Microsoft’s Playing Games

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.

3 comments

  1. Links Du Jour 06-07-06

    Visor maker offers to outfit Mt. Rushmore – Here’s a pretty interesting way to publicize your company name: outfit well known outdoor monuments with your products. Microsoft’s Playing Games – There is no doubt about it: getting your product name into …

  2. Paul Charlebois · · Reply

    Hi Max,
    A quick note about your Microsoft post. An interesting fact is that the median age for video games is shifting. The average player is no longer the pimply faced teen you describe, it’s us. The average age of a gamer is about 32. We grew up when video games were in their true fledgling stages and making huge leaps in the market, first Nintendo, then Sega and so on. We young professionals (believe it or not) are the biggest group of gamers. So what kinds of possibilities for in-game advertising does this offer? Only time will tell.

  3. Links Du Jour 06-07-06

    Visor maker offers to outfit Mt. Rushmore – Here’s a pretty interesting way to publicize your company name: outfit well known outdoor monuments with your products. Microsoft’s Playing Games – There is no doubt about it: getting your product name into …

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