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Archive for April 2014

App Launch: Pants! Is now available on the iTunes App Store

Thruster, a division of Bottle Rocket, has recently released Pants! an epic mobile game about dressing naked dudes falling out of the sky before they hit the pavement.

The player must use three clotheslines to drag shirts, pants and socks under quickly dropping guys in their birthday suits (don’t worry, everything has been blurred for your protection) .  Complete a full outfit, and he lives.  Failing to get any piece of clothing results in death by pavement. Bonus points are awarded for creating outfits of all the same color.  

Pants! gives a nod to old school games with its nostalgic 16-bit style. The game focuses on humor and quick pick-up-and-play sessions.  Don’t be fooled by its simple premise however, it doesn’t take long for the game to ramp up and get very challenging for even for those with fast fingers.  

“We set out to create something that would resonate with players looking for a quick fix of challenging entertainment.  Pants! combines nostalgic retro graphics, really difficult gameplay plus lots of humor and pop culture to create the perfect pick up and play experience that will have people buzzing,” said Thruster’s GM Matt Johnson.

The team was used several famous quotes as true inspiration for creating this game:

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” – Winston Churchill

“If you make a fool of yourself, you can do it with dignity, without taking your pants down. And if you do take your pants down, you can still do it with dignity.” – William Shatner

“I did everything by the seat of my pants.  That’s why I got hurt so much.” – Evel Knievel

Look for appearances of pop culture references and popular memes within the game. 

For more information and the full press kit, visit http://pantsgame.com/, like Pants! on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pantsgame

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Rocketeer Charity: Susan G. Komen® North Texas Plano Race for the Cure

This month, Rocketeers are supporting the Susan G. Komen® North Texas Plano Race for the Cure.  Susan G. Komen® North Texas is dedicated to combating breast cancer.  They donate 75 percent of net funds raised to vital local breast health services, and invest the remaining 25 percent in national research to find the cures.  The organization empowers North Texas Residents with information about the importance of early detection and breast health.  Since 1991, Komen North Texas has invested more than $10 million into North Texas via annual community grants program to fund breast health programs and services for medically under-served North Texas residents.

Rocketeer David Goldstein nominated Komen North Texas in support of his wife, Cheryl, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2013. Cheryl’s cancer was found through a routine annual mammography screening, which detected a nearly invisible, early stage but large and aggressively growing tumor. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy in February 2014, and a week later received the welcome news that the cancerous cells had not yet invaded the surrounding tissue—meaning that her survival chances are nearly 100%. If it weren't for technical advances in high-resolution digital mammography and computer-assisted image analysis funded by organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation, her tumor might have gone undetected for another year, with a much less optimistic outcome. 

Cheryl has participated in the North Texas Race for the Cure for the past 15 years, and for the last several years has been a team captain. This June will be her 16th race.

The Susan G. Komen® North Texas Plano Race for the Cure takes place on Saturday, June 14th.  To register for the race or donate in support of Cheryl and the 200,000 other women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, please click here.

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Congrats to our partner, Baker Hughes, on the launch of Bit-tacular!

Baker Hughes is a leading supplier of oilfield services, products, technology and systems to the worldwide oil and natural gas industry. 

Baker Hughes teamed up with Bottle Rocket's Thruster division to roll out Bit-tacular, an exciting match-3 style game where users crush rocks and attempt to earn a high score. Throughout the game, players earn power-ups by making matches of 4 or more, creating drill bits and special pieces to clear large portions of the board.  In addition, users of the game travel through a map, and completing levels unlocks events from the history of Baker Hughes.  There are over 100 levels challenging the player to earn high scores, race against the clock, or remove obstacles while highlighting key moments in the dynamic history of Baker Hughes.

To download Bit-tacular on iOS, click here.

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Hallmark Channel Everywhere is live on the App Store and Google Play!

A big congrats to our partner, Hallmark Channel on the launch of their new TV Everywhere app. Available on iOS and Android, Hallmark Channel Everywhere provides viewers with authenticated access to a rich array of the network’s original content.  

Content available on the app includes full-length episodes of Hallmark Channel’s primetime scripted series, including Cedar Cove and Signed, Sealed, Delivered, and Emmy-nominated daytime, lifestyle series, Home & Family, as well as a rotating selection of the network’s highly popular original movies.

Developed on our AWE platform, Hallmark Channel Everywhere features social and email sharing capabilities and a customizable watch list.  The app is now available as a free download on the App Store and on Google Play.   

