This story was written by Tameka Kee.
*Electronic Arts* needs a massive best-selling game this year to make up for its lackluster titles last yearand judging from its new marketing blitz, the publisher is pinning its hopes on The Sims 3. Billboards hyping the game have sprung up in cities like New York, Boston, Chicago and LA; The Simmers Club notes that pics of the ads were posted to a Facebook Fan page (via Kotaku).
Running larger-than-life outdoor campaigns has become a popular tactic for publishers looking to generate big buzz about upcoming games: Take-Two (NSDQ: TTWO) seeded Manhattan and Brooklyn with billboards prior to the launch of GTA: IV, for example, and Valve took over the San Francisco subway system with ads for Left 4 Dead. But EA's goes above and beyond previous efforts, with its multi-city approach.
These campaigns don't come cheap. While gaming companies generally don't disclose their marketing budgets for particular games, according to a *Clear Channel* Outdoor rate card (one of the largest out-of-home ad networks in the country), a billboard with prime placement in New York City can cost over $2.7 million for about a month. With EA running these ads in at least five major cities, the cost of The Sims 3 campaign could be well into the tens of millions of dollarsand that's without TV spots. Then again, COO John Pleasants did say that the company would be cutting costs on everything but marketing this year.
Photo Credit: The Simmers Club Forum
By Tameka Kee