When EA’s Battlefield 2142 released, it was widely criticized for including in-game dynamic advertising in its online maps. Since then, there hasn’t been a lot of talk about in-game advertising. Until Obama campaign ads started appearing in the Xbox Live racing game Burnout Paradise. Obama, the first presidential candidate to advertise in a game, continues his campaign’s shrewd mining of emerging avenues of political advertising.
The ads appear in EA games in the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The games are, surprisingly, all sports games: Madden 09, NASCAR 09, NHL 09, NBA Live 08, Need For Speed (Carbon and ProStreet), NFL Tour, and Skate.
I’m curious as to why the ads are only running in sports games.
The ads began running October 6th and will continue until November 3rd, the day before elections. One-third of American households have current-gen gaming systems, And most gamers are in the 18-34 male demographic, who, I would imagine, also make up a good portion of swing voters.
Obama’s campaign continually he proves that he gets new marketing, that he and his team know how to exploit our continually-evolving relationship to technology, and mine formerly niche areas like social networks and video games.
His campaign is also further proof of the growing culture split between technical and non-technical populations; the differences between his relationship with tech audiences and McCain’s is further proof of the growing class division, a division that hardly existed ten years ago.