Ad placement in video games is nothing new, but Andrew Miller, media planner for The Martin Agency, says the racing truck "was kind of a tough sell." Electronic Arts doesn't like to place unrealistic elements in its sports-related games, he says. And this was a bit more than a driver sipping on a well-placed Pepsi after the race.
UPS was also worried its precious icon would end up battered and smoking after a couple of rounds at the Daytona 500.
But where there is money to be made, there is compromise: UPS paid a substantial sum to place its truck in the game; The Martin Agency provided the digital images; and Electronic Arts agreed to program the truck so it wouldn't sustain any damage.
Miller demonstrates by crashing into stock cars left and right and flipping the truck a few times. Like a cat, it always lands right side up. That's important for game play, too, he says: "Nobody's going to drive it if it tops out at 70 miles an hour like it does in real life and topples over in the corner." Melissa Scott Sinclair
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