Teenage boys better hand over the joystick. A rush of new video games focusing on weight loss, fitness, gymnastics,horseback riding and cheerleading means women are the new target demographic in a universe once reserved for their couch-riding brothers and sons. Nintendo’s Wii console is leading the diversification efforts—almost 15 million units of Wii and Nintendo’s handheld system DS were sold last year. Fit, a fitness-related game released this spring that has women sweating in front of their TVs, is on pace to reach three million in unit sales this year. And beauty advertisers such as Proctor & Gamble and L’Oréal are among those clamoring to get in the game.
Often engrossing players for long stretches, video games are increasingly compelling brand exposure platforms, marketers say. Research firm eMarketer forecasts that advertising spending for the video game sector will soar 133 percent from $650 million in 2007 to $1 billion in 2012, while the U.S. market for video game hardware and software will climb 33 percent from $15.8 billion to $21 billion in the same period. Available on everything from computers to cell phones to traditional consoles, games offer marketers a variety of avenues to target their chosen slice of the female demo. Averaging $15,000 to $100,000, banner ads or video clips paired with online games are considered affordable methods of homing in on older women. Console games are preferred by younger audiences and for roughly $200,000 to $1 million, advertisers can place brand imagery throughout the console game-playing experience. “The opportunities for sponsorship are unbounded,” says Jonathan Epstein, chief executive officer of the video game ad firm Double Fusion, who estimates that a principle sponsor of a cheerleading game, for example, could easily get its brand seen by up to one million girls.
PC and console game advertising isn’t merely about slapping logos in games, though. Advertisers can customize their ads for certain geographic locales or create branded games-within-games to directly communicate with players. So-called dynamic advertising is also beginning to enable marketers to tout seasonal variations and new launches. “Cosmetics [companies] actually start to populate stores with real products,” says Ken Ripley, an executive vice president at in-game ad firm IGA Worldwide, of the ad capabilities in the PC game Sims 3 due out in 2009. “People don’t think they can reach girls through games, but they are completely and utterly wrong.”
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye