Archive for December, 2009


December 16, 2009 Leave a comment

In a recent post, our Executive Producer, Je, talked about Djuzz – our soon to be launched free games portal.  While development continues, we are happy to announce that we have launched the ALPHA version of the portal.

Please visit the ALPHA site on your mobile .

In this release, Djuzz :-

  1. Recognizes more than 450 handsets. This will be increased as we progress. (Yes, when iTunes changes is policy, we will host iPhone apps too & recognise iPhones).
  2. Showcases 400 games from 16 partners. We continue to port more content from more partners – check again in the coming weeks for more.

If you have comments, suggestions or recommendations, please send them to us. We appreciate your efforts – all feedback is valuable to us.

(Acknowledgement : Image from “Garfield 2 – Royal Adventure” by Hovr )

Categories: mobile gaming, report


December 16, 2009 Leave a comment

By Wandrille Pruvot, Regional Director, Europe

This week, I’d like to share with you the story of two French financial institutions, both of which are successfully using the mobile internet to attract young consumers.

One company is adopting a straight-forward sales approach, providing information about financial products and a connection to sales agents. The other is undertaking a branding campaign with no direct sales component, the sort of advertising more generally associated with soft drink and alcohol companies.

For both groups, the youth – particularly those under the age of 25 — are a critical target market, because if you choose a bank by your mid-twenties, you’re likely to stick with it for the rest of your life.

It’s a sign of the times that these mainstream “brick and mortar” companies are now making the mobile internet an integral part of their advertising strategies, particularly to reach out to the younger demographics.

Let’s take a look . . .


The largest retail banking group in France, Crédit Agricole launched its first mobile property in 2008. It now has several mobile sites, including “Jeunes Actifs” where it promotes financial services to the youth. Each month a different product is featured. This month, for example, Crédit Agricole advises young people to start planning for retirement now.

The site provides a link offering more information as well as an opportunity to speak with a bank officer. Users enter a postal code and can then either enter their contact details so that the bank will call them back or they can click to dial the bank directly.

“Jeunes Actifs” also offers additional services and content to generate stickiness for the site. Locate a nearby ATM, download wallpapers for the French national football and CA Tour de France teams or play a game and have a chance to win prizes like DVDs for the TV series “House”.

Crédit Agricole drives consumers to the site by purchasing mobile ads as well as running television and outdoor ad campaigns. The banner ads have a click-through rate of 87 percent. The bank’s goal is clear: generate sales leads and consumer acquisition. In the process, the mobile site also collects consumer data as users enter their detail to play contests and contact sales officers.

Unlike Crédit Agricole, Mutuelles de Mans Assurances – an insurance provider better known by its initals MMA – does not provide any sort of financial information or service on its mobile property. Instead it is associating itself with mobile content and has created a free service on a site called “Mon Mobile Adoré ” (yes, MMA).

At first, MMA simply offered ringtones and other simple downloadable content. Now, though, the portal enables users to easily access their top six favorite mobile websites by placing icons for these preferred sites on a single customised page of their phone. Consumers can choose from more than 350 sites, including eBay, Google, MTV, YouTube and localised news and information sources. It’s sort of like “myYahoo” or “Windows Live” for the mobile phone.

More than 50,000 people have subscribed to MMA and on average each consumer accesses the service at least once a week. In addition to helping users set up a mobile homepage, MMA also provides basic information about the mobile internet, including how much it costs to surf and how to configure your phone.

To use MMA, though, you must go to an internet website to sign up and choose your icons. Registration provides MMA with consumer data. The service itself is a simple-to-use drag-and-drop model. While MMA has branded this application, they didn’t invent it. They are using a white-label service of another French company called Goojet.

Going forward, I hope MMA adds more content to their site. BuzzCity’s soon-to-be-launched gaming portal Djuzz, for example, can also be “white-labeled”.


The same digital media agency – Marvelous Mobile, an arm of the French global media giant Publicis – is behind both the Crédit Agricole and MMA campaigns. This agency has definitely been a creative force for mobile in Europe and it runs mobile campaigns for some of the world’s biggest consumer brands, including Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Reebok and Renault.

I don’t think it’s an accident that French banks are ahead of financial institutions in other countries when it comes to mobile. French operators have invested and strongly promoted the mobile internet since 2001.

Both Crédit Agricole and MMA started small and then expanded their mobile presence. It’s difficult to say which bank has the more successful campaign as the metrics for success are different. Sales leads and conversions for the one, “eyeballs” and portal members for the other. In both cases, though, the client is extremely pleased with the campaign.

Financial institutions and other traditional companies across the globe should take note. If you want to build loyalty or drive sales among the youth and young professionals, build up your mobile properties now!

