Virtual branded Love island villa: Driving user engagement, in-game purchasing and new experiences in Hotel Hideaway

Azerion partners with ITV  Studios‘ Love Island to create a social experience in Hotel Hideaway, opening up opportunities for brands and players

Amsterdam, NL – 29 August 2022 – Azerion, the digital entertainment and media platform, has announced the results of its first virtual branded hangout room in Hotel Hideaway for Love Island and ITV Studios, creating higher user engagement than any of the other rooms since its launch eleven weeks ago. Following the partnership’s immediate success, Azerion and ITV Studios continue to bring new experiences to players and are launching the first of a monthly World of Love Island quiz series.

In the first 15 hours of launching the branded room,135,000 items were sold. This increased to 545,000 after 30 days, with blue and pink caps the most popular items. This exceeded previous campaigns run on Hotel Hideaway, which saw an average of 75,000 items sold in the first 15 hours and 360,000 after the first 30 days. The branded room attracted 3 million visits in 30 days with 46,000 daily visitors on average, spending an average of 52 mins in total over the period.

With the Love Island season drawing to a close, as the reunion in the UK happened on 7 August and in the US season ends on 28 August, Azerion in partnership with ITV Studios will be rolling out new features.

Relive the Love Island magic with the World of Love Island Quiz in Hotel Hideaway!

Azerion and ITV Studios are delighted to announce the first of a monthly World of Love Island quiz series being hosted in Hotel Hideaway on 1 Septemberas part of their global digital content partnership. Players can now join other beach-body ready avatars in the Love Island Villa as they are shown iconic footage from Love Island shows from around the world to test their knowledge.

With the new immersive World of Love Island quiz experience, players must answer questions such as: What happens next? What colour swim shorts was he wearing? Which country is this Islander from? The game works by stepping on platforms A, B and C until the platform with the right answer lights up. With three rounds, each containing five questions, being broadcasted four times a day (to cover all time zones), players will never miss out on proving who’s the biggest Love Island expert around; with all participants receiving an exclusive pin to show off. A special release of new clothing and furni, plus the extension of the existing Love Island room into the World of Love Island area will guarantee to keep the summer vibes flowing.

Kim Dingler, CCO, Global Entertainment at ITV Studios, comments: “Love Island  has such a loyal and engaged fanbase, by bringing the show to Hotel Hideaway players feel actively involved as they experience the life of an Islander in the Love Island villa.”

Jurriaan van Teunenbroek, VP Games and Content at Azerion, comments: “The Love Island experience in Hotel Hideaway has been such a great success, showcasing the many possibilities for brands to engage with consumers in an organic way. This partnership demonstrates the opportunities of in-game advertising and branding, capturing the attention of millions of actively engaged audiences and coupling it with a successful TV show to increase cross-marketing strategies.”


About Hotel Hideaway

With over 17.5 million registered users, Azerion’s Hotel Hideaway is a 3D social virtual community full of opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. The Hotel is a lively and vibrant world full to the brim with social adventures and fun activities! Dress to impress and stand out from the crowd with an abundance of stylish clothing, items and accessories. Customise your room with a variety of furniture items and decorations. Learn secret gestures and dance moves – and then party into the early hours inside unique public rooms. No matter what you like to spend your time doing, Hotel Hideaway is the place to be. There’s oodles of fun to be had and secrets to discover, so jump in and make sure the other guests recognise your name!

About ITV Studios

ITV Studios is a creator, producer and distributor of world-leading programmes and formats that people can’t get enough of. Connecting millions of people every day and shaping and reflecting the world they live in, ITV Studios is More Than TV. Its Brand & Licensing department is responsible for all global commercial activities including sponsorship, brand licensing, consumer products, gaming, and live events. It represents a diverse portfolio including scripted and non-scripted content, game shows and kids titles, which offers a wide range of commercial opportunities. Brands include The Voice, Hell’s Kitchen, Love Island, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, The Chase, Coronation Street, Schitt’s Creek, The Last Unicorn, Thunderbirds, Space: 1999, The Prisoner, and more.

About Azerion

Azerion is a high-growth digital entertainment and media platform. As a content-driven, technology and data company, Azerion serves consumers, digital publishers, advertisers and game creators globally. Azerion’s integrated platform provides technology solutions to automate the purchase and sale of digital advertising for media buyers and sellers, supported by in market sales and campaign management teams. Through our technology, content creators, digital publishers and advertisers work with Azerion to reach the millions of people across the globe that play Azerion’s games and view its distributed entertainment content to increase engagement, loyalty and drive e-commerce. Founded in 2014 by two Dutch entrepreneurs, Azerion has experienced rapid expansion driven by organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Azerion is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and is a publicly traded company listed on Euronext Amsterdam.
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Nam Ngum 1 Hydropower station expansion project Officially opened

Nam Ngum 1 Hydropower station expansion project was officially opened to generate electricity.

