Product Placement: Tomb Raider

Right, watch [the first 30secs of] this:

See that there? At around the 23second mark? Hang on, here’s a screen grab –

See that? That’ll be an iPhone 4 and, just to the right, a pair of Beats by Dre in-ear headphones. IN A VIDEO GAME TRAILER.

While in-game advertising is nothing new, in-game product placement is. However brazen, it does – in a weird way – kind of work. I spotted it, admittedly, as my marketing/advertising eyes and brains are trained to spot this stuff a mile away. However, it wasn’t exactly in your face per se, in fact it was quite subtle.

Best of all, if Lara Croft was a real person then I bet she probably would be an iPhone4 user (and would no doubt be rocking the Beats by Dre also).
So it kind of works. Ish.

The question I have is whether or not this placement is purely for payment/sponsorship purposes or will the game developers (completely blind-side us all and) make the handset itself integral to the progression of the game?

My money is obviously on the former. As I’ve already made clear, game development is costly and any kind of media partnership like this has to be sold in pretty quickly so as to capitalise on the opportunity to its full potential.

As a side thought, Apple ‘famously’ don’t pay for product placement*, but I wonder if Dre did? And if so, how much does eight seconds in a close-to-a-million views YouTube video cost?

The question doesn’t need to be asked – this is the start of a new trend and, as new home systems and games start rolling out to the masses, more and more placements will be occurring before our very eyes. Some subtle, some not. We could be verging into James Bond territory here, hell – we may even end up like The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

Be certain of one thing, ever since Modern Warfare 2 had an ‘opening week’ bigger than Harry Potter, hunting season has been declared on this marketplace.

Watch closely, it’s coming.


*I can’t remember where I read it, but the word is ‘payment’ refers to an actual exchange of money. No mention at all of equipping every man, woman and child in the office with brand new iPods/iPhones/iPads/MacBook Pros etc…

Last updated by at .

Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

3 thoughts on “Product Placement: Tomb Raider”

  1. The problem I have with this *isn’t* the presence of products in games. It’s the fact that despite whatever lucrative deal is made, the game will still debut at a whopping $60, which is completely ridiculous, IMO.

    I’ve been a long-time holdout of the current video game scene – I have my Civ3 and I’m perfectly happy to play that till the cows come home (that’s probably a Texas saying). As you know, I recently picked up an Xbox 360 (more for the entertainment features, though I am amassing a small collection of games), and it’s rather frustrating to see that there is pretty much only one pricing structure – expensive.

    I can see intense games like Modern Warfare and Call of Duty having heavy price tags – there’s alot of development that goes into making them as real as possible. However, when games like Lego Pirates of the Caribbean debut at the same price, it’s astounding.

    Then there are games (such as Call of Duty, btw) where the gamer is not only expected to pay $60 for the game, but then drop an additional sum on an ‘expansion pack’ later on (or the new Call of Duty Elite, which is a monthly fee, as I recall). The systems aren’t getting cheaper, either. The Xbox 360 250GB system w/ Kinect, 2 games, an extra controller, and a 12-month Xbox LIVE subscription ran me close to $750.

    I would GLADLY deal with advertising/product placement in video games if it dropped the price of the game by $20 or more. Honestly, seeing a game developer sell a game for $60 AND put product placement kind of infuriates me as a consumer.

  2. There is also what looks like a Canon EF lens in the bag to the right the 24-105mm f4 maybe even the 24-70mm f2.8 usually found on the end of 5D MKII. So she also a Canon shooter. You may have just started an all out brand war 😉

Comments are closed.