Microsoft will be promoting Gears of War 3 with what it says is a first for videogame advertising. The UK campaign for the game will be feature “live adverts” with a count of Gears 3 players online at that very instant. Stephen McGill, Microsoft's head of Xbox marketing for the UK, says the campaign – which will be augmented with crossovers between the game's website and Facebook groups – is on the same scale as those for releases such as Halo 3.
While “live advertising” has received positive results in fields such as sports gambling – with the odds for high-profile matches updated in real-time within commercials – the technique hasn't been employed within games marketing before. It would seem like a natural fit for a product whose appeal goes beyond questions of fashion or popularity: knowing how many online players are available for immediate matchups is a practical consideration for anyone who values a game's multiplayer component.
Of course, the absolute best-case scenario for marketers McCann Erickson is that everyone watching immediately picks up and launches Gears 3 – leaving nobody to watch the adverts. Conundrums like this are probably why Don Draper sticks to cigarettes and womanizing. Would you like to see something similar on US TV?
Sep 22, 2011