Moving swiftly to exploit its fast-disappearing techno edge in the exploding videogame industry, 3DO breaks its first TV campaign this week on Fox's 100th episode of "The Simpsons."
Aggressively attacking the lowly 16-bit technology of Nintendo and Sega, 3DO's savagely humorous advertising portrays users of those systems as passive wimps and nerds who get pushed around by bosses, cops and their girlfriends' parents.
The four spots were created by Sausalito, Calif.-based Butler, Shine & Stern, composed of former account execs at Sega's agency of record, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. Butler casts 3DO's technology, using 32-bit chips with add-ons that make it five times faster than 16-bit systems, as "the most advanced home gaming system in the universe."
The problem the company seeks to correct is that very few people have actually sampled 3DO's pricey $499.99 game player.
"3DO's awareness [by consumers] is low, but we have the best technology on the market and eventually our systems will become the consumer vehicle of the information superhighway," said Bob Faber, senior VP-sales and marketing for Redwood City-based business.
3DO has a long way to go to accomplish the goal of making its "multiprocessor" technology an industry standard.
The only product now offered that use the technology is the videogame player being advertised, manufactured since October by Panasonic Co. Videogame insiders say penetration is less than 2% of the $6 billion industry.
But 3DO says that before yearend, at least four others-likely to include AT&T, Sanyo, Samsung and Goldstar-will ship videogame systems using its technology.
3DO made the sudden decision this spring to start advertising as news began to proliferate of superior videogame systems being developed by Sony Corp., Nintendo and Sega using 32-bit and 64-bit technology, for arrival on store shelves by early next year.