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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 3:54 am    Post subject: Interesting article Reply with quote

This article was found on, and outlines a "new" approach to advertising...

Jeep's Jeff Bell jumps in with both feet

DaimlerChrysler marketing boss says online is king, and he's come to E3 looking for games good enough for his ads.

LOS ANGELES--Four years ago, DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group was like most major marketers and brands. Its presence in the game space was zero. Broadcast, print, outdoor, and radio were still king when it came to targeting its messaging and advertising dollars. Today, the auto maker is singing to a different tune. With vice president for advertising and marketing Jeff Bell leading the charge, the car maker who counts Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge among its major brands is reportedly spending 10 percent of its overall marketing budget on advertising in video games.

The payoff? So far, so good. Bell says that out of 3.5 million people who registered and played a small interactive game built around the DaimlerChrysler brand, more than 7,000 have actually purchased a car. "We believe all of our efforts should be directed toward interactive," Bell said, reacting in part to these impressive figures.

But Bell isn't keeping his little gold mine a secret. With a jump on the business model, Bell is evangelizing the benefits of advertising in games--the higher the quality of integration, the more receptive and intelligent the game industry will become.

"We know we're not going to be able to do that alone, so we would like to see the Proctor and Gambles or the Reeboks or the Ray Bans or even the Toyotas get more involved."

GameSpot spoke with Bell just before he made his annual trek to E3.

GameSpot: Jeff, Chrysler was one of the first brands to actively partner with the game industry, and now, here you are at E3. Why are you here? What's the E3 message?

Jeff Bell: There are really two reasons. First, from a general business perspective, we are proselytizing gaming as a creative content and distribution medium for 21st-century marketing.

GS: You're already vested in the space in what capacity?

JB: Presently, we have 13 active titles on the Web, and over the last three years we have developed 27 retail and first-party Web-based games.

GS: They accomplish what for the brand?

JB: In various forms, they are driving not only awareness, but most importantly, sales of automobiles. So we like to tell that story because it is a good one, and it helps drive the whole mind shift towards understanding that mass communication and broadcast communication is really on the decline

We'd like to see a greater acceleration towards interactive mediums.

GS: You sound like a missionary, Jeff...

JB: We are very much in the camp that the Internet and gaming are going to be merging with all audiovideo, regardless of the hardware device, into a place where streaming video and audio and information data will be on demand

The second reason is perhaps more selfish: We come to E3 because we'd like all game developers and the game marketers to know that we're players, and we do spend time developing relationships.

We've found that the general community within gaming appreciates the fact that we respect them as a serious medium to both bring entertainment, but also information, forward to both the American and to the international marketplace.

GS: And I bet it wouldn't be at all bad to find the next Tony Hawk to carry the DC message, correct?

JB: Yes, although we don't necessarily expect that we'll see it at E3, although we do cover the majority of the presentations and panels and exhibits.

We believe that if we could meet some new friends and talk to some new developers, we could find even more insights and ideas. So it's a combination of participation as well as relationship [building].

GS: What's the benefit to be such an advocate of in-game advertising and other game-based partnerships? Don't you risk exposing an avenue you basically own to others?

JB: Well, there are really several reasons. Number one: We have a competitive lead, and since we are not decelerating, we are not threatened by other automotives entering this space. Second is we do wish for, not just automotive, but just generally branded businesses to believe that gaming is an important medium. It will push more money and development into interactive marketing.

We believe that is a potential reality, but we know we're not going to be able to do that alone, so we would like to see the Proctor and Gambles or the Reeboks or the Ray Bans or even the Toyotas get more involved. The consumer does not want to see Save-Mart; they want to see Wal-Mart in their games.

But we also are not naive. As low-key as we necessarily kept it for three years, sooner or later, you know, the word gets out--and yes Ford is using gaming to launch its Mustang Coupe. So we applaud that and we welcome them and all advertisers into this space because we believe it is an important improvement overall in the way that we go about branding and marketing our products.

GS: It's been widely reported that DC puts 10 percent of its overall marketing budget into advertising in games. How high do you see that number going, and where's that money coming form? What media are you moving away from?

JB: First off, I won't be able to comment about specific dollars or even percentages, but I can tell you the following: We believe that today and increasingly in the future, there are three primary ways to go about marketing brands and products. Number one is interactive, and that includes gaming; it also includes any interactive medium, whether it be wireless or the Internet, hand-held, or connected. It's why we're so strong in pursuing interactive television and direct TV, all kinds of content-on-demand forums where you can measure and allow people to respond in--as well as obviously the Internet.

The second area is experiential marketing. We bring product into communities and throw lifestyle festivals that allow people to see what our brand is about and what our products are about.

We also, in that same way, partner--whether it's in sports like NASCAR or the NHL or with Tony Hawks' Boom Boom Huckjam for Jeep--we go out and partner in advance where we bring our products forward and our brands forward to try and reach people in a visceral way, that you can't fully get in the interactive medium.

The third way for us is branded entertainment, what we call brandcasting. And we do think that, beyond the traditional 30-second or color print advertisement, you need to be able to put your brand into the appropriate popular culture context.

GS: Where do you draw the line?

JB: We don't want to push ourselves where we're not welcome; we wish to participate where it is natural and it feels like this is right. So yes, you're going to see us in a movie like Sahara, which is an action adventure with Jeep. It's heroic.

Yes, you are going to see Chrysler in a movie like The Wrong Element with Harrison Ford, a mystery. It's not every movie, it's the right movies.

