Branded Entertainment: In-Game, Around Programs

By their very nature, static in-game ads may be the least effective way for marketers to engage video-game players, says game developer Kevin Slavin. At the same time, he finds that ad agencies in general don’t really understand the dramatically different process of communicating with consumers from within a video-game system. This is second part of our interview with Slavin, a former ad agency executive and co-founder of New York’s Area/Code. The 4-year-old game-design shop has created games for A&E, Discovery and MTV.
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In television’s latest quest to discourage viewers from skipping ads, actors from NBC and ABC shows are appearing in character in commercials to interact with products in parallel story lines. This new kind of commercial further blurs the line between program and advertisement and comes as traditional product placements within shows, an early response to fast-forwarding, have become common. A series of spots that debuted this week weaves Palm Inc.‘s Pre phone more deeply into the story line of two prime-time dramas.
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