Anyone who reads this will know that I hate marketing by rote. One of the prime skills of a marketeer is to use creativity and innovation to leverage competitive advantage. Great Marketeers like Sir Richard Branson do it all the time. And it is conspicuous by itsÂ comparative absence from video game marketing.
So it is great to see Electronic Arts pulling this stunt. It has taken over the Last Stop garage in Finsbury Park, north London, to promote the game Mercenaries 2: World in Flames by giving away Â£20,000 worth of fuel fee of charge. This has hit the national media. And caused gridlock round the filling station.
IfÂ it succeed in locking the story of the stunt to the game titleÂ it will have succeeded in garnering publicity worth a huge amount more than Â£20,000. Brilliant stuff.
From the BBC:
But customers filling up for nothing were very happy.
Prince Davis, 37, who queued patiently for a quarter of an hour for free petrol, said: “This is a genius idea, whoever thought of this should be promoted.
“I’ll definitely be buying the game, you’re never too old to play computer games.”
Louise Marchant, from Electronic Arts, said the scenes of queuing mimicked aspects of the game.
She explained: “It’s set in Venezuela, you play a mercenary and fuel is used as a currency.”
Really smart campaign. Everyone is feeling the pain of gas prices now. And the free fuel ties into the game design so it doesn’t feel forced and gimmicky.
I remember it more for the TV ad and the catchy theme tune
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