Saturday, October 18, 2008

You Know You Have A Huge Fundraising Advantage When...

By opting out of public financing for the general election, Barack Obama has been able to raise - and spend - positively ridiculous sums of money. In fact, he's going to end up "breaking the advertising spending record set by President Bush in the general election four years ago, having unleashed an advertising campaign of a scale and complexity unrivaled in the television era."

Senator Obama is out-spending Republican Presidential nominee John McCain by at least a four-to-one margin, and raised more money in September than Senator McCain has been permitted to in the entire general election (Senator McCain was constrained by the limits that accompany accepting public financing).

And while the two candidates buy up air time on your television and radio, Senator Obama is going somewhere that his opponent isn't: your video games. Per the AP (via FirstCuts):
For those too busy playing video games to watch presidential ads on television, Barack Obama has a solution. He's become the first presidential candidate to buy ad space inside a game....

The Democrat's ads are aimed primarily at game players who like sports, including NASCAR, the NBA, the NHL and skateboarding. That means EA Sports' motto, "It's in the game," now applies to presidential politics as well.
The NHL? Yep (maybe they saw an opening after the Republican Vice Presidential nominee nearly got booed out of the Wachovia Center and took the hint from the sign-holders in the background of this shot). Here's an example:

Photo via Flickr

So what do you think - keep your politics out of my video games or cool and clever?

23 comments:

Scott said...

how does that work!?! is it always going to be there or does it disappear after the election?? or is it just in the online version?

Anonymous said...

That is wrong. Keep politics out of video games, I will not support/buy a video game if I know it is politically involved for either party. If I find it, Ii will return the game.

Some times, politics just need to be checked at the door and we need to live together peacefully.

Anonymous said...

It's already in tv and print and people view video games any differently? Bizarre.

Irritating? Yes.

Improper? Yes.

Sanctity of video games? Missing me on this one.

Frankly, if Sarah Palin is dropping the puck at a real NHL game, what's the issue with politics in the video version.

EA Sports is just living up to their motto: "If it's in the game, it's in the game". Sadly, they are right in both cases.

- Empty Maybe

Anonymous said...

eh, ads are ads. no big deal. just stay off the jerseys and i'll be happy

Eric McErlain said...

As long as he's paying cash, he can advertise anywhere he pleases.

Armstrong and Zuniga called this way ahead of time. Written off as something of a polemic when it was first published, it's looking awfully prophetic now.

Anonymous said...

Just think of how much more obtrusive government will become when Obama is president. If he's willing to plug himself into a video game, he's capable of things we can't imagine. Oh boy!

Anonymous said...

If John McCain can't think ahead far enough to win the campaign (and spending) game, then how's he gonna think ahead as prez? I want a guy who's thinking in there, and coloring outside the lines now and then, too. Who was the last prez to do that? Truman? FDR?

Kudos to Obama and his peeps for thinking on their feet. Meanwhile, McCain and his peeps try to pull the wool over our collective eyes with the transparent choice of Palin as running mate. You get what you pay for, and Obama is gonna win this one.

anonymous202 said...

@ anon (1:58): shhhh!

MacVechkin, fka JR said...

Nevermind the video game, get this off my Japers. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I think its cool

Hazardous said...

I couldn't care one way or another because I'm not retarded enough to see a banner somewhere and decide my vote that way.

Actually, scratch that, I'm just not voting for either of these clowns.

DMG said...

That is wrong. Keep politics out of video games, I will not support/buy a video game if I know it is politically involved for either party. If I find it, Ii will return the game.

They bought advertising space, it's not like EA is trying to convince people to vote a certain way. I'm sure they'd put ads for McCain, Barr, Nadar, whomever if they bought them.

Ogre said...

Yeah, but I hate the thought of lining up a bonecrushing hit and getting Chara through the boards...and going to save my replay and he flew over Obama's head. I wouldn't care about it if Obama could tell me a thing about hockey.

Personally hate it, but only because I've never seen a political billboard at any arena there. "If it's in the game, it's in the game, and if it's not, maybe we'll find a way to stick it in if someone pays us enough." I'd like to have enough money to put a big penis with a helmet on it with the slogan "Protect Yourself", Because that would be funny.

Leslie said...

IF you have one of these games you might want to hold onto it. Might be worth something someday, as they will be a unique time-capsule of an important moment in American History.

Anonymous said...

Love it! Brilliant marketing.

mcfail said...

Complaining about the Ads in the game during your live play, is like complaining you have ads on your cable tv.

DoubleA_ron said...

As much as I hate to say it, he has every right to do this. Its annoying though, but probably effective.

This is why McCain and others designed the public financing idea, to avoid situations like this. To bad Obama backed out on his word...

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's annoying or inappropriate. In-game advertising is great, especially political ones because that way lazy ass kids will at least consider something important for a second. Plus, ads off-set many costs involved in making games, what with their million dollar budgets now.

Nick said...

Hey Anonymous,

I think it's hilarious you say we should keep political ads out of video games. So you just want ads for gatorade, McDonalds, and other fattening foods that atheletes don't eat and our kids should avoid?!
What's wrong with getting politics involved? Politics isn't a dirty thing... it's the way we run our country, and it's pretty damn important these days. We have to get this election right.
I personally think it shows amazing creativity that the campaign is doing this.

Mr. B said...

FYI- the Ads are dynamic, they are updated periodically over your console's Internet connection. The Obama ad is not literally "in-game," it's part of the current ad package update.

Pooch said...

so, essentially, if you're like most people and dont connect your system to the internet, then you would never see these ads.

Now if they would only release the @#!*ing third jersey codes.

B8ovin said...

HI-larious! "Keep politics out of my sports". Okay, let's see if I can spell this out: we are on the cusp of an immense recession if not outright depression. Political solutions are going to push this catastrophe one way or the other, thus affecting your ability to buy video games, tickets to sporting events, or even cable or satellite subscriptions to watch games on TV. Of course, this has nothing to do with small background advertisements in video games that you can choose to ignore.

jason said...

Delayed reaction here, but the ad isn't actually "in" the game. EA includes dynamic ad space in their latest games and changes the ads online depending on who's buying the space (often for movies, junk food, etc.) It's just another form of advertising, albeit pretty specifically targeted to people who play video games. Seems smart to me.