NEWS - Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Advergaming Invades Xbox Live

Yaris, an Arcade racing shooter that is free to download via Xbox Live in the US and Canada, is the first advergame to be distributed over Microsoft’s online games service, reports the New York Times. Toyota introduced the Yaris, which is targeted at young consumers, in the spring of 2006. Toyota’s advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi L.A. devised the idea and game design for Yaris, while production was outsourced to Backbone Entertainment, a division of Foundation 9 Entertainment. Toyota is reportedly spending in the low millions on the campaign. “People can time shift, they can do all sorts of different things to avoid advertising,” said Kim McCullough, corporate manager for marketing communications at Toyota. “That’s why we have to move beyond traditional advertising to do things that are really engaging for people.” UK-based developer Blitz produced a series of advergames for Burger King last year. The titles, Pocketbike Racer, Big Bumpin’ and Sneak King, have enjoyed great success since their release, shifting around 3.5 million copies to date according to Burger King.


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