This is wild: Barack Obama’s campaign is using in-game advertising in “Burnout Paradise,” a new Xbox 360 racing game from Electronic Arts, according to a report on GigaOm.
“Like most television, radio and print outlets, we accept advertising from credible political candidates,” EA spokeswoman Holly Rockwood told the blog.
Will it persuade any more 18- to 24-year-olds to put down their controllers and go vote next month?
I wonder if we’ll eventually see online voter registration — maybe even voting — through Xbox Live.
Update: Rockwood just gave me a bunch of details on the ads, which were sold by Massive, a game ad agency owned by Microsoft.
She said Massive approached both the Obama and McCain campaigns but McCain’s declined.
Obama’s campaign bought a highly targeted set of ads running mostly on sports titles in swing states. They began airing Oct. 6 and run through Nov. 3, with varying lengths depending on the state.
The ads are dynamically placed in games when playing on Xbox consoles connected to Xbox Live. They’re appearing in games with realistic settings, so they can show up in a billboard in a driving game, for instance.
They’re running in 10 states, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin — for longer periods in the bigger states.
Dynamic in-game ads have only been around for about 18 months, Rockwood said, so “I think it’s fair to say it’s the first presidential campaign” to use them.
Titles with the ads are:
NBA Live 08
Need for Speed Carbon
Need for Speed Prostreet
NFL on Tour
Rockwood noted that the ads “do not reflect the political policies of EA or the opinions of its development teams.”