“Demand for Hallmark Channel’s signature mix of family friendly content has never been higher and the Hallmark Channel Everywhere App a seamless extension of our brand – will greatly enhance our fans’ experience with and access to our programming,” said Bill Abbott, president and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. “The app, part of our active strategy to build our digital footprint, will not only benefit viewers but also enable our affiliate partners to bring greater value to their subscribers, while providing advertisers new opportunities to reach consumers.”

“We are very excited that Bottle Rocket’s AWE mobile video platform was able to play a key role in the launch of Hallmark’s TV Everywhere product.” said Scott Maddux, EVP Bottle Rocket.  “In addition to delivering a great mobile viewing experience, Hallmark producers also have new management tools to curate content in the app in real-time as well as new ad inventory including video, display and rich media ads.”  

Hallmark Channel Everywhere is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of 209 partnering MVPDs.  

Download today on iOS and Android!  

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Is Broadcast Advertising a Billion Dollar Market on Mobile?

Recently, Scott Maddux, who leads our AWE division, moderated a panel at The NAB Show (National Association of Broadcasters) in Las Vegas titled “Is Broadcast Advertising a Billion Dollar Market on Mobile?”  He was joined by Sean Gilligan from Flurry, James Rothwell from FreeWheel 
and David Siemer from 
Siemer and Associates, LLC.

Using research on media consumption across all devices, the panel focused on the rapid growth, phenomenal potential and strengths and weaknesses of mobile TV advertising.   Scott opened with a high level view of the mobile advertising opportunity from the viewpoint of a television media company.  Pulling a page from Mary Meeker’s 2013 Internet Trends Report, we see the percentage of time spent as consumers (US Market) vs. total ad spend per media format.  Not surprisingly, print and radio ad dollars are under pressure but television is holding steady with 42% of time spent across all media and commanding 43% of total ad dollars or about $75 Billion US.   The big story, of course is mobile where consumers are spending 12% of their time while only 3% of the ad spend finds it way to mobile.  Remember – this is data from 2012 and 2013 was an epic year for mobile by all measures.  The data reflects a $20 billion dollar delta in potential ad spend for web and mobile or approximately a $14 billion dollar delta on mobile alone! 

The 2013 numbers will increase dramatically.  The potential ad spend is on the increase and for anyone in the mobile media space, this is extremely good news.  We are in the early stages of the market and it is all going up from here as the market matures.  

2012 Internet Trends

We can only assume that some of the $75 billion dollars is going to be spent on mobile… so what does television need in the mobile environment?   

Television networks and distributors  are very active in the mobile space.  We see that there are single show apps for the super fan to get that deep deep experience for their engaged and dedicated audience.  

Content Distribution on Mobile

Then we hop to the network level, an area where Bottle Rocket and AWE have deep experience.  This is an area of some short term content but mostly long format.  We are also seeing live linear, so what is available on your television right now, is also available on your mobile device in the app.  All of this is in the interest and support of advertising.  The ad sales departments within the networks are actively engaged with selling mobile products and mobile inventory.

Next, other MVPD’s including Netflix, Hulu…. Are in a category of their own.  Hulu Plus monetizes very effectively.  When we think of advertising, most of the success so far has been on the video ad side, so when you are watching ‘The Black List’ on NBC, the network is monetizing these apps and content very effectively.  They are seeing  $25 to $45 CPM’s.  Hulu plus pushes closer to $100 CPM’s as they are very target ads.  

It is a great time to be a content owner!  There are ZERO barriers for distribution right now.  You can get your content out across many many channels.  It is not like the old days when you had to have a cable distribution deal to get your programming across.  

So you can find Conan on the Conan app, you can also find Conan on the TBS app, and you could also find Conan in your Xfinity or Time Warner Cable app.  

From a network’s perspective, the story doesn’t end at mobile.  There is a huge battle going on around the living room right now and we have Sony, Microsoft, Apple, Google and Amazon all making huge plays for the television viewer as Over-The-Top solutions completely outside of cable.  This includes Chromecast, Apple TV, Kindle Fire TV the upcoming Android TV, Xbox One and Sony’s PS4.  The numbers are not quite competing yet but they will very soon.  

It is apparent just in the products that we have in market now that ad sales teams are very hungry to sell inventory on mobile.  It is important to look beyond video ads and look at the potential to deliver rich media experiences or transaction based experiences.  It is also apparent that marketers are very hungry to communicate their brand on mobile.  While we have the distribution as well as the consumption, we haven’t yet identified the standard formats, packaging, pricing or the value proposition.    Buyers and sellers want it, but no one knows exactly what it is.  The Nielsen ratings do not yet reflect mobile consumption.  As soon as they turn the switch later this year, it will help ease the path for a lot of this market to mature.  

We are really looking forward to seeing Mary Meeker’s 2013 trends.  This is an exciting time to be in advertising! 

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