Matthew Roszak

In The Press Blog

Angry Birds get Super Bowl appearance and Android SMS payments

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| Dean Takahashi

Angry Birds developer Rovio announced today that you will see Angry Birds characters appear in a Super Bowl commercial advertising the Rio animated film. The ad represents huge exposure for Rovio, which was barely known more than a year ago, and its blockbuster Angry Birds mobile game.

The deal shows how quickly a brand can emerge in the digital age. The paid version of Angry Birds has been downloaded tens of millions of times. That has given Rovio so much brand clout that it was able to cut a deal with Twentieth Century Fox, which will co-market Angry Birds with the Rio movie. Rovio is also doing a Rio version of its Angry Birds game. The commercial will appear in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl today.

Meanwhile, Rovio said that Android smartphone owners in Finland will now be able to buy the Mighty Eagle and other in-game content using its new Bad Piggy Bank payments system, which was previously announced. Rovio will also issue an update for both iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices) and Android phones with new levels and a new Super Bowl promotion that goes live today.

At some point the Bad Piggy Bank system could spread beyond Finland. Rovio had to do its own SMS text message payment system because the Android Market was broken. But the Android Market is getting a big upgrade soon, with the launch of in-app purchases. That starts with the availability soon of the Honeycomb version of Android, or Android 3.0.

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