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Madden 10

Madden 11 Launch Campaign vs. Madden 10

Last year I covered the Madden 10 advertising blitz that took over ESPN and YouTube's homepage with slick, expanding units that interacted with the pages' content. I have always been impressed by ad units that disrupt a page's live content - but ultimately the units are built individually for each site and thus don't scale.... so it's no wonder that the Madden 11 advertising blitz is different: Madden 10 YouTube Takeover

Unsurprisingly, the Madden 11 ad units are quite different. In addition to being contained within their pixel real estate... the big focus is Facebook and social sharing.

Here is the primary unit on ESPN.com's homepage. The unit itself contracts after several seconds of viewership. Most interestingly, is the order of the ad's three call to action buttons:

1. Like This (on Facebook) 2. Buy it Now 3. Get the Demo

By getting the demo, you are able to view HD video content within the ad unit:

Notice that the Madden 11 campaign extended beyond ESPN's homepage... or even their NFL section. Here is a more aggressive takeover of the MLB Scores section. There is more Madden content above the fold than actual content:

And lastly, when you visit the Madden Facebook page - the focus again is to drive "Likes". Drew Brees points towards the Like button and the 'Get Started' button begins with driving Facebook fans:

Only Three of Top 20 Grossing iPhone Apps Have In-App Purchases

I am very surprised to see that just three of the top twenty grossing iPhone Apps include in-app purchases:

- The Sims 3 (#5) - Madden NFL 2010 (#8) - Tap Tap Revenge (#13) It wasn't long ago that free iPhone Apps were moving into the top grossing ranks due to in-application micro purchases. But just a couple months later, it appears as though there has been a shift in developer philosophy and/or consumer behavior... the latter of which I find difficult to believe (thanks to Zynga, Facebook and so on). It could very well be that iPhone development and mobile behavior make it difficult to fully capitalize upon in-app purchases. Of course, it could also be that the economics clearly suggest that it is in the developer's best interest to capture the revenue up front. In-app purchases obviously require significant and ongoing engagement - so this could also suggest that the lifecycle of an iPhone game is shorter than anticipated.

Electronic Arts has Seven of iPhone's Top 25 Grossing iPhone Apps

It's no surprise that big brands represent a significant share of the iPhone's top grossing iPhone applications. Here is another proof point: Electronc Arts itself represents seven of the iPhone's twenty-five top grossing applications... each of which is priced similarly ($4.99 is the common price-point) and carries a big brand name (either a gaming staple like Madden / The Sims or a board-game staple like Battleship / Scrabble):

#3. Battleship ($2.99) #13. Dragon's Lair ($4.99) #14. Tetris ($4.99) #18. The Sims 3 ($6.99) #20. Need for Speed ($4.99) #22. Madden NFL 10 ($6.99) #23. Scrabble ($4.99)

EA iPhone Apps

Madden 10 Launch Brings Interactive Ads to ESPN & YouTube

For video game and sports enthuiasts, Madden Football's release day is the equivalent of a major Hollywood blockbuster. In Madden 2009's first month, it did $133.5 million in retail sales. Today, Madden 10 arrives and the presales estimates were ahead of the 2009 numbers and many major retailers opened their doors at midnight last night.

Madden is taking to the ESPN.com and YouTube's homepage to promote the game's launch. Both units feature players from the Pittsburgh Steelers attacking the screen (the EA Sports Logo and Youtube videos respectively).

The Youtube unit expands and disrupts the homepage (much like the iPhone and Nintendo Wii ads of past). The ESPN unit does not expand - but it does take over with an extra-tall header (with video) and the square side unit to match.

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