NEW YORK and DURHAM, N.C. — July 24, 2006 — Massive Inc., creator of the world’s leading video game network and wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., today announced that it has launched interactive in-video-game ads, allowing advertisers to engage gamers in new and entertaining ways. The first advertiser to utilize the new interactive ad unit is Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., with a campaign for its new 2007 Yaris sedan in “Anarchy Online,” a top multiplayer online game published by Funcom.
The new interactive ad units can be used in a number of ways to encourage gamer interaction with the advertising and to provide a more engaging brand experience. For the Toyota Yaris campaign, gamers are encouraged to engage with the ads to unveil an image of the new Yaris. The campaign is running in multiple games on the Massive Network and utilizes Massive’s dynamic 2-D elements and full-motion video and audio ads, in addition to the new interactive units, to reach the coveted gaming audience. The new in-video game ads were developed in collaboration with Toyota’s advertising agency of record, Saatchi & Saatchi in L.A.
“Leveraging this new interactive ad element from Massive allows gamers to interact with our brand in an environment they’re passionate about,” said Kim McCullough, corporate manager of Marketing Communications at Toyota.
Just as with all the ad executions that Massive has been serving in its network of top video game titles, the interactive ads only appear in locations selected and approved by the game’s creative developers and do not interfere with gameplay, functionality or bandwidth. Game experience is paramount to the success of the new technology, and the ad units are only used to enhance the game experience for players who choose to interact with the ads.
“We’re pleased to be at the forefront of video game advertising innovation,” said Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom. “Our community looks to us to bring them ever more creative and immersive entertainment experiences, and that is what Massive and its advertisers continue to deliver.”
“Our business has been built by constantly expanding our technological capabilities and by driving innovation in video game advertising,” said Nicholas Longano, president of New Media at Massive. “This new ad unit allows gamers to interact with the game environment in new ways and provides our advertisers with a powerful means of delivering a compelling brand experience to the gaming audience.”
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion in the United States, marketing products and services through a network of 1,427 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers in 49 states. Established in 1957, TMS and its subsidiaries also are involved in distribution logistics, motorsports, and research and development.
Funcom is an independent developer and publisher of online games for PC, consoles and mobile platforms. Funcom has provided outstanding entertainment since 1993 and continues to expand its track record of more than 20 released games. Recent successes include “The Longest Journey,” “Anarchy Online” and “Dreamfall: The Longest Journey.” For corporate information please visit www.funcom.com. For information about Funcom games visit www.anarchy-online.com, www.dreamfall.com or www.ageofconan.com. Funcom is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker FUNCOM.
About Massive Inc.
Massive Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft, is the creator of a leading network for dynamic video game advertising. With 37 game publishers and more than 100 titles, the Massive Network offers advertisers the ability to reach an aggregated gaming audience in real time across multiple platforms. Over 60 blue-chip advertisers have run campaigns across the Massive Network throughout North America and Europe. Publishers in the Massive Network generate revenue through dynamic in-game advertising, enabling them to leverage the value of their content while preserving and enhancing the game experience. Massive’s technology allows for all forms of downloadable media and advertising content to be contextually integrated into the game environment, including image, audio, video and game object formats. More information can be found online at http://www.massiveincorporated.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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