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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New Media: Advergaming

AV: BusinessWeek reports on Burger King's newest advertising endeavor. In a partnership with X-Box, the chain will be releasing 3 games in order to promote its "advertising icons", particularly the (in)famous King. I've always found that character to be creepy as hell, particularly those spots where some unsuspecting dude wakes up in bed to find this CP+B creation staring back, gaping-mouth and all, with whatever new monstrosity Burger King had cooked up. Although, I have to admit, Big Buckin Chicken made me laugh, as did the odd yet surprisingly entertaining Subservient Chicken website...

Some excerpts from the article:

"Burger King is releasing three Xbox games based upon those commercial properties. Pocketbike Racer, Big Bumpin' and Sneak King cover a variety of casual game categories and will all retail for less than $5.

(concept artwork via Kotaku, a gamers blog)

"While Burger King has been on the leading edge of marketing with things like the Subservient Chicken and a website where Darth Vader read your mind, they haven't been falling behind in the in-game ad sphere either. Even before these recently announced Xbox titles, the company launched an extensive campaign with EA Sports' Fight Night Round 3. The game featured extensive Burger King in-game ads, including The King as a trainer/sparring partner."

"Burger King had a conceptual desire to create a custom gaming experience for its consumers and after meeting with Xbox this idea quickly evolved," explained Hayes. "In the end, both companies shared the creative spark associated with developing and delivering a unique consumer entertainment experience."

"Burger King strives to reach consumers in unique and non-traditional ways," she continued. "This particular initiative is in response to consumers' growing interest and involvement in video games as entertainment and showcases Burger King's commitment to taking brand integration to a new level. It's also a great value for the money, which is a consistent theme with all of Burger King's products and promotions."

BW on the idea of "advergaming":

"While the term "advergame" has only existed for a short while, advergames as a concept is not entirely new. They go back at least as far as Kool-Aid Man on the Atari 2600 and Intellivision. Other such games include Yo, Noid!, two games based upon the 7-UP Cool Spot and another two games based upon Chester Cheetah, among others."

"The most common use and application of advergames nowadays relates to mobile and casual titles. These games are often free, supported by the cost of their advertising nature. Still, Hayes asserted that advergame was an inadequate description for what Burger King was doing."

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