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Gaming for Presidents

Presidential campaigning has been taken to a new level. Holly Rockwood, director of corporate communications at Electronic Arts confirmed that Obama’s campaign has paid for advertising in Xbox 360’s Burnout Paradise. In-game advertising has only been around for less than 2 years so this is the first time that a Presidential candidate has paid for in-game advertising.

At first I was shocked when I read about this on blog http://www.gigaom.com/, but I’m not surprised. This is not the first time that the Obama camp has embraced new media to reach the younger demographic. As discussed, even though John McCain’s campaign is participating in paid search, he may be missing out on capturing the attention of this demographic once again in the virtual world. In-game advertising presents a huge targeting opportunity as well for the candidates, as ads can be geo-targeted to a user’s location, and to states that are under performing for the candidates.

According to Brier Dudley of the Seattle Times in his blog entry from October 14th, Rockwood revealed that both Obama and McCain were approached, but Obama bought a series of ads to run on sports games, including Madden 09, Nascar 09,and Need for Speed Prostreet, in swing states such as Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. The ads, which will run from Oct. 6 through Nov. 3, will appear on games with realistic settings such as billboards on a highway.

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