Online gaming publisher WildTangent has launched an Internet game for the season premier of the Fox TV series 24 that features branded product placement by LG Mobile Phones within the game.
LG purchased inventory from Fox on the game as it would any media buy, said Dave Madden, executive vice president of sales and marketing at WildTangent, based in Redmond, Wash. Terms of the deal were not available. Product placement buys such as LG's typically cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"The audience for 24 and the image of the show is perfect for LG because the whole show is about cutting-edge technology and communication," said Dave Madden, executive vice president of sales and marketing at WildTangent, based in Redmond, Wash.
That audience is made up of men between the ages of 18 and 34 who are spending less time watching TV and more time playing games.
The Fox show features Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland, who heads a counterterrorist unit looking to foil terrorist plots against the U.S. The online game, which went live yesterday at www.fox.com/24, lets the gamer play the role of Jack Bauer. Each level of the "24 Countdown" game involves outwitting and outracing a terrorist harboring some sort of nuclear device in one chase scene after another in the desert outside Las Vegas.
The gamer is reminded to tune in to the premier of the series' fourth season Jan. 9-10 for two hours each night. The message pops into view right before the game launches and appears on billboards on highways during chase scenes.
In the game Jack Bauer communicates with his team using a new LG phone, the LG VX8000, that the company will put on the market in January. The phone features streaming audio and video, high-speed Internet access and a digital camera. LG billboards also occur along the highway.
WildTangent will track how many visitors play "24 Countdown," how long they spend there and how many times they return. WildTangent will also measure how long the gamer spends lingering over the LG device and whether they click through to the LG corporate site.