Nintendo wants all Wii owners online

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Nintendo has started a massive marketing push to get Wii owners online. Assuming, probably rightly, that most homes with a Wii have a wireless network of some sort, Ninty is engaging in an eight-week “Get it Online” ad campaign.

Currently there’s a huge banner on the Nintendo website which takes you through all the steps necessary to hook up your Wii to your wireless LAN. It’s not too tough, as you might imagine. There’s also some footage of the online features the Wii has, including the shop and the browser.

(via Tech Radar)

Is Gillette really marketing a gamer's razor?

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If you spend your spare time perusing Gillette’s website, as I’m sure you do, you might notice that the company seems to be marketing a new razor specifically for gamers. The whole idea confuses me greatly.

Firstly, are they trying to say that gamers don’t shave much? If so, they’re not going to have much need of a razor. If that’s not the case, then I can only assume it’s all some massive misguided marketing idea. Let’s hope it’s not.

If you’re a gamer, would you buy a “Gamer’s razor”? Personally, I’ve always been more of an electric shaver kind of guy. Let us know your shaving preferences in the comments.

Gillette Fusion Gamer (via @the_b)

Skittles changes homepage to Twitter search for "Skittles"

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Skittles, the little fruity sweets, have done a bit of a makeover on the Skittles.com homepage. The page now shows the real-time results for a Twitter search for “Skittles”, with a floating box to tell you a little more about the page.

There are several aspects to this that are interesting. It’s another massive step towards mainstream for Twitter (I bet Skittles is hoping that the service doesn’t go down). It’s also a massive step towards “the conversation” for Mars, which is a company that’s been plagued with criticism in the past, though admittedly not as much as rival Nestlé.

In fact, although there’s not been much stirring on the PETA message boards at the time of writing, it’s surely only a matter of time before the people behind sites like MarsCandyKills.com start flooding the service with highly-negative Tweets.

Some call this the campaign backfiring. I don’t think so. I think that it shows bravery, and a belief that the general public doesn’t really care. Personally, I think far more positively about the company that it’s happy to publicise its criticism, and I’ll be disappointed if they cave.

Skittles.com (via @robbrown)

Samsung launches "Blue Earth" solar-powered phone

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Many tech companies seem insistent on just using “green” as a marketing gimmick, and Samsung is the latest to launch an ‘eco phone’ rather than just integrating green principles into all its handsets.

The company has come up with the “Blue Earth” phone, which is made of recycled plastic, free of Brominated Flame Retardants, Beryllium and Phthalate, and has a great big solar panel on the back for charging purposes.

The integrated solar charger is excellent news, but why isn’t the company planning that for all its future handsets? Why aren’t ALL Samsung phones made with recycled plastic and free of harmful substances? Why don’t they ALL come in recycled, minimum-mass packaging with an energy efficient charger? Why don’t they ALL come with a low-power “eco mode”?

Confining all those things to one model, especially one that looks as garish as “Blue Earth” does, won’t have any real ecological benefit. All it does is let Samsung say to its critics “look how green we are!”. Well, I’m afraid that’s not going to wash with us. Sorry Samsung – come back when your intentions lie in saving the planet, rather than your marketing department.

Samsung at MWC

Winter: the survival-horror Wii title that was canned for not being a kid's game

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Do you ever wonder why every Wii game takes about ten minutes to play? It’s because long-session, “adult”, games are being denied funding for the console. With very few exceptions (Twilight Princess springs to mind, but there are few others) the console’s games are all short-play affairs that focus on bright colours and cutesie avatars.

Well, IGN has an extensive look at a very promising game called “Winter” that never made it, thanks simply to its more ‘adult’ nature. Despite being a hit with publishers, the sales and marketing departments found the idea of a ‘survival horror’ game on the Wii to be “simply too big a leap for them, regardless of the enthusiastic support of the PD department and the Wii’s total domination in the marketplace.”

Mobile phone company lied about "unlimited data", but that's OK says ASA

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unlimited: not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent.

It seems that the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has a problem interpreting the standard dictionary definition of “unlimited”, because it has ruled in favour of a mobile phone company which used the word before “data” but really meant “250MB per month”.

Yes, it’s one of those words that should bring joy to the hearts of consumers (well, unless it precedes “torture” or “bills” or some other unpleasantness) — and yet so many tech-related companies abuse it mercilessly.

The ASA has already proved itself ineffectual in complaints against broadband providers who boast of “unlimited data plans” and yet cap or throttle users for breaking the obscure “fair use” policies…

TECH BEEF 2008: Apple/Microsoft marketing war continues – Microsoft attempts to enlist the world

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Ages ago, Apple released the “I’m a PC, I’m a Mac” ads, which were hugely successful. Much more recently, Microsoft moved to reclaim “I’m a PC” from Apple’s negative stereotyping. Apple responded with some rather nasty ads criticising Microsoft for spending loads of money on marketing that didn’t mention the V-word (Vista).

Microsoft aren’t taking that lying down, though, and they’re attempting to enlist THE ENTIRE WORLD in their defence. They’re taking signups for people who are happy to say “I’m a PC” in an attempt to show the broad range and diversity of PC users, and also to contrast with Apple’s rather more limited demographic of users. People who sign up might feature in Microsoft’s internet, poster, and television ads…