July 9th, 2008

Geico Integrated Into Wii Games

By Andrew Hampp
Advertising Age

Geico has gained a Wii bit of knowledge on in-game advertising, thanks to a new integration of the Berkshire Hathaway brand for the Nintendo Wii. Horizon Media has partnered with Engage In-Game Advertising to integrate Geico into THQ’s “Big Beach Sports,” which hit stores last month.

The game allows players to compete against each other in a variety of outdoor sports, including football, volleyball, soccer, bocce, cricket and disc golf. Geico ads appear in the form of banners strategically positioned around beach areas at specific sporting events. Each of these events will begin with a panning shot of the Geico banner from a simulated aerial camera.

“Geico continues to set the gold standard for diversification within their digital-marketing efforts. This was a great opportunity for our client to intercept a specific audience in a meaningful way, while retaining the essence of the brand,” Donald Williams, VP-digital strategy for Horizon Media, said in a statement.

Added David Smith, co-founded and president of Engage: “‘Big Beach Sports’ delivers a natural environment where brand sponsorship adds a realistic element commonly found at outdoor sporting events. To compliment the enthusiastic social game play of the Wii platform, Geico’s continual brand exposure will move with the action in a subtle and engaging way as consumers play ‘Big Beach Sports’ over and over again.”

Geico is the latest marketer to join the rapidly expanding $400 million in-game advertising market, which gained a major new entrant earlier this year in the form of Sony’s PlayStation 3.

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