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The Story of Video Gaming Company Electronic Arts (EA)

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With the advent of computers and consoles, gaming took the world by storm.  It evolved into a multibillion dollar industry with different companies releasing franchises and breakthrough games every year.  Gaming pushes the human boundaries as to what is possible and with multiple exciting technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality, the industry is set for a massive change in the future.  However, the gaming industry had humble beginnings and this is the story of one of the industry giants, Electronic Arts (EA.)

Beginnings

Electronic Arts was founded in 1982 by Trip Hawkins, an Apple employee, who left his job and began his own company.  Initially, the company was named Amazin’ Software. After the release of Apple’s Macintosh personal computer (PC,) the market for PCs was thrown open.

Trip Hawkins met with Don Valentine, the founder of the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, to discuss financing options for his new venture.  Don Valentine convinced Trip Hawkins to resign from Apple and provided a spare office for Hawkins to use. Hawkins spent seven months with his first employee, Rich Melmon (also a former Apple employee,) to refine their business plan.  Hawkins continued to hire former Apple and Atari workers till his team outgrew the office Sequoia Capital provided and moved to a bigger office in San Mateo.

Naming of Electronic Arts

The name Amazin’ Software was disliked by the rest of the team.  Trip Hawkins believed developing software was an art form and called the developers ‘software artists,’ leading the team to consider ‘SoftArt’ for the company’s name.  However, there was another company by the name Software Arts and owing to the similarities in names, the idea was dropped. Electronic Arts and Electronic Artists are some of the names which were floated around at the time and the popular sentiment was towards Electronic Artists.  Electronic Artists was a tribute to the film company United Artists, but an employee insisted filmmakers were the real artists, leading to which everyone agreed to Electronic Arts.

Growth of EA

Trip Hawkins was determined to sell directly to buyers and the policy of dealing directly with retailers gave EA better margins and real time market awareness.  Game developers were given due credit in games as well as in magazines. The album cover box type packaging like the packaging for games we see now was pioneered by EA.  Game development became in house and EA released their first game, Skate or Die!  At the same time, they worked with external developers as well.  Owing to Trip Hawkins’s obsession to develop a sports game, a contract was signed with football coach John Madden, which led to the development of the popular video game franchise Madden NFL.

Over the decades, EA continued developing games for various platforms like the PlayStation, Nintendo consoles and PCs.  EA also acquired its license to develop Star Wars games after LucasArts was shut down by Disney.

EA also released multiple successful franchises like Need for Speed, FIFA, Madden, Star Wars, Battlefield, NBA Live, Medal of Honor and The Sims.

EA changed the way games are perceived and is always on the forefront of innovation.  A recent bad publicity incident due to its microtransactions in Star Wars: Battlefront II hurt their image badly, but they quickly bounced back with the game Apex Legends, a battle royale game like Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG.)  EA, based on the revenue generated by it, is currently the second largest gaming company in the Americas and Europe, behind Activision Blizzard.

 

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Most Followed Influencer Accounts On Instagram

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With the advent of smartphones coupled with the internet, it is quite easy to create an account on any of the famous social networking platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.  What began as a simple tool for posting pictures or connecting with old friends or new people slowly grew into something larger. Corporations and brands realised the power of these tools and figured out  the quickest and best way to garner the necessary outreach for their brand is to have an official social media account. This slowly gave rise to a set of people called ‘influencers.’ An influencer is a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.  Apart from Facebook, Instagram is the most preferred influencial platform due to the personal feel and the simple aesthetic of the social platform.

Let us take a look at some of the most followed influencer accounts on Instagram!

Instagram

Instagram sits at the top of the list with a mind boggling 334 million followers.  However this comes as no surprise considering that it is common sense to portray the brand by having an account itself.  Instagram’s outreach allows it to showcase unique social media accounts about people who do innovative things, draw notice to social problems and solutions and spread all things good about this world.

Christiano Ronaldo

Christiano Ronaldo is perhaps the world’s most famous athlete to have ever lived and his 205 million followers are testimony to the fact.  Ronaldo is a footballer who currently plays for Juventus football club. Christiano Ronaldo uses his account to post personal, sport related and paid partnership posts.

