Obama Runs Ads in ‘Madden’

Barack Obama’s ads are now appearing in several sports video games, including the granddaddy of them all, Madden football.

The Obama campaign has purchased space in the popular Xbox 360 game “Madden NFL 09” and nine other titles by video game maker Electronic Arts, said Holly Rockwood, the company’s director of corporate communications.

Only gamers playing online in 10 states can see the ads, which appear as stadium signage or billboards, Rockwood said. (The ads are downloaded when gamers log on to the Xbox Internet service.) Unsurprisingly, all 10 states are swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin. President Bush won all of those states in 2004 except for Wisconsin.

The ads began running Oct. 6 and will be visible until Nov. 3, the day before Election Day, Rockwood said.

The other Xbox games where the ads appear are “Burnout Paradise,” “NASCAR 09,” “NHL 09,” “NBA Live 08,” “Need For Speed: Carbon,” “Need For Speed: ProStreet,” “NFL Tour,” and “Skate.”

Technology blogs this week had reported on ads popping up in the racing game “Burnout Paradise.” In the game, racers drive by a billboard that features the Obama’s mug next to the words “Early Voting Has Begun/” has a screenshot of the billboard.

Rockwood said that Obama’s ads are the first presidential advertising to run in Electronic Arts games, which has an audience made largely of young males between 18 and 34. She said that the company accepts ads from “credible advertisers” and that the messages do not reflect the views or policies of the company. She added that one advertising agency that works with Electronic Arts had contacted the McCain campaign about advertising, but that the Republican’s camp passed.

Tags Application software Barack Obama Burnout Candidate Position Digital media Electronic Arts Entertainment Holly Rockwood Madden NFL Person Career Quotation Technology Video game developers Video games
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