Cross Promo: Sony ties MD Walkman to online game

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Looking for a way to lure 18-to-24 year-olds to its MiniDisc Walkman, Sony Electronics turned to "Tony Hawk Pro Skater," the popular PC and console video game.

WildTangent, Redmond, Wash., retooled it for online play, incorporated Walkman branding and dubbed the game "Sony SkatePark." The game presented the MD Walkman in an appropriate context and enabled Sony to deliver key messages about the product's advanced features including extended play and digital recording. Gamers scored by collecting MDs and MD Walkman recorders.

"Sony SkatePark" made its debut on UGO Networks' online gaming channel last year during the key fourth-quarter sales season and ran for 12 weeks. Gamers played an average of 2.8 times during the course of the game's run, spending an average of 27 minutes per week, according to Sony.

That's not WildTangent's only score. Capitalizing on the European penchant for soccer, WildTangent created "Scorpion K.O." for Nike Europe. Launched in April in 11 languages, the online soccer game tied closely to Nike's global advertising. More than 600,000 unique visitors played the game in its first eight weeks.

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