Toyota launches Yaris Advergame

Toyota published an Xbox advergame, says an article on the NY Times:

The shooting car is the central character of a new Xbox game called Yaris that Toyota will introduce today. The game will be offered free to all Xbox 360 console owners in the United States and Canada, who can download it from Xbox Live’s service. It is also the first Xbox game created by an advertiser to be distributed over Xbox Live.

They were not the first to launch such a game, but again, this is a good example of a growing trend:

Advertisers in the United States will spend $502 million on video game advertising this year, up from $346 million last year, according to eMarketer, a research firm. Just over half of that is in the form of ads placed within games, and the rest is for marketers to create their own games, known in the industry as advergames.

That this can bei highly successful is proven by Burger King for example, who sold an advergame for the Xbox for $3.5 which despite the price showed a considerable amount of time spent with the game:

Using Xbox data on game use, the Burger King game equates in time spent to more than 1.4 billion 30-second commercials, the fast-food company says.

Imagine that. 1.4 billion voluntary 30 second long contacts – It will be hard for „classical“ advertising to beat that! Both in terms of quantity, as well as quality:

Interacting with our characters in the games is actually more engaging than just sitting back in your chair and watching a Super Bowl commercial,” said Russ Klein, president for global marketing for Burger King.

(On a side note: how does Microsoft track that, anyway? This is scary, once again…)

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Dish your dirt viral game

Dish your dirt is a small „viral“ online campaign site for Gavin & Stacey, apparently a UK sitcom or something like that. It asks you around 10 questions on embarrassing or stupid things you might have done at the office, at parties, etc. The nice thing is a little shocker at the end, which reminds me of a couple of joke  *.exe files that were sent around a few years ago. Unfortunately the bad quality of the screenshot gives it away (you’ll see what I mean once you’ve gone through it).

From a marketing perspective there is an intelligent feature in it. While you wait for the „time consuming“ calculation of the results of this survey, you get to see a short trailor clip of the show… Something you might otherwise not have watched.
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Driving down the streets of Paris

Adfreak points me to a nice Nokia Advergame. You are the driver of a French Lady who apparently needs to take care of some dubious business in Paris. So you drive her around the beautiful city:

Instead of re-creating the city using computer animation, they shot actual footage on the Ile St. Louis. While you’re driving, you can fool around with Nokia’s car kit by using its GPS features and changing the music.

On the site, it takes ages until the game has loaded…

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And the game controls seem a little sluggish – but maybe it’s just my PC.
And it’s well worth it. The  grafics are brilliant, and having lived in Paris for a year, I actually recognised most of the spots.

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