Bringing Change You Can Believe In to Xbox 360
October 14, 2008 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Obama Advertising in Video Games Obama campaigning in XBox 360's Burnout Paradise. Although Mark Warner did it first with his video appearance in Second Life, Senator Obama has gone one step further and is advertising on Xbox 360.

Obama is campaigning on the Electronic Arts/Criterion Games Burnout Paradise, EA's improbably named spokesperson Holly Rockwood has confirmed.

But does his advertising go counter to his message? Indeed, the Democratic candidate for the Presidency told Americans to "turn off the television set, and put the video games away,” in order to improve America's youth.
posted by Ironmouth (58 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sure, but where better to put the "SMOKING CAUSES CANCER" warnings than on cigarette packages?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:24 AM on October 14, 2008


Yeah, well I just saw a McCain ad on the back of the latest, coolest Cribbage game at Sears.

Take that, cool kids.
posted by rokusan at 9:25 AM on October 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


Are you a bad enough dude to vote for the president?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:31 AM on October 14, 2008 [29 favorites]


But does his advertising go counter to his message? Indeed, the Democratic candidate for the Presidency told Americans to "turn off the television set, and put the video games away,” in order to improve America's youth.

ATTENTION, MEDIA-NARRATIVE-STARVING STUPID SQUARE-ASS OLD PEOPLE:

People who both (a) are of legal age to vote and (b) will see these ads—e.g. the target demographic—are known as "adults". A whole bunch of whom enjoy spending their leisure time playing video games. With the money they earn at their jobs. That they work at. Because they're adults, who can vote and who like video games. For fuck's sake.
posted by cortex at 9:34 AM on October 14, 2008 [62 favorites]


Quibbles about both the role of video games vs. just plain active parenting in "improving youth" and the efficacy of advertising on billboards in Burnout left as exercises to the reader.
posted by cortex at 9:36 AM on October 14, 2008


But does his advertising go counter to his message? Indeed, the Democratic candidate for the Presidency told Americans to "turn off the television set, and put the video games away,” in order to improve America's youth.

This criticism is entirely in line with the attacks on Obama's hypocrisy in buying advertising on television.

Oh wait.
posted by enn at 9:39 AM on October 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


Personal, slightly related: I have told my four year old that Obama is for video games, McCain is against them. Not true, but my four year old has become very invested in the Presidential race.
posted by poppo at 9:42 AM on October 14, 2008 [15 favorites]


I gotta admit, this is fucking brilliant.
posted by notsnot at 9:43 AM on October 14, 2008


Obama's advertising in more than just Burnout: Paradise. This is a pdf slideshow of screenshots from other games his ad is appearing in.

I can't tell what all of the games are, but I recognize NBA Live, Madden, EA NHL and Guitar Hero.
posted by thewittyname at 9:45 AM on October 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


poppo:

You should also tell your four-year old that Obama is for going out for ice cream and staying up past 8pm, while McCain's policies will raise taxes on 95% of middle class dessert savings funds.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:52 AM on October 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


One of my friends has two boys; the older one told the younger that McCain was raising the tax on toys. TRUE FACT, MY FRIENDS.
posted by Mister_A at 9:55 AM on October 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → OBAMA Vote
posted by Poolio at 9:56 AM on October 14, 2008 [30 favorites]


"turn off the television set, and put the video games away..."

There's no possible way he could mean anything other than "turn these devices off FOREVER."
posted by Mister_A at 9:58 AM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


So far this election I've spent several days worth of thought pondering what this generation will be harrumphing in a few decades when we're the Old, Out Of Touch ones.

Which isn't to say that this isn't awesome and way overdue.
posted by Skorgu at 9:58 AM on October 14, 2008


Oh yeah? Well, I heard that Obama is a Muslim because he doesn't believe in the Christian IDDQD
posted by Damn That Television at 10:00 AM on October 14, 2008


Meh. It's been done. Remember that laughing dog in Duck Hunt?



Walter Mondale.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:00 AM on October 14, 2008 [8 favorites]


I heard that McCain released Sarah Palin's rebuttal on Xbox Live.

"Fucking faggot spawn-camping pussy-ass faggot cheap-ass faggot pussy!"

Alas, being that it was Xbox live, no one noticed.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:01 AM on October 14, 2008 [7 favorites]


"WINNERS DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN"
posted by burnmp3s at 10:07 AM on October 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


Parasite Unseen, here is what McCain said.

"Laaaaaag, my friends."
posted by Mister_A at 10:08 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Echoing the Bush flags in dog poop signs from several years ago: McCain signs in dog poop.
posted by milkrate at 10:09 AM on October 14, 2008


Wait 'til "McCain releases Get Off My Lawn 2: Maverick Edition.
posted by Mister_A at 10:11 AM on October 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


But, can you count on gamers to leave the house long enough to actually vote?
posted by trbrts at 10:15 AM on October 14, 2008


Barack Obama = Super Mario 64
Joe Biden = Metroid
John McCain = Pong
Sarah Palin = E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:17 AM on October 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


McCain is going old school releasing hacked snes ROMs of Barack Obama's Punch-Out. It's buggy though, as your controls are so sluggish that Glass Joe Biden easily beats the living shit out of you, which allows Soda Palinski to run off with your bike.

