Dec 3, 2009

Power Up to videogame ads

By no measure am I a gamer. I respect videogames and am forever in awe at how much gaming has evolved since Frogger and Galaga, but I’m just not that into them. However, I cannot get enough of videogame advertising.
Talk about cutting edge and out of the box!
Talk about breaking conventions and paving your own way!
Talk about stopping power!

Is this the only segment that truly lets creatives show off their talents?

Like videogames themselves, videogame advertising has come a long way since the late 1980s. The people behind these ads have honed their communications skills to a near perfect science, capturing the particular attitude and idiosyncrasies of the gaming culture and just nailing it. Mood, tone, technological innovation, drama, story telling, anticipation, the sales pitch… these are the elements that regular advertising strives for but only videogame ads get right.

I don’t know how they do it (I can only assume videogame executives are just as wacky as creatives), but kudos to the men and women who really do break boundaries and aren’t scared to do something different. If anything, videogame ads show that game manufacturers speak their target audience’s language, something most clients can only hope for.

There are too many examples to cite, so I’ll just post a few of my favorites from way back when.


Adnoxious said...

I'll weigh in as a gamer.

My problem with most video game advertising is that, sure, they manage to capture the attitude of the audience and tone for the game, but I'm not paying $60 for attitude and tone. I'm buying the game, and when a commercial refuses to show me any actual gameplay, I'm immediately suspicious of the product. The Ratchet and Clank ads are perfect examples. Yes, they're offbeat and funny without trying too hard, but I got to see, what, 3 seconds of game? Bad ad!

I'm glad those guys are having a ball in their vacant lot and all, but I wish they'd get out of the way and show the game.

That said, if we're judging only on tone, I adore this one for Gears of War 2. Again, no actual gameplay footage, but very emotive.

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