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…