 

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande is an actress, singer, philanthropist and songwriter.  Ariana Grande has been singing since she was a child and gained a loyal fan base over the years.  Ariana Grande is known to use her account to engage and interact with her fandom. Ariana Grande has 176 million followers

Dwayne Johnson

It is hard to find a person who does not know Dwayne Johnson, also known by his stage name ‘The Rock.’  The actor began his career as a wrestler but changed careers to acting and is one of the most charismatic individuals of the world.  Dwayne Johnson uses his account to promote the brands he endorses like Under Armour, Voss, his own brand of tequila ‘Teremana’ and his movies.  Dwayne Johnson is also an entrepreneur and has 172 million followers.

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez is another singer, songwriter and actress who currently has 169 million followers on Instagram. Selena Gomez first appeared on Disney’s television series Barney And Friends.   Selena became famous when she played the role of Alex Russo on The Wizards Of Waverly Place.  Since then the singer/actress did not look back and went on a steady rise in popularity.  Selene Gomez uses her account to share things she is passionate about.

Notable Mention- National Geographic

National Geographic is an official magazine of the National Geographic Society.  Children who grew up in the ‘90s and early 2000s will fondly remember the channel by the same name which used to air some amazing content related to all things environmental and ecology.  Ever since National Geographic got an Instagram handle, it became wildly popular and uses it to bring notice to some of the most immediate problems that threaten the existence of animals and plants  on Earth like climate change, pollution and deforestation among others. National Geographic posts stunning images of nature in its full glory and all their images tell a story about the stark contrast between our urban lives and nature.  National Geographic currently has 131 million followers.

 

These are some of the most followed influencer accounts on Instagram but there are many influencer accounts on Instagram which use their following to spread some good in the world.

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Iconic Power Couples At The Top Of Their Game

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Corporations run the world in ways like never before.  They provide technology, healthcare, innovation and development across the world.  Some of these corporations are headed by influential leaders who changed the course of technology and quality of life over the years.  The head of the corporation may be a man or a woman, but it is no secret that what they achieved can be credited to their special someone as well.

Let us have a look at some of the most prominent power couples at the top of their game.

Bill Gates and Melinda Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates run the world’s biggest private foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Bill Gates founded one of the world’s largest software companies, Microsoft. He decided to dedicate his life to philanthropy and with his wife, he started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Bill Gates pursues issues related to climate change, while Melinda Gates’s focus is on gender equality. In an interview, Melinda Gates revealed it is important to have a spouse who views you as an equal, a quality which she credits to Bill Gates and their successful marriage.

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan

Mark Zuckerberg runs Facebook, one of the largest technology companies in the world.  It is no secret Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, who is a pediatrician, were already in love before Facebook launched.  Priscilla Chan was one of the earliest users of Facebook when it was just starting out as an online social networking platform.  A day after Facebook went public, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan got married. Soon after Facebook became one of the largest technology companies in the world, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan started the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to promote equality in the fields of health, education, scientific research and technology.

Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murthy

Narayana Murthy is the founder of Infosys, one of India’s largest information technology companies.  However, Narayana Murthy and his wife Sudha Murthy are most often known for the simple and humble lifestyle they follow.  An interesting piece of information is they met through a mutual friend, G.K Prasanna, who is now the global head of Wipro.  Sudha Murthy dedicated her life to social causes and was a trustee at Infosys Foundation, a position she used to establish libraries and offer scholarships to students.  Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murthy are an inspiration to many even today and their love for each other has not diminished over the years.

Donald Fisher and Doris Fisher

Donald Fisher and Doris Fisher are the founders of the iconic apparel brand GAP.  Initially, Donald Fisher leased out some space to Levi Strauss & Co. to sell their jeans.  Donald then realised Levi’s only had a limited number of sizes in their line up and saw the need to open a store which carried all styles and sizes under one roof.  Donald and Doris Fisher opened their own store named GAP. The concept was a success and soon after, GAP filed for an IPO. Before Donald Fisher’s demise in 2009, Donald and Doris Fisher were active in philanthropy in educational areas of interest.

