songs onto a CD or load them into your iPod. Sales are sales, but this falls well short of representing a complete way of selling music.

That said, it does provide a template for packaging music in a way that makes purchases more palatable. In a way, digital music services push songs in a sort of vacuum — what can you really do with them that you can’t do with an mp3 found via P2P? But present the purchase at a point of sale for a related product/service, where it’s perceived as an added benefit, and there are possibilities.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/20/2008 08:23:46 PM
Category: Business, Pop Culture, Videogames
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Somehow, I don’t think that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” vision included using his name and image as the theme for a club party.

But I guess a three-day weekend represents a prime opportunity for late-night partying, regardless of the intended solemnity of the holiday. In this case, it’s tonight at Aura, in the heart of the Flatiron district. A place I’ll have to check out — just not tonight, thanks.

I’m only hoping that the MLK thematics begin and end with the promotional material. I’m thinking “I Have A Dream” 2-for-1 shooters would be a tipping point in bad taste.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/20/2008 01:35:22 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Society
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