GS: What happened to gool old magazines and Saturday-morning cartoons?

JB: Get with the program.

GS: So what are the criteria that tell you this is the right game for Chrysler?

JB: Well, I don't want to say that we censor, but there are certain games that we are uncomfortable with if they become too graphic in their violence.

And that is because there is no information that suggests that those types of games are highly correlated with people that are interested in automobiles. I am sure that they are, but those activities are not necessarily associated. And then obviously there are certain areas of content that might deal with more sexual content that we also don't see being highly associated with automobiles.

Once we get past that, then we fundamentally think about our brands. So, with Jeep, since we know that the Jeep brand stands for freedom and adventure and authenticity and heroism, we look for games that represent that--both from a driving content, but also a sports and a lifestyle content.

GS: OK, so Jeep is heroic. I suppose I buy that. What about Dodge? Chrysler?

When we think about Dodge, we know it's a brand that is bold, powerful, that has a "can do" attitude. We love the blue-collar elements of Dodge being associated with a rodeo or with NASCAR or with the NHL.

GS: Take me back to interactive...

JB: OK. We also know that Dodge owners are very high on indexing for do-it-yourself, so we built a game that allows you to create the ultimate garage. So you use your vehicle to gather the materials, and then you also have puzzles and other activities to create the ultimate guy garage--or gal garage for that matter.

And then with Chrysler, we have done more with Chrysler because it does skew a little more female than the other two brands, so we have used more puzzles and quizzes. So whether it is the personality test of Chrysler "get up and go," or the stow-and-go puzzle with our Chrysler minivans, or golf, which has both a male and female demographic.

GS: When you break out the three current modes of in-game advertising, how do they rank against one another?

JB: I am speaking now automotive. Our own experience has been that advergaming is marginally beneficial.

We did this with Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3. It was nice, but the impressions just aren't what it is about for us. This is our same opinion on banner advertising on the Internet. It's really not about impressions; it's about action. So when we had billboards in Pro Skater 3, it was OK, but we did not actually get any measurements back.

GS: So mere reach is really not the answer.

JB: I'll tell you why: If reach was the answer, we would have like seven or eight Super Bowls a year. There is plenty of one-way broadcast reach mechanisms.

Our current philosophy has moved from what I call pushy or intrusive marketing to invitation marketing. We believe that it is appropriate for us to be present but not pushy and by being present with our branded product when the consumer chooses to participate--whether on the Internet or in an event or in a game. That's kind of the way we have structured our overall marketing approach.

GS: You mentioned the topic of measurement, which seems still a little bit fuzzy in terms of the interactive space. When is it all going to come into focus?

JB: Yeah, I think that we won't know until this Neilson pilot [with Activision] is over, but still, you should know we don't think that's what it is about. What is exciting for us is that 3.5 million people have registered to play our games--and these are the nonretail games. And so far, out of about 3 1/2 million, well over 7,000 now have bought or purchased a vehicle in the last two years.

GS: Backing up, what do you see as the biggest change in marketing and in the consumer?

JB: The one thing you have got to know about interactive is the consumer is in control. And you've got to be OK with that.

The 20th-century inventions of marketing simply don't matter. You cannot believe that the consumers are stupid and therefore you are going to trick them or fool them or dupe them That's an old method.

You cannot believe, for instance, that you can secretly gather information about the consumer and then send them a piece of mail just at the right moment because they didn't know they really wanted that tube of toothpaste or they didn't know they wanted that new car, but you anticipated it for them.

That's spooky marketing and that is no longer applicable.

You've got to believe in ubiquity, you've got to believe in invitation, and you've got to put a robust system to be consistently branded everywhere and then responsive when people are ready to interact with you.

GS: You know, you mentioned to me earlier how great it would have been if the warthog in Halo was a Jeep--a perfect scenario. How easy is it to get face time with publishers? How easy is it for you to actually reach the decision makers, to evangelize and to engage?

JB: They're there. I think that there is a learning curve but...

GS: I think what you are saying is they don't get it.

JB: Now I'm not going to speak about any specific developer, but I'll speak about a specific experience that I had working with a fairly well-known publishing house. We met with people that actually wrote code, the real game developers. As soon as we explained what we were interested in doing, we got turned over to recently hired sales people--and we were done; the conversation was over.

The sales people, they're not really gamers. They don't understand the whole idea of it being an interactive medium. They're talking like magazine nuts. They are talking about things like: "Well, this game will be passed around to three or four people" and "The average person will spend 18 hours playing," and "You're going to get 80 billion impressions and if you monetize that, even at one half or one third of the same kind of magazine CPM, then you should pay us $2 million."

It's like: Did you come up with that yourself or is it that you just left a job at Time magazine??

That's where it ends. That's why we like to go to E3. You know, this is a completely new approach, and it's not about being an ATM machine. We're not here to write checks. We're here to forge partnerships that are win-win.


By Curt Feldman -- GameSpot
POSTED: 05/18/05 02:03 AM PST

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whoa...too long...Ive been soldering pipes all day and my head

Synopsies please! Smile

Real Jeeps dont wear Bra's
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

laugh laugh laugh

Bottom line: DC is going to do more advertising in video games, now that they see everyone else doing it. They have allowed the Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge vehicles to be used in a number of games, but they are looking to increase that number. Hopefully they'll allow for a game to be produced that looks into the history of Jeep, and allow the player to drive a number of historic Jeeps and new concepts. dancing banana dancing banana dancing banana

crazy jeep

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay Gotcha Wink


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