The Grand Opening Ceremony of Nam Ngum Hydropower Station expansion Project was held at Keo-oudom district, Vientiane province on August 27, in presence of Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Sonxay Sipandon, Minister of Energy and Mines, Mr Davong Phonkeo, Ambassador of Japan to Lao PDR Mr. Kenichi Kobayashi and officials concerned.

Director General of Electricite du Laos Mr. Chanthaboun Souk-Aloun said that the Nam Ngm 1 hydropower station expansion project is to increase power supply capacity for peak load by expanding the existing Nam Ngum 1 hydropower expansion station, thereby contribute to improving international power balance, this project has received a concessional loan from the Japanese government. The project consists of drilling the existing dam to install a water pipeline, expanding the old mill to the side and installing a new 40 MW power plant.

The project has hired a joint consulting company Nippon Koei & J-Power & LCG, started working from April 2014 onwards by making a detailed design for construction and controlling the field construction until completion and contracted with Hazama Ando Corporation for construction and installation of mechanical works (Civil and Hydromechanical Works).

The project started to work in August 2017 and finished in December 2021.

Source: Lao News Agency

Investing in Ethnic midwives to protect maternal health in special cultural contexts in Laos

Vida is a 28-year-old midwife from the Akha community who is proud of her role in ensuring women in the Lao PDR realize positive maternal health outcomes. Based at Long District hospital in Luang Namtha province, this Akha midwife graduated from the Oudomxay UNFPA-MOH supported midwifery programme in 2017.

In the Lao PDR, supporting the training and deployment of midwives from ethnic groups is a key component of UNFPA’s wide-ranging engagement in midwifery programmes that recognizes the significant role of midwives in saving lives and changing harmful norms, they are even more critical due to impact of COVID-19 on health services.

“In the past, Akha women gave birth without assistance and they did not come to the health centre. As most of the pregnancies and births were unattended among Akha women, there was a high risk of complications” said Vida. “But since we have Akha midwives, Akha clients are comfortable to come and seek support”.

This positive trend is a result of newly-trained ethnic midwives returning to their home villages to support their communities. Their cultural insights combined with newly-learnt skills adhering to international standards means they are trusted and well placed to deliver essential maternal health care to ethnic mothers who traditionally would face health risks, especially during delivery. Such UNFPA and MOH backed interventions have played a significant role in reducing maternal mortality as well as ensuring safe pregnancies, childbirth and family planning in the Lao PDR during the past decade.

Together with district teams, Vida conducts health education outreach in villages surrounding Long District hospital to provide information and mobilize women to visit health facilities. Now, many women come to seek healthcare at such facilities and are less reluctant to seek guidance on birth spacing and contraceptives.

“For example, every time I provide health education, I also encourage them [Akha ethnic women] to exclusively breastfeed for at least six months,” said Vida, who reported that many ethnic mothers in the past were reluctant to breastfeed as they juggle motherhood with cultivating crops in the field, and didn’t know about the health benefits of breastfeeding for the infant and the mother.

Raising awareness on the importance of antenatal care to ensure health and safety of mothers and babies is a key task for Vida and other ethnic midwives.

“I encourage women to make at least four antenatal care visits international standards are 8 ANC visits per pregnancy and give birth at health facilities to keep mothers and babies safe. The proudest moment for me is to see women giving birth at a health facility assisted by qualified health personnel, so they don’t suffer any complications,” said Vida.

To provide a full spectrum of care, counseling for youth and adolescents is delivered as part of family planning services. Vida encourages women to learn more about long-acting reversible contraceptives. More couples are seeking long-acting methods such as injectables and implants so that women do not need to travel to the health facility often.

Midwives like Vida are being gradually deployed all over the Lao PDR for community awareness raising. Their role is crucial in applying skills acquired through the midwifery courses adapted to international standards through MOH and UNFPA collaboration.

While development of midwifery capacity has benefited women and children in the Lao PDR in the past decade, midwives such as Vida still face challenges in countering harmful cultural practices for childbirth and child care, such as dietary restrictions, roasting (lying on a bed above a fire) for 15 days after giving birth and the belief that giving birth to twins is bad luck. Following training, Vida and other midwives are connected to a midwifery helpline where they can access peer support, to discuss difficult cases and develop response strategies.

UNFPA is supporting the Lao PDR to realize its commitment to the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) to have at least one midwife per health facility. The support includes training, curricula development and equipping health facilities. Thanks to the Maternal Health Trust Fund, KOFIH and Luxembourg, the midwifery program is accelerating the role of midwives in saving lives and changing harmful norms and practices.

According to the State of the World Midwifery Report 2021, investing in midwives is cost-effective as a fully educated and trained midwife can provide about 90 percent of essential reproductive maternal neonatal child adolescent health care.

