Branded Game Launch: To the Moon, Tiger

To juice up its work for Gatorade, creative agency Element 79 called in interactive shop Blitz to introduce a branded game and banner campaign to leverage the client’s relationship with Tiger Woods. The new game and accompanying banners are built around a recent TV spot, called “Moonshot,” that depicts Woods in a driving range on the moon.

The effort promotes a new drink named after the golf star: Gatorade Tiger. In the TV commercial he is seen in a space suit on the moon driving golf balls in the direction of Earth.

Blitz worked with Electronic Arts on the development of the game and banners to compliment the creative already in progress. In the game, approaching asteroids threaten a succession of planets. The player controls a golfer in astronaut garb, and must hit the ball in the right direction to annihilate the oncoming projectiles.

Rich media banner ads contain a light version of the game, allowing surfers to play without leaving the site where they encountered the ad. Copy attracts consumers with messages such as, “Elevate our game to an explosive level.” “Out there the asteroids are closing in. Unless you stop them�” and, “1/6 of earth’s gravity / explosive asteroid storms / can you save the moon?” Mouse over, and the Pointroll units expand to a playable game. At the end of the first level, the ad prompts users to click through to the Gatorade Tiger site to play the more robust version of the game.

“The campaign itself revolves around Tiger Woods, and when you’re the greatest golfer on earth, what’s next?” said Martin. The answer: “Placing Tiger Woods on the moon, or starting out on the moon and allowing him to play on each planet.”

Blitz’ approach to game development was what attracted Element 79, he added. “We were sought out by Element 79 based on our experience with online gaming� from a supporting banner standpoint, making sure the banner experience was achievable.”

Ads ran on mainstream and sports-specific sites such as NBC, Yahoo, PGA.com, and ESPN.com. Element 79 was responsible for the media buy.

EA holds the license for the game rights to Tiger Woods, and had final approval on the advergame and in-banner game unit.

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