Google Nexus Tablet - To buy or not to buy?

With the recent rumours surrounding Apple’s iPad mini along with the Kindle Fire HD release in the UK, we thought we would take a quick look at the other main competitor in the mini-tablet market….the Google Nexus.  

Google’s unfortunate crash in the market place, relating largely to drops in banner advertising revenue (read this for an alternative to ineffectual banner ads), means their tablet division has taken on an added importance to the company. The question is, will the Nexus go the way of the HP TouchPad or can it challenge Amazon and Apple for mini-tablet supremacy?

The whole Matmi team have had a play on the tablet, testing Matmi’s latest apps. Tom even went out and bought one for himself the day after he saw Matmi’s. So the following review is based upon our own real world experience with the Nexus tablet.

Usability

Browsing the internet and running apps is as smooth as the hands of the fairy liquid lady, with the quad-core Tegra 3 processor handling the load easily.

The smaller screen size does have some obvious limitations, especially for people like me with eye sight no better than a short sighted bat. However, like most tablets, the zoom function works seamlessly to solve any visual deficiencies. The touchscreen is very responsive (as you’d expect) making it easy to navigate the system or control any app you may be running.

Price vs Quality

At under £200 (£194 for the 16 GB version) you might expect some corners to be cut regarding build quality. This is not the case with the Nexus. It has a nice solid feel to it and the round corners do make a difference when cradled in your hand for hours at a time. The hardware is top notch, displaying no stutters or slow response times running the Android jelly Bean platform.

Get your gaming on!

Games, games and more games. Mobile gaming is massive and an obvious interest to Matmi with the release of Pocket Warwick on the 25th October, along with the upcoming Rollabear and Monster Pinball HD apps. The Nexus tablet has been a joy to play games on. The smaller, hand-held sized device feels just right in your hands, almost akin to holding a PS Vita.

The 7 inch screen is crisp, bright and displays games rich colours extremely well. Tom he has lost many hours at home to gaming on the Nexus with a particular favourite of his recently being Triple town (Jeff: Rollabear looks absolutely stonkingly beautiful on the Nexus).

HTML5 gaming

Yet to really establish a strong foothold in the online gaming world, HTML5 can still cause divisions amongst developers. That being said, we have run our own HTML5 game we did for Nivea through its’ paces on the device along with Tom’s little side project Ricochet. Both ran smoothly with no noticeable lag. Being able to play games within the tablets browser, and full screen them, is a fantastic ability and may yet see HTML5 rise in popularity as a games developing platform.

Summary

In short, we love the Nexus. It’s powerful enough to run even the most resource intensive apps, perfectly sized for lengthy gaming sessions, tears up the internet with smooth browsing, responsive touch screen, great OS in Jelly Bean and just looks so darn pretty.

Would we recommend you buy one? Yes. If only to enjoy Pocket Warwick, Rollabear, Monster Pinball HD and all our other apps in wonderful 7-inch glory.

For more information on what Matmi can do for your digital design needs:

PHONE: 01625 560771

EMAIL: info@matmi.com

Web: http://ww.matmi.com 

Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/Matmi

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/Matmi.



The Evolution of the Flash Advergame

The Evolution of the Flash Advergame from Matmi

A brief run down on the evolution of Flash Advergames from the perspective of Matmi.
It looks into case studies of our past branded Flash games and what a company can expect from them regarding ROI.


PocketWarwick - Warwick Davis in your pocket!

Introducing PocketWarwick. A ‘little’ celebrity that you can nurture, manage and turn into the ‘biggest’ ‘little celebrity on the planet. You’ll need to feed, dress, train and educate him in this unique ‘sim’ game.


PocketWarwick stars real life pocket sized celebrity, Warwick Davis. Real Warwick is the star of Life’s Too Short, Willow, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Leprechaun. Looking after your very own PocketWarwick involves sending him out to film auditions, charity events, personal appearances and many other jobs - with the aim to take over the movie industry one role at a time!

PocketWarwick has the opportunity to star in such movies as Back Splash, Small Runnings, Low Noon and Admission Impossible.

PocketWarwick, a little bit of Hollywood in your pocket!



How To Motivate Customer Engagement With Your Brand

“The Optathlon programme has been a resounding success and has generated millions in revenue for United Airlines.”

Extract from United’s campaign video, February 2011

Matmi is proud to have so many very happy clients – but this was a first. Not the quote so much as the fact that our client (via our American partner, Barrie D’Rozario Murphy) was so happy with the results of this campaign, they made a video about it!