Source: Lao News Agency

FAO Representative visits pipe culvert construction site in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang Province in mid-August.

The joint mission was led by Dr. Phommy Inthichack, Deputy Director General of the Department of Planning and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Mr. Nasar Hayat, FAO Representative to the Lao PDR. The mission was hosted by Mr. Bounmy Savath, Deputy Director of Luang Prabang Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office.

This visit was organized within the framework of “The project for the Assistance for Smallholders and Socially Vulnerable to Preventing Spread of the COVID-19 in the Lao PDR”. The objective of this project is to enhance capacities to prevent COVID-19 spread and mitigate its socio-economic impacts of the vulnerable smallholders and local authorities in Luang Prabang and Oudomxay Provinces in the Lao PDR.

Among other activities this project supports vulnerable households improve income through cash for work to improve resilient agricultural assets and natural resources management. During the mission a visit to pipe culvert construction site at Houay Seng Village in Chomphet District in Luang Prabang.

At the construction site, during the meeting with the village leader and representative of Department of Public Works and Transport, Mr. Nasar Hayat noted the pipe culvert construction at Houay Seng Village will enable easier access of the farmers to agricultural land and easier distribution of their products to the markets. In addition, he added that the pipe culvert, once completed will also enable easer commuting of the villagers with district administrative center.

At the concluding day of the mission, Mr. Nasar Hayat met Ms. Siliphone Souphanthong, Vice Governor of Luang Prabang Province. Initially, Mr. Nasar Hayat provided a brief overview of mission objective and elaborated on the main outcomes of the disaster risk reduction activities. Latter at the meeting a focus of discussion was given to the activities that target small-scale farmers in the northern part of Laos, namely Oudomxay and Luang Prabang Province.

Ms. Siliphone Souphanthong, welcomed the mission members and expressed her appreciation of the support provided by FAO throughout the years. She stated that FAO’s activities are progressing well and that the activities in the field, are in line with the 5-year Socio-Economic Development Plan of Luang Prabang Province.

Source: Lao News Agency

US Government to Provide $11 Million for Production of Monkeypox Vaccine

The U.S. government said on Monday it would provide about $11 million to support the packaging of Bavarian Nordic’s BAVA.CO Jynneos monkeypox vaccine at a U.S.-based manufacturer’s facility.

The Danish company, which is the maker of the only approved monkeypox vaccine, had earlier this month signed up Michigan-based Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing to package the two-dose shot.

The production is expected to begin later this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said, adding that the funding will help the manufacturer recruit more staff and buy additional equipment.

Globally, the number of confirmed monkeypox cases have crossed 47,600 with over 17,000 cases reported in the United States so far.

The Jynneos vaccine is in short supply and U.S. regulators have authorized a method of administration that allows providers to get five doses instead of one from a single vial to expand access.

The United States initially ordered 3 million doses and in July sought another 2.5 million doses. Bavarian Nordic said the additional doses would be packaged at the U.S. facility.

The delivery of the total 5.5 million doses is spread across this year and the next.

More than 207,000 doses of Jynneos vaccine have been given in the country as of Aug. 23, but very few people have received the second shot needed for full protection, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said last week.

Source: Voice of America

Fueling Problem Forces NASA to Postpone Launch of Moon Rocket

U.S. space agency, NASA, postponed the planned launch Monday of a new rocket and crew capsule designed to eventually send astronauts back to the moon after encountering a series of fueling leaks and difficulties in getting one of the booster engines chilled to the correct temperature for liftoff.

If it resolves the problems, NASA could attempt the launch again on Friday.

“We don’t launch until it’s right,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said of the postponement. “You can’t go. There are certain guidelines, and I think this is illustrative that this is a very complicated machine, a very complicated system, and all those things have to work.

“And you don’t want to light the candle until it’s ready to go,” Nelson said. “They’ll get [the problems] fixed, and then we’ll fly.”

NASA engineers were unable to chill one of the rocket booster’s engines to the correct temperature, a process that involves running liquid hydrogen kept at minus 217 degrees Celsius through the engines. Engineers tried several fixes, but none worked.

NASA teams earlier on Monday dealt with delays due to a thunderstorm that passed near the launch site in the southeastern state of Florida, as well as a leak discovered during fueling operations.

The test involves the Space Launch System rocket, the most powerful in NASA’s history, which will propel the Orion capsule without any astronauts on board for this flight. Orion is due to go around the moon and return to Earth, with the entire journey taking about six weeks.

If successful, NASA plans to fly astronauts around the moon in 2024 and potentially put them on the lunar surface as early as 2025.

The launch is part of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to have humans walk on the moon for the first time since 1972, including the first woman and person of color to do so.

NASA is also planning a moon base as part of Artemis and said it will use what it learns to inform efforts to send the first astronauts to Mars.

Source: Voice of America