Pringles Gets in the Game with Kong

The latest promotion for Universal Studios’ upcoming King Kong film is an advergame, “King Kong Jump,” sponsored by P&G’s Pringles brand.

Players must jump over and duck under rolling Pringles cans, “Donkey Kong”-style, as Kong looks on. At the end of the game, players are invited to watch the film’s trailer, send the game to a friend, or create a private league with friends to compete in real time. U.K. players can enter to win a trip to New Zealand, where Kong was filmed.

The game was built by U.K.-based Inbox Digital, which has also developed advergames for DaimlerChrysler’s Dodge nameplate, Comic Relief, Reuters, and video game developer Digital Jesters.

“We’ve created a beautiful, simple, playable, addictive game that we’re confident will create huge awareness of the King Kong promotion for Pringles. It really shows what you can do online for big brands,” said Oli Christie, creative director at Inbox Digital.

The Pringles/Kong microsite also lets visitors download Pringles-branded Kong wallpaper or screensavers, send an e-card, or view the movie trailer or the Pringles/Kong TV spot.

Companies are increasingly turning to channels such as advergaming, creating games with brand messaging built in, to break through the perceived clutter of online ads, and to forge a deeper relationship with consumers. A 2004 Yankee Group report forecast the nascent market for in-game ads, where ads are placed within the context of the game, and advergaming will be worth a combined $260 million by 2008, up from a scant $79 million in 2003.

The U.S. Army had such success with its online advergame, “America’s Army,” that it launched a retail version of the game for consoles this fall.

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