You can't please all the people all the time, but EA Games is targeting two separate constituencies with its new advertising for its "Skate 3" game available on the Xbox and PS3 platforms later this month.
With the new advertising, the company, along with advertising agency Heat in San Francisco, is hoping to appeal to both skaters and gamers. For the skating audience, the goal is to appeal directly to a core market, letting it create community buzz, while the emphasis for gamers is the broader appeal of team play.
Team play is a new feature for this version of the game (and one that doesn't normally occur in real life). Most skateboarding contests showcase individual talents. The trick was to show off that feature -- which might appeal more to younger and older gamers than the 17- to-24-year-olds to whom the game had appealed in the past -- without alienating the core skaters, says John Elder, president of Heat.
"The idea of team play isn't necessarily part of the skate culture," Elder tells Marketing Daily. "[But] one of the things we gleaned early on is that it's very accepting of different styles."
A television ad airing this month on 13 networks goes for an epic style, showcasing two teams -- red and green, complete with buglers, dogs and horses -- facing off across a half-pipe. As the teams skate against each other, the skaters draw cheers and boos from their companions and competitors alike. The action then cuts to similarly styled in-game play before cutting back to live action for a final charge between the two teams.
"We took the liberty of creating this 'Braveheart' moment of these two factions competing," Elder says. "It's an exaggeration of skate culture. We put it distinctly in a fantasy world to show the core that we knew this wasn't really happening. But there's enough components [in it] to appeal to people."
The ad will air on cable networks such as MTV, Comedy Central, G4, Adult Swim and Spike. The company will also take over gaming-oriented Web sites IGN.com and GameSpot.com for a day.