In-Game Marketing, Come on Down!

'Price Is Right' Incorporates Brands as It Goes After Joystick Crowd

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- "The Price is Right" will be significantly different this year -- and not just because Bob Barker's no longer on the set.

Fremantle's 'Price Is Right' game show is going digital, including a mobile application.


Digital applications
The daytime game show is going digital this fall via a downloadable web game, a mobile application and a video game from EA Games that's set to launch on various consoles in December. "Price" producer FremantleMedia is teaming with Seattle-based Ludia to get long-time marketers such as Procter & Gamble Co. involved across all the applications, just as a new host is about to be announced. Reports have pointed to game-show vet Todd Newton and "Entertainment Tonight" anchor Mark Steines as likely finalists for the gig.

"It's the new age with the new host," said Jason Turner, Fremantle's director of interactive. "We're now able to go to certain brands and offer sponsorship opportunities with the ability to be in the show, in the video, in the downloadable game and on mobile. And we're expecting to introduce more interactive applications into the show as well."

P&G, Saatchi
Turning hit game shows into video games is nothing new for Fremantle, having brought "American Idol" and "Family Feud" to the joystick crowd as well. But it's the first of what Ludia founder and CEO Alex Thibet hopes will be many game-related partnerships for his 4-month-old start-up -- particularly with an advisory board that includes executives from P&G and Saatchi & Saatchi.

"What marketers have experienced so far is it's not that easy to integrate efficiently into existing products -- there's a lot of constraints, they can't work with establish formats and it's hard to do any kind of call-to-action within those games," Mr. Thibet said. "But with 'Price Is Right,' we're essentially working from the ground up, using standard web formats for advertisers within the game. It's easier for a marketer to use. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, creating new visuals. Instead you can work with what they have."
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