Follow us:

Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

October 14, 2008 at 10:57 AM

Obama advertising on Xbox 360 (in swing states, on a bunch of games …)

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:

Burnout Paradise

Madden 09

Nascar 09

NBA Live 08

Need for Speed Carbon

Need for Speed Prostreet

NFL on Tour

NHL 09

Skate

Rockwood noted that the ads “do not reflect the political policies of EA or the opinions of its development teams.”

Comments | Topics: Digital media, Games & entertainment, Microsoft

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►