Thursday, March 9, 2006

Case: Brand Integration in True Crime: NYC

The following refers to the console version of Activition's True Crime: New York City released in fall 2005.

Times Square:


Most of the billboards in this version of Times Square are fake, but check out the noodle cup at the top center and the beer billboard under it.


For comparison, here's a recent pic of the same building in the real world (see a better one that someone else took).



I can't find any reference of Orange (the mobile service provider) advertising in the game, but Luxoflux in the tagline "Orange is Luxoflux's company" is the developer behind the title.


Notice the cellphone icon in the top left corner branded with Motorola's "M"...


... and how Motorola's the only real brand advertised on the billboards.

Brands:

Tor Thorsen, "First Look: True Crime 2", Gamespot.com, May 2005:

"Activision is kicking off a contest on Wednesday, May 18 [2005]. Called "True Crime Guess the City and Win Marcus' Ride," the contest, as you might have guessed, challenges entrants to guess what city the new game will take place in.

The grand prize is a brand-new Chrysler 300, "Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl" in color. The car is tricked out with 22-inch Asanti Wheels, Billet front grille, Lamborghini-style doors, SAVV 10.2-inch headrest monitors, Alpine AM/FM/DVD/CD player with LCD monitor, MA Audio front and rear component speakers, four-channel amp, subwoofer amp, and a 12-inch subwoofer, and Xbox video game system (not to be played while driving). Ten first-prize winners will receive a Motorola mobile phone and 10 second-prize winners will receive Puma gear."


Chrysler:


The in-game Chrysler, the main character's ride (image: Next Level Gaming)


The prize car for the "Guess the City" competition (image: Next Level Gaming)


Motorola:


"Puma's In-game Product Placement", Brand Noise, Feb 16, 2006
"Another placement that comes off without seeming to heavy-handed, is a quick "Hello Moto" reference in one of the lines of dialogue. It is uttered ny a character using their mobile phone. An example of culturally embedding a brand first so it can be referenced believably in other media. Not a bad placement."


Puma:

C├ęsar A. Berardini, "PUMA, Activision Partner for True Crime: New York City", Team Xbox, Oct. 28, 2005:

"PUMA announced today the next installation of their partnership with Activision, which builds on the success of the best-selling videogame True Crime: Streets of L.A.
[...]
To commemorate our second partnership with Activision, we created a unique sneaker mission within the True Crime New York City game and also made a special edition shoe. In the True Crime game, the player must locate the special edition sneakers and return them to sneaker stores. In real life players can buy the exact shoe from those same New York City stores.
[...]
As a separate quest from the main game, players must find all of the special edition True Crime RS-100 sneakers scattered throughout the city and return them to select, real New York City retailers featured in the game."



image: Uncrate


"Puma True Crime RS-100 Sneakers", Jan.25, 2006
"The [limited edition] Puma True Crime RS-100 sneakers ($100) feature a map of lower Manhattan, a game logo on the insole, and the embroidered letters T and C on the heels. Each pair comes with a coupon to get a free copy of True Crime: New York City, but expect to make a trek to get them if you don't live in New York — the shoes are only sold at The Puma Store: Soho, Classic Kicks, Flight Club and Clientele."

Also see truecrime.puma.com:

3 comments:

  1. The Puma news is interesting. I hadn't caught that. Considering both Nike's efforts in this area and the odd (to me) move into niche kicks by toy outfit KidRobot, this is probably the most interesting market segment wrt "convergence". I'll definitely have to poke around it more often. Nice post.

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  2. Thanks. Other makers are in games, too. I'll do a separate post on that, but consider Fila in Midway's LA Rush and Adidas in Hyperride.

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  3. Best online coupons, deals & coupon codes related to apprale & shoes are available at here at Puma.com store through CouponAlbum shopping site....!

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