Joyeux Noël and Bonne Année à tous!

Commentary : Google’s Directory for The Noughties Generation

December 10, 2009 Leave a comment

If you like supporting your local restaurant or shop instead of the nearest chain outpost, then Google has just made your life a bit easier. The US launch of Favourite Places means consumers can find and review over 100,000 local businesses on the move by using their mobile.

While this might mean your favourite local coffee house will stand a chance against Starbucks, it also demonstrates the increasing importance of the mobile community and niche content. Buzz City has long believed that as the number of content providers increase and ways to receive content change then a new segment of consumers who want customized and local information will emerge.

These consumers care less about the recommendations of recognized brands and more about the views of people like them. Yellow pages listings and Timeout recommendations are becoming less relevant than the thoughts of the influential local mobile community.

By launching Favourite Places, Google is staking its belief in local businesses and the mobile community. As the local content market grows and peer to peer recommendations become more important, it will be interesting to see which organisations adapt to this new “local/ global” market and see which ones are left in the static past.

Categories: Comments on the News


December 7, 2009 Leave a comment

By Romulo “Je” Alipio, Executive Producer, Games

Hi! My name is Romulo, but everyone calls me Je (pronounced like“JAY”) and I’m spearheading BuzzCity’s new mobile games’ initiative, DJUZZ (pronounced: “JUICE”).

Djuzz – an Algerian word meaning “Welcome” or “Come in”  is an ad-supported mobile games portal that will offer a rich variety of entertainment to consumers after its formal launch in early 2010. It also offers an amazing no-cost no-revenue-share business opportunity for content developers.

That’s right. Djuzz is a free-to-use service – both for our partners and gamers.

For partners, BuzzCity hosts, markets and promotes games at no charge. We act as an independent, non-exclusive distributor. Content developers and publishers also have access to the portal to view analytics, traffic reports and to add more games for distribution.

Djuzz is free-to-use for consumers as well and the portal is populated with free games and entertainment.

Of course, developers can sell premium versions of their content. And we don’t ask for a share of these game revenues either. Like our sister-site myGamma, Djuzz is based on an ad-driven business model. We believe this is unique in the world of gaming platforms and will provide developers complete liberty to choose the business model and price points that work best for them, whether it’s the sale of premium content, in-game advertising or the benefits of branding a highly popular game.

So why is BuzzCity doing this?

It’s simple. Three reasons:

1. Mobile consumers want to do more with their phones. They demand free content, but they’ve also clearly demonstrated a willingness to purchase items online. And Entertainment — particularly access to games — is the second most popular reason for connecting to the mobile internet. (Communicating with friends is #1.)

2. Content developers and publishers generally face high distribution costs, particularly when trying to access lucrative emerging markets.

3. With strong distribution networks in some 200 countries, BuzzCity can easily connect developers to mobile consumers across the globe.

We are targeting February 2010 for Djuzz’ beta release. But the site is already populated with content from more than a dozen partners, including HeroCraft and Hovr.

So, what type of content are we looking for?

Consumer research and conversations with users meanwhile tell us that there are four types of content that work best on mobile:

  • Casual Games that can be played/used over brief periods
  • Productivity-oriented tools that enhance daily routines
  • Personalization tools that enable users to generate their own original content
  • Branded games or applications related to pop culture

Some of the games already on offer include:

Kung Fu Fighters (Fighting) – A single player fighting game in the tradition of Street Fighter

Formula Extreme (Racing) – Scroller-type racing

Euro Football (Sports) – soccer and team management game

Big Game Safari (Shooter) – 1st and 3rd person shooter game set in the African Safari

20000 Feet and Falling – Skydiving

BioRhythm (Lifestyle) – A mood and emotions prediction application

We’ve strived hard to design the portal with user preferences at its core. And I think we’ve done a good job of making sure that the site navigation is intuitive. Of course, users will have the final say on this, which is why we’re currently soliciting user feedback to make sure all our bases are covered.

I used to work as a mobile game developer myself. At my previous company, we had a tough time getting our content out to users. It seemed we were always at the mercy of operators and device manufacturers. Well, not anymore! ; )

I’m really excited about Djuzz because we’ve created a business-friendly eco-system where developers, billing enablers, advertisers – anyone involved in mobile gaming – can collaborate on common ground to aggregate and provide content. This portal is going to help games spread like wildfire!

If you have any questions or want to be a part of this journey, contact me here.

I’ll also be writing more about this journey on a new blog. So please join me.

Djuzz! Welcome!

Categories: Je Alipio, mobile gaming, report Tags: