'God of War III' Begins Marketing Push With 7-Eleven, Mtn Dew

Convenience Store Will Debut Video-Game-Based Slurpee That Comes With Downloadable Content

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YORK, Pa. (AdAge.com) -- "God of War III," the latest installment in one of Sony PlayStation's premier franchises, is gearing up for battle, and it's enlisted as allies 7-Eleven and Mtn Dew.

God of War III Slurpee cupsEnlarge
'God of War III' Slurpee cups

"God of War III" is the first game in the series that can be played on the PlayStation 3, and though it won't hit shelves until March 16, the marketing campaign begins next week. Starting Feb. 1, fans of the Greek mythology-based action game can head to 7-Eleven when the Kratos Fury Slurpee flavor, created by Mtn Dew and the convenience-store chain, debuts. The blackberry-and-lime-flavored drink will also come with a choice of four different "God of War" artwork cups.

The cups will give each Slurpee buyer a code that allows them to download a variety of content including behind-the-scenes video of the making the game, an animated theme of Kratos' face, wallpaper for PCs and virtual items that unlock armor to use inside the game. Hanging neck tags on all Mountain Dew two-liter and 20-ounce bottles will also include codes that can be redeemed at slurpee.com.

"7-Eleven's core target is the 18- to 34-year-old male who is right in the sweet spot for this game," said Ginger Kraus, senior director-marketing alliances, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "It's a great alternative marketing opportunity to reach that gamer."

The Kratos Slurpee promotion will also get marketing support on TV with a promotional tag on Mtn Dew spots running during the Winter Dew Tour on NBC, online banners and play on Facebook, as well as e-mail marketing to the Slurpee Nation, PlayStation and Mtn Dew communities.

The Greek mythology-based video franchise most recently racked up more than 380,000 sales so far for its special holiday "God of War I & II Collection" on Blu-ray since it bowed in the fall, according to NPD Group data. Blockbuster sales are expected for "God of War III." CNET ranks it as one of the 30 most-anticipated games of 2010 in what promises to be a competitive year for video games. (In 2009, CNET could only come up with 16 hot games.)

PlayStation has been teasing the game, with previews and demos and clips for months, as well as doing pre-sales and promotions at retailers. However, the 7-Eleven promotion is the first "official promotional campaign" and foreshadows a much larger campaign coming in March. Deutsch, Los Angeles, is the agency. While PlayStation declined to reveal those details yet, it will include multimedia elements in a "very large marketing program."

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