Atari is getting into the hotel biz: Marketer’s Brief
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Pac-Man will soon have a place to crash—with room service. Atari, which revolutionized video games by bringing the chomping character into homes through its Atari 2600 console, is now making an unlikely move into the hotel business. The company, which today is mostly in the licensing business, on Wednesday announced that it is building eight Atari-themed hotels with real estate developers True North Studio and GSD Group.
The plan is to break ground in Phoenix this year, with Las Vegas, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle to follow. Atari says it’s “pioneering an exciting new concept: a unique lodging experience combining the iconic brand with a one-of-a-kind video game-themed destination.” Those experiences include virtual and augmented reality, but the real draw is that some of its hotels will also include esports arenas. Global esports generated $1 billion in revenue last year, according to industry tracker Newzoo.
An AR smooch from Pinterest
Pinterest is upping its virtual game with a new “try before you buy” augmented reality feature for lipstick. The digital platform rolled out "Try On" earlier this week. Shoppers can use Pinterest’s camera lens to match their skin tone and test lipstick shades from brands including bareMinerals, YSL Beauté, and Urban Decay. After lipstick, Pinterest plans to expand into other cosmetics.
Till the cows come home
Experian is rolling out a new credit boosting product called Experian Boost with some help from John Cena. The pro wrestler stars in a new 30-second spot in which he plays a cowboy whose vocalization of “Experian” is echoed by his cows mooing “Boost.” The strange ad was done by Experian’s in-house creative agency The Cooler.
Earlier this month, Popeyes fans suggested on social media that the new (and sold out) maroon and orange pieces in Ivy Park, Beyoncé’s line with Adidas, resembled Popeyes uniforms. So, Popeyes is now selling its shirts, hats and other items worn by its workers to the masses. With help from creative agency Gut, Popeyes got employees to model the gear and set up a site, www.thatlookfrompopeyes.com, that went live Wednesday. Proceeds go to the company’s foundation. No word on how many items were sold, but some items sold out by midday.
Verizon calls for volunteering
Verizon is making a call for people to volunteer 100 minutes of their time to charities through a National Football League partnership dubbed “One more Sunday.” The league, which is in its 100th season, says 300 million minutes have been contributed to date. The partnership comes as the as the carrier is saluting first-responders once again in its latest Super Bowl ad. Government agencies, such as first responders, represent a large portion of the carrier’s business.
Would you buy this?
McCormick & Co’s Old Bay Seasoning has released a limited-edition hot sauce. Though sold out online, the spicy item will be offered in select retail stores.
Number of the week
$17.2 billion: amount consumers plan to spend on the Super Bowl this year, according to the National Retail Federation. It covers food, beverages, party supplies and merchandise.
Tweet of the week
Comings and goings
TripAdvisor has promoted Lindsay Nelson to chief experience and brand officer, a newly created position. She had been president of core experience.
Tim Cadogan, CEO of programmatic ad tech company OpenX, is leaving his post after a 12-year run to become CEO of GoFundMe. John Gentry, president of OpenX, will fill Cadogan's old role.
Contributing: Adrianne Pasquarelli, Jessica Wohl, George P. Slefo