What did we do?

If reading is not your thing, then check out the short video explaining the campaign in a nutshell. 

Still with us?  Good, I’ll continue.

When you’re a global brand, it gets more and more difficult to be bold because there’s more and more at stake.

How refreshing it was then to be approached by United Airlines and the US advertising agency, BD’M.  Not only did they want to use advergames for the first time; they wanted to use five of them in a suite on a number of platforms, and put them at the very heart of a promotional campaign for passenger upgrades.

The three online Flash games in the suite were designed to be viral, driving traffic to the Optathlon website. The website drives traffic to the mobile games, and the mobile games drive traffic back to the Optathlon website – which drives traffic to the….  You get the picture. All points of access educated and entertained the customer, leading to a greater understanding of UA’s flight upgrades.

Matmi’s skills on display

The development work took Matmi from our Flash roots for the online games, into Unity 3D for the development of the mobile phone games.  The mobile games are on Apple’s iPhone platform and on Google’s Android platform for smartphones (which at the time was one of Unity’s first outings on Android). It was a fantastic learning process for us and enabled Matmi to show just what we are capable of.

Not to boast (I’m going to anyway) but I think the number of industry awards the campaign won proved we had achieved something innovative at the time that also resulted in an incredible ROI for the client.

This was two years ago. Developing mobile apps has become second nature to us, as will be seen with the release of 3 apps later this year (including one featuring Warwick ‘Ewok’ Davis).  Not ones to stand still, we continue to push the boundaries in digital advertising – working with companies to create online educational suites, augmented reality apps, face mapping solutions and much much more.

Very fancy but how did the campaign perform?

A stunning success. 

During the first three months of the campaign, over 1 million unique visitors had played the online games and tens of thousands had downloaded the games from the Optathlon suite for mobile.  Forget the fact that they’re free; feedback was great.  5/5 ratings in the AppStore, and great comments in forums and blogs. 85,000 passengers also claimed on-the-spot flight upgrades via the games (oh yes!) and United Airlines almost got an excess baggage charge for the campaign’s positive PR coverage.

And on 15th October 2010, one lucky player won a sweepstake worth $20,000 in United Airlines’ air miles.

But what’s intrigued us is that the Optathlon games suite is still flying high – even without the incentives of free flight upgrades and a $20K sweepstake on offer. The stats are now at over 8 million plays, which means that millions more customers (and potential customers) are learning about United Airlines’ range of flight upgrade options 2 years after the campaign was first launched.

That’s not just a stunning success.  It’s subzero on the cool scale.

Why use branded games in your next campaign?

Let’s return to WHY United Airlines came to us in the first place. The original objective was to break a vicious cycle: passengers didn’t book flight upgrades until they had tried them out – but they didn’t try them out because they didn’t understand them. UA wanted to educate their customers about the upgrades without the individual needing to spend a single penny.

This is where Matmi and our innovative cross-platform branded games came in. Entertainment was the key. Think back to your school days; the majority of people find that the best teachers or the things they still remember are usually the ones that were built upon a foundation of entertainment (whatever form that took). They demanded your attention in a positive manner which increased your engagement with the subject/teacher.

Our suite of games filled that role perfectly, like a digital MC. Pulling in the attention of customers (current and potential) with the games, leading to that all important increase in engagement with the brand followed by a greater understanding of what United Airlines had to offer them. Which lead to the fantastic ROI mentioned in the above video.  

If this stellar campaign and its results still haven’t convinced you that a digital solution is the way forward, take a look at another award winning campaign we developed for the band The Gorillaz.

It’s important to note that it’s not enough to just develop any old game and expect it to reproduce the success of the Optathlon campaign. It first requires an understanding of who your target audience is. What they want, where they go to access it and what motivates their behaviour.

So ask yourself, -how well does your brand know its audience? And more importantly – how well do they know you? I can feel a brief coming on…….

When you are ready to maximise your potential for customer engagement, loyalty, motivate buying behaviours and increase exposure …You know who to call.

For more information on what Matmi can do for your digital design needs:

PHONE: 01625 560771

EMAIL: info@matmi.com

Web: http://ww.matmi.com 

Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/Matmi

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/Matmi.



