Atari Taps Jonathan Anastas as VP-Head of Marketing

Challenged to Keep Legacy Brand Relevant in Game Space

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Video game marketer Atari today named ad agency veteran Jonathan Anastas as its VP-head of marketing.

Mr. Anastas succeeds Jeff Reese, who left the company earlier this summer, and will report to Atari President-CEO Jim Wilson. In his new role, Mr. Anastas will be charged with plotting all brand marketing strategies for Atari's retail and online businesses globally.

He'll also be faced with helping keep the old-school gaming brand relevant to consumers who have flocked to more modern and popular platforms like Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's Wii. It's a tall order, but the company offered this vote of confidence about Mr. Anastas: "As the video game consumer expands in demographic, region and platform, the marketing role demands more knowledge of media and methods than ever before," said Mr. Wilson. "Jonathan delivers all that and more to Atari and we welcome his leadership and creativity."

Mr. Anastas' experience is largely on the agency side, at shops such as Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mullen and Omnicom Group's DDB, but over the years he has worked with a number of companies in the gaming sector, including video game developer THQ and Vivendi Universal Games.

The Lyon, France-based company recently underwent a rebranding from Infogrames Entertainment to Atari to draw on the recognition of the Atari brand, and is trying to boost revenues via co-publishing deals. It launched "Ghostbusters: The Video Game" in partnership with Sony PlayStation in Europe, for example.

Like most marketers these days, Atari is also trying its hand at social media. Last month, Atari launched a social networking application dubbed "Atari Photo Sauce" that lets Facebook users digitally decorate and personalize their own photos with colorful stickers, speech bubbles and accessories.

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