How to get ahead in advertising

27 Jul 2005

Channel 4 is set to become the first European advertiser to use full-motion video and audio commercials in online video games, sparking what could be a major new trend and taking advertising to a whole new level.

Acting on the growing realisation that video games could be bigger revenue spinners than movies, the TV company has signed a deal with the Massive Video Game Network to place a series of commercials to promote its new show Lost.

“Channel 4 continues to push the boundaries in new media with innovative and creative solutions. Video games provide a pioneering way for us to reach one of our key target audiences and the opportunity to run full audio and video in a game, to promote a series such as Lost is an exciting media development,” commented Tracy Blacher, head of marketing new media for Channel 4.

Appearing within Anarchy Online from the end of July, players will see a series of teaser trailers that will eventually build into full clips from the series. The video and audio ads start playing on large TV screens when gamers enter select areas or zones within the game.

The video and audio ads are always contextual to the game environment and only appear in locations selected by the game’s creative developers. They never interfere in any way with game play, functionality, memory or bandwidth, Massive said.

The ad units are cleverly designed to remember which part of the commercial the gamer last saw and automatically start the ad the next time, where it was left the last time it was seen.

“This takes the whole concept of video game advertising to a new level and it makes sense that such an innovative broadcaster such as Channel 4 is leading the advertising world with this creative and impressive campaign for Lost,” commented Mitch Davis, CEO of Massive Video Game Network.

By John Kennedy