Monday, November 01, 2010

Media and Entertainment Peaks Consumers’ Interest, but not for Long

Media and entertainment are a big part of our lives. It is often the one thing many of us have in common. Music, sports, technology and television contribute to entertainment within our lives. And for the most part, gaming is entertainment. The popularity of next generation consoles, including Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii, has enhanced the entertainment value through increased social interaction. Millions of gamers load up to play their favorite games every day. In doing so, players engage in live chat or converse over microphones. The growing popularity of games, like the Halo saga, is fueling this need for increased social interaction.

Halo: Reach has received many accolades for its outstanding gameplay and graphics. Halo: Reach is considered a profound and influential game. Mashable.com found the game most impressive. In fact, Mashable.com reported Halo: Reach gaming statistics made available through Bungie.net. Perhaps the most interesting statistic pertains to the fact that gamers exhausted more than 2,000 years in live game sessions within the first week of Halo: Reach being launched. On top of that, some sources claimed Halo: Reach will be the game of the decade.

Understanding the impact of Halo: Reach requires a further understanding about media and entertainment in general. How much buzz do recent released games receive compared to other entertainment options, especially during an event or at launch? Furthermore, does Halo: Reach even receive more online buzz than other major games released over the past year? A quick search using NM Incite’s BuzzMetrics tool offers some insights. The graph below depicts online buzz two weeks before and after a particular event occurred or product launched.
















As we see here, Super Bowl XL IV receives the most online buzz prior to the main event, Super Bowl Sunday on February 7, 2010. Online buzz for the iPad built up prior to launch and extended about a week before dwindling down. In terms of games, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ll receives more pre and post launch buzz than Halo: Reach. The pie graph below shows the trended data above from a different perspective. Similar to the graph above, it looks at the percentage of discussion that each entertainment option receives within two weeks of its event or launch date.
















Here we can see that the iPad receives the most buzz around its official launch, which occurred on April 3, 2010. Halo: Reach receives more buzz than Madden 2011, but it only receives about a third of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ll.

Halo: Reach is a great game in its own rights. It offers a compelling storyline, excellent gameplay and wonderful graphics. Despite its hype, it is clear that Halo: Reach does not receive as much online buzz as other entertainment options, including other games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ll. It appears to be much more of a middle-of-the-pack entertainment option, receiving buzz levels closer to that of Justin Bieber’s recent album released, My World 2.0. While the longevity of the Halo saga illustrates its popularity among gamers, online buzz for Halo: Reach does not “reach” as high as many may have thought.

Similar to other media and entertainment options, Halo: Reach buzz begins to rise and lower within a week of launch. This begs a few questions. What can marketers do to help create and sustain buzz during pre and post launch phases?

Creating buzz during pre-launch is somewhat easier than post-launch; this is due to the consumers’ anticipation of an upcoming event or product launch. Unfortunately, few products or events take advantage of this scenario. Online buzz for products and events in the trend graph above does not begin to rise noticeably until a week or so from launch. Marketers can help create increase pre-launch buzz by participating in industry-related events (e.g., Consumer Electronics Show), releasing interesting product information at specific intervals, inviting consumers to participate in live demo sessions, creating microsites, identifying opinion leaders and getting them on-board early, taking pre-orders, and turning a product launch into an event.

Sustaining buzz post-launch requires a different set of techniques. Some of the better known approaches include making additional content available at specific intervals post-launch, creating online communities and participating in social media discussion.

Media and entertainment are an important part of consumers’ lives. The growing number of entertainment options means it will be harder for marketers to get their message through the clutter. Implementing a plan to foster and nurture buzz before and after launch should be a key component of any entertainment marketing strategy. Such efforts could help sustain buzz and the product life cycle beyond anticipated timeframes.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great read! You might want to follow up on this topic?!?

MarketRMan said...

I can follow-up. Is there anything in particular you want to see?