The above mentioned couples remind us the world is a better place because of love.  Let us know about any other power couples who inspired you!

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Best Valentine’s Day Campaigns Run By Famous Brands

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With Valentine’s Day right round the corner, every brand and organisation is scrabbling to have a strategy in place to increase their brand visibility and awareness.  Needless to say, the advent of technology and digital platforms gave us some unique campaigns over the years. Some simple, some extravagant, but each one of them special because they all came together to celebrate love.

Let us have a look at some memorable Valentine’s Day campaigns we witnessed over the recent years.

1. Cadbury

Cadbury is a brand known all over the world mainly due to their bestselling chocolate, the humble Dairy Milk.  It comes as no surprise Cadbury decided to theme their Valentine’s Day 2018 promotions around chocolate. The campaign, ‘Pop Your Heart Out With Silk,’ aimed to celebrate love in all forms.  For the campaign, Cadbury released exclusive Dairy Milk Silk chocolates which had a heart shaped chocolate piece which could just be nudged out. The chocolate is a part of a gift hamper which contained two such Dairy Milk Silk bars and two Dairy Milk Silk Oreo bars, a customised greeting card and a photo frame.

Watch the video to know more about the campaign.

 

2. Dunkin’ Donuts

One of the world’s favourite desserts, the unassuming donut, also got a campaign of its own for Valentine’s Day 2017.  Whether it is simply glazed, sprinkled or with toppings, the donut comes in many shapes and forms. Leading donut chain Dunkin’ Donuts did a campaign themed around Valentine’s Day by creating a contest named ‘Dunkin’ Love.’  The campaign urged users to show their love for the brand by sharing photos of the brand on Instagram. Lucky winners had the chance to win a year’s worth of free coffee, donuts and a cash prize of $ 2,500. The campaign also made use of geolocation so that exclusive Valentine’s Day content could be viewed at Dunkin’ Donuts’ stores.  This year, Dunkin’ Donuts is running a campaign named #ValentinesDaySweepstakes, where anyone can tag a friend with the hashtag to get a chance to win a year’s worth of free donuts.

3. Uber

Taxi hailing giant Uber did their own version of a Valentine’s Day campaign by branding it ‘Romance on Demand.’  Uber has its own creative ways of running campaigns. For example, on Pride Day, Uber changed the colour of the car icon on its app to a rainbow colour theme.  However, for Valentine’s Day 2013, Uber turned into a rose delivery service. Users could just log into the Uber app to request a bouquet of roses, which were delivered to their special someone’s address by a driver in a suit.  Although the service was expensive and was priced anywhere between $ 100-150, it became popular and encouraged app downloads. In the year 2016, Uber teamed up with the Kisses brand of Hershey’s to run a campaign named #UberSerenade.  Users could request a serenade for their loved ones, wherein a person would go to the address given and sing songs about love.

4. Coca-Cola

In 2015, the iconic brand, with its red and white colour theme, came up with a very unique Valentine’s Day campaign which aimed at getting people to interact with and get to know strangers at bus stops.  Two consecutive bus stops were set up with screens, cameras and a mic. People could see who is at the other bus stop and interact with them. The distance between the bus stops offered safety and was intended to make people shed inhibitions and converse with strangers.  The people who interacted were in for a shock when the person with whom they interacted got onto the bus at the next stop. However, the conversations resumed once they greeted each other.

Watch the video here.

5. Starbucks

Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee brand, created a fun campaign for Valentine’s Day 2015.  Starbucks partnered up with Match.com, the United States of America’s leading matchmaking platform, to run a campaign.  A feature named ‘Meet At Starbucks’ was added to Match.com and users could use this feature to send out an invitation for a coffee date.  Users who clicked the button could email each other and meet up at a nearby Starbucks.

We hope these campaigns made for a fun read.  With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, let us know of any other fun campaigns like these which make for a good read about marketing strategies.

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