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TSN.ca - The Sports Network - June 17 Strategy (Page 3)

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TSN.ca - The Sports Network - June 17 Strategy

While game developers are concerned with legitimacy, often times clients are also very hesitant to spend
their marketing dollars in a platform that is still in its infancy.

"We have discussed with our clients advertising in video games, but there is reticence," says Jon Lax,
president of the Toronto-based interactive agency, Modem Media, adding that the suggestion is normally
dismissed rather quickly despite the fact that he is optimistic about it becoming a powerful vehicle for
clients in the future.

"It's hard to quantify the value of a logo on the side of wall in a game or a sponsorship because there's no
measurement, no yardstick to prove it's working. So when push comes to shove, they'd rather spend their
budget elsewhere on a more traditional strategy that has proven effectiveness," he says.

Popular Web portal Sympatico.ca has experienced this dilemma. It launched its own Flash advergame
called "Mosh Pit Mayhem" a month ago. Just like TSN's Trivia Break, the game is prominently positioned
on the site's main page, enticing younger visitors to play for a chance to win $1,000.

The site's marketing brass wanted to engage the 18-to-34 hip-but-jaded, demographic with a game that
features more mature, twentysomething characters dressed in the typical rave uniform (hoodies and baggy
pants for the boys and tight, form-fitting tops and capris, plus lots of cutesy accessories for the girls).
Designed in a colourful, comic-book style, players drudge through mud pits, mosh pits and bouncers to
eventually make it to the stage to see the concert. But the only brand displayed in the entire game is
sympatico.ca.

"We don't have any sponsors so far, it's such a new idea," says Leslie Andrachuk, Sympatico's director of
national marketing, adding that the advergame does offer a branding opportunity and product integration
for consumer goods like bottled water or music licensing.

And would Sympatico consider advertising its own brand in the online game platform? "That's a very
interesting question, and the answer is definitely 'yes,'" she replies. "It's an innovative platform with lots of
opportunity. We're just starting to think about it."

[c] 2002 Brunico Communications Inc. Reprinted with permission.
STRATEGY, STRATEGY DIRECT + INTERACTIVE, and "The Canadian Marketing Report"
are trademarks of Brunico Communications Inc.

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