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Snoop and 50 Help the Gaming Industry Stake Its Claim As the Dominant Media Outlet

Apr 26, 2005 New York, NY - On April 14th The Game Initiative sponsored the first 'Advertising In Games Forum' in New York City. The Forum outlined the new concept of in-game advertising or what one expert called 'digital sniping.' This new marketing strategy will place real posters, snipes and billboards in some of the most popular video game titles like '25 to Life', 'Splinter Cell,' and more. It's the next phase in advertising with placement in video games that can now be both 'static' and 'dynamic.' Static ads will hold permanent real estate in games while the dynamic ads will be able to be swapped in and out on a revolving basis. With Hip Hop's trendsetting role and the infusion of new games catering to the hip hop youth market, this new technology will surely become increasingly popular.

The gaming industry has exploded over the past few years and has surpassed cable, print and broadcast media in terms of attracting the leisure time 18-34 year old males. Mitchell Davis, CEO of Massive, a new advertising agency that has put together the first video game advertising network, was quoted as saying that, "Gamers logged in over 30 billion hours in 2004 (over 90% being 18-34 year old males) with 30% of all broadband traffic being driven by the gaming industry." Additionally males, 18 to 34, on average watch 27 minutes of television during primetime while averaging 2 hours of video gameplay per day. Even with these staggering numbers, the majority of movie studios, record labels, and corporate entities still spend close to 90% of their marketing budget in traditional outlets such as print, radio and TV. But with Hip-Hop's entrepreneurial influence and penchant for cross marketing, that is about to change.

Artists like Snoop and 50 Cent have entered the gaming world and brought with them their entrepreneurial spirit and penchant for cross marketing properties across different fields. 'Bulletproof's' GTA type story line allows for numerous product placement opportunities for the many products 50 has relationships with. Tomas Melian, VP of Integrated Marketing, Vivendi Universal was shocked that when he got the game from the developers there was already space reserved for Ecko, Vitamin Water and Reebok. A 50 fan would expect nothing less though.

What is happening is that video game developers and publishers are realizing that product placements can help cover their production costs. Record labels, film companies, and clothing companies are simultaneously becoming aware that these games offer them access to millions of impressions for a fraction of the cost of buying traditional mass media. "MTV, BET, Hot 97 and all the rest by definition have limited space for me to get one of my artists some love," added one industry executive, "plus I have no idea if that BDS spin on Monday afternoon hit my key demo. I like the idea of advertising in the games because I know kids will be paying attention to my poster or listening to my tracks. Especially if in '25 to Life' you are running from the cops and my billboard is the landmark for the safehouse."

In addition to '25 to Life' and 'Bulletproof,' several titles including Marc Ecko's 'Getting Up', Snoop's 'Fear and Respect,' are Hip Hop based games that will look to take advantage of this new marketing trend.

Room Service Productions
Kim Trick
email: kim@roomserviceinc.net
phone: 718.408.1151 x 203
Room Service Productions
Greg Trani
email: greg@roomserviceinc.net
phone: 718.408.1151 x 206

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