by: David Polinchock

Once again, smart companies are using new technology to deliver the same old stuff!

Moving to grab a bigger part of the in-game ad market, Microsoft’s Massive unit introduced its latest offering Monday—interactive ads.  

The majority of in-game advertisements have, until this point, mirrored static real-world approaches like billboards, vending machines, or even product placement.
 
Interactive ads are the latest move by advertisers interested in finding ways to make a stronger connection with target audiences. Video game players are rapidly becoming a lucrative market.
 
The first advertiser to use the new interactive ad is automotive giant Toyota, whose 2007 Yaris sedan will be featured in the massively multiplayer game Anarchy Online, published by Funcom.
 
According to Massive spokesperson Amy Janzen, gamers can click on billboards featuring the Yaris. As they do so, the ads reveal more information about the car. (Emphasis mine) 

Now, not only does it seem like a lame use of technology when they could be doing something way cool, but here's a description of the game from the Anarchy Online web site:

Step almost 30,000 years into the future, to an age where common surgical implants and microscopic nano-bots can relieve most forms of human suffering... or transform even a child into a weapon of destructive force.

On the planet of Rubi-Ka, a battle rages between the haves and have-nots in a time when the clans seek liberation from the all-powerful Omni-Tek corporation in the name of justice, voluntarily if possible; from the barrel of a gun if necessary. The leaders of both sides are desperately seeking a solution that can stop the violence ravaging the planet, against a backdrop of betrayal, military raids and conniving political games, cyborg assassins and modified humans.

You are 30.000 years into the future. You're in the age... of Anarchy Online. 

So, you're on this planet trying to stop an evil corporation...you're involved in intrigue, political battles and, oh yea, a full scale war. And I'm going to stop to see an ad for Toyota??? An ad, BTW, that doesn't give me anything helpful to the game I'm playing!

You know, use the billboard to give me something that helps in the game. A secret getaway car after I've shot someone (I may be an assassin, after all!) or some secret Omni-Tek information. Just bring me something that has value to the experience I'm having! Don't just deliver your advertising message.

I don't get how with all of the creative power of Microsoft available to them, this is the best they could do. Aren't they reading anything about the changes in the advertising industry. You know, the whole two-way communication thing. The whole bring value to your audience, don't just deliver you message thing. Come on folks, let's try to do better for our audience!

Link: RED HERRING | Massive Drives Interactive Ads.

Original Post: http://blog.brandexperiencelab.org/experience_manifesto/2006/07/red_herring_mas.html

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