Fuel Uses Game Play To Reach Youth Market


Los Angeles-based digital agency Fuel Industries has realigned its 12-year focus on branded entertainment and general marketing to target the youth market through interactive campaigns such as gaming. To accomplish the goal, senior executive Andrew Wing and creative guru Mike Burns have been named co-CEOs.

Burns said the company will build campaigns that engage today's youth, who want to consume content through game play on sites like McDonald's Europe HappyStudio.com. Fuel has been working with McDonald's since 2007. A year ago, the company won a bid to build a virtual world marketing platform in Europe. It's available in 40 countries and has been translated in almost as many languages.

Integrated into the virtual worlds are characters from movies such as "Tin Tin," "Puss In Boots" and "Ice Age 4," along with content from popular toys like Hot Wheels. Clients also include Google, Electronic Arts and Microsoft.

As part of its entertainment division, Fuel launched its own property in October on the Sony PlayStation Network called Sideway New York, an action platform game for PS3 and PCs.

Fuel has been developing similar properties for global brands since 1999. Wing joined Burns at Fuel in 2011 as chairman of the executive committee after stints as president and CEO of Cantor Entertainment, a division of Cantor Fitzgerald, and president and CEO of Nielsen Entertainment.

The combined leadership has overseen the evolution of Fuel’s business model and the elevation of Fuel’s Youth Engagement brand.

Michael Plotkin, former CTO at Electronics Arts, who holds a Ph.D. in computer science, has been named CTO at Fuel. Chief Strategy Officer Jeff Roach, who guides strategic planning and youth consumer insights, served in similar roles at youth marketing agencies Youthography and Glitteration. 

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