Why a Branded Game is good for business

Branded gaming has become a part of the digital landscape in the last few years, and it’s an area we here at Matmi understand perfectly. We’ve been creating branded digital games for brands for over a decade, and we know that a well-designed, branded games are one of the most cost effective ways to engage and communicate with customer, old and new. Here’s a few reasons why we think they are ace!

Cost Effective

Have a think about how much a TV ad costs to produce. Not only is there the cost of the ad, the editing, the media buying and all the rest. Whatever way you cut it, it’s going to cost hundreds of thousands to make something special. Then take that cost, divide it by around 20 and you could have a unique, creative, digital solution that actively engages the audience, and will see them actively coming back time and again. 

Take Vimto as an example. We developed a full interactive website which included a range of online games that have been played millions of times, and continue to generate interest over a year after release. Our ‘High Dive’ game has been played over 3.5 million times. That’s 3.5 million people who actively played a Vimto advert.

We don’t know of a TV advert that can raise that kind of awareness.

Positive Engagement

Now let’s think about those 3.5 million players some more. Another huge advantage of branded games is the positive, fluffy feeling they create. You can get millions of people repeatedly playing your game, and having fun. Those 3.5 million plays equates to nearly 250,000 hours of eyeballs on your brand.

What about great ROI?

If we look at all the games Matmi have developed, one similarity sits across them all. They’ve all been developed to not only be great games, but to act as traffic drivers through to our clients websites. And when we’ve never experienced less than 7% click though rate, it’s easy to see that they have all performed well. In fact 7% is the least you could expect. The highest click through rate we’ve seen was a massive 33%! 33% of millions of players means a lot of fresh eyes coming through to what you offer. 

Show me the Money!

A branded game can also generate revenue. Not just in terms of raising brand awareness and pushing a commercial message, it will do that as standard, but actually making customers spend their hard earned £’s and $’s as a by-product of playing a game. Take the award winning Optathlon campaign we developed for United Airlines alongside BD’M. 

We developed 5 online games, and 2 mobile games that went viral around the world, helping to promote UA’s range of travel options. The clever bit was in giving away a range of instant win prizes, ranging from flight discounts to free upgrade options. It was these discounts that encouraged the games millions of players to fly United Airlines, a simple promotional campaign that they felt help raise millions in additional revenue. Not bad for a simple branded game.

And the great thing is, these games keep on giving. Even though the competition element ran for six months, the games are still downloaded, and played by thousands of people online every day. So United Airlines still benefit from all the points we’ve made above, nearly two years after the initial campaign ended.

Going Viral

As memorable as some TV adverts can be (simples!), they do not go ‘viral’. This is where branded games come out on top. Matmi always create fully integrated social systems into our digital products. This helps the spread of the games through people sharing scores, UGC, pictures etc. via their favourite social networks.

Get it right and the players naturally become your brand advocates. Research has shown that brand recommendations made by friends have a greater impact on whether they will buy their products over a competitor. Nielsen’s latest ‘Global Trust in Advertising’ report repeats findings from previous years. They show that the most effective and trust worthy source customers listen to are recommendations from friends. 

Conclusion

With modern digital tv set-top boxes and on-demand becoming more popular, people are skipping adverts whenever possible reducing their effective ROI. Jumps made in the technology sector have opened up huge possibilities for creative cross-platform solutions for marketing brands. 

Branded games provide the opportunity to create something unique and memorable. They have the potential to not only increase brand exposure and actively engage the audience but also can deliver revenue in their own right (e.g. in-app purchases). A branded game can be truly social and can be spread virally with little promotional costs compared to traditional advertising.

 

For more information on what Matmi can do for your digital design needs:

PHONE: 01625 560771

EMAIL: info@matmi.com

Web: http://ww.matmi.com 

Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/Matmi

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/Matmi.



A homage to the Gameboy…



Check out this awesome attention grabbing Gameboy cover on our Business Development manager’s phone. Brings back fond memories of Tetris and a Looney Toons game I seem to recall. 

Today he is play testing Matmi’s upcoming app Rollabear

Do you have a funky phone cover you would like to share?



forcedbycircumstances:

EXPLORING SOLAR SYSTEM: GAME DESIGNER’S STANDPOINT

Christopher Albeluhn, an unemployed game designer has recently created an incredibly app that allows you to explore the solar system and constellations in 3D.

The app is good example of Gamification: the use of game design techniques, game thinking and game mechanics to enhance non-game contexts.

Source: VentureBeat & Wikipedia