And you gotta play using a Power Glove because clumsy and innaccurate is as close to maverickhood one can get in eight bits.
posted by bunnytricks at 10:24 AM on October 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


But does his advertising go counter to his message? Indeed, the Democratic candidate for the Presidency told Americans to "turn off the television set, and put the video games away,” in order to improve America's youth.

Well, since only 18+ year olds can vote, it's clear that he thinks kids should turn off the game and go outside, but it's too late for adult gamers - they might as well stay plugged in.
posted by jb at 10:26 AM on October 14, 2008


I originally saw this news on Electicker's sidebar, and it was something about "Obama Campaigning on XBOX 360...", but I read it as "Obama Camping on XBOX 360." I clicked on the link expecting to see him perched with a sniper rifle over a health pack.
posted by cimbrog at 10:34 AM on October 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Apropos of nothing, here's Obama and McCain tearing it up in Saints Row 2.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:37 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


But, can you count on gamers to leave the house long enough to actually vote?

As a gamer, I'm definitely going out ... to drop my absentee ballot in the mailbox.
posted by breath at 10:41 AM on October 14, 2008


I understand that, due to limited funds, that the McCain campaign is placing a McCAIN 2008: GET OFF MY LAWNS!! tattoo on some road kill in the upgrade...

--instead of a bumpersticker on one of the wrecks by the side of the road.
posted by y2karl at 10:43 AM on October 14, 2008


MoveOn is placing ads targeted to young voters that will run during Gossip Girl in certain areas.
posted by Tehanu at 10:46 AM on October 14, 2008


but I read it as "Obama Camping on XBOX 360." I clicked on the link expecting to see him perched with a sniper rifle over a health pack.

The way Obama is pwning McCain, that's an easy mistake to make.
posted by ryoshu at 10:58 AM on October 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm not a gammer, but I do have an iPhone. Seeing the Obama app made me want the same thing for McCain. I searched the store for McCain, but just get a countdown app.

To me, if it would be possible to avoid the bias, I think the same people who did the Obama app should do one for McCain. To be able to instantly evaluate stated issue poistions, side-by-side, would be invaluable.

I think Obama is doing a much cooler job with marketing.

Anyway, link to the projects page for the Obama iPhone app.

schwa had a hand in it's making.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:59 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


If there's one thing I hate worse than in-game advertising is political in-game advertising.
posted by schleppo at 11:29 AM on October 14, 2008


Seems like a smart idea. I only wish the campaign had come up with a couple other designs, just to make it a little more interesting. But, I guess you don't really stop and look at these while you are playing, so it's probably smart, stronger impact as a background element, what do I know.
posted by JBennett at 11:46 AM on October 14, 2008


But does his advertising go counter to his message? Indeed, the Democratic candidate for the Presidency told Americans to "turn off the television set, and put the video games away,”

Why is this news now? If I am not mistaken Senator Obama has already placed several ads on television. Television!

My friends, this socialist muslin is no maverick. No maverick at all.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:50 AM on October 14, 2008


I play a lot of Burnout Paradise, although haven't booted it up in the past few days to see the ads. There's a Gillette Fusion van every few blocks always certain to make a left hand turn from the right lane. I'm glad Obama didn't get those types of ads. It seems the game attracts an older crowd. Almost every room has a parent playing ("Jimmy, get away from the Xbox. Jiiiimmmy. Don't press the round button. I said don----."

---The room you are in no longer exists---

Not to mention that the game is fairly innovative in the regard that since it's launch in January it has had several free updates giving it more content and there's still more to come. If I didn't know the campaign did a larger EA buy, I'd say the game specifically was a good match.

Speaking of EA. What's the difference between Palin & the Madden '09 IQ test?

I'm not sure because both have a old man telling you how great you are, but when you get into an actual game you get your ass embarrassed by the opposition.
posted by yeti at 11:56 AM on October 14, 2008


Goddamn, Obama and his team are so smart. I hope McCain brings up Ayers tomorrow. Something tells me Obama will have a response ready that might make McCain melt into a pile of goo right there on the floor. Asking him this question at the debate would be like giving Vince Lombardi 9 bye weeks to prepare for a Super Bowl against a known opponent. It will be ugly, but fun ugly, not ugly ugly.
posted by vito90 at 11:58 AM on October 14, 2008


On my server in WoW, there have been people spamming McCain ads for days in trade chat. I wish I was kidding, but it's basically a Rush Limbaugh transcript 24/7 atm. I should take some screenshots.
posted by mek at 12:00 PM on October 14, 2008


It's a shame that EA only accepts ads from "credible political candidates" - I was hoping for a realistic present-day streetview in those racing games, complete DIY Ron Paul signs. (Sorry to any/all Ron Paul supporters =).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:07 PM on October 14, 2008


(Sorry to any/all both Ron Paul supporters =).

FