I’m a big Halo player, although since the birth of my daughter, I’ve been a more avid diaper changer than Master Chief killing machine.
Ever since the release of the X-Box, I’ve been a sideline observer of Microsoft’s entry into the gaming industry, and more importantly, its efforts to ingratiate itself with pimply, maladjusted teenage boys. It’s recent acquisition of Massive to deliver in-game advertisements is a major step for the future of advertising and marketing. Let’s not beat around the bush here: Microsoft can hold the power to determine what a commercial will look like in the next five years.
So it’s interesting, and not surprising, to read in Promo Magazine that Jeff Bell, VP of strategy at Chrysler Group, is leaving the company after 5 years to join (rumored) the Microsoft team. This wouldn’t be too exceptional if it wasn’t for the fact that Bell was the person most singularly responsible for integrating the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands into popular video games and creating branded games from scratch.
Bell was a huge influence in the burgeoning field of advergaming and in-game advertising. He single-handedly made the three brands (kinda) cool to kids.
And if you read the post directly below this, it seems the kids don’t mind ads in their games, as long as they’re contextual. Give props to Bell for helping to make this landscape so fertile for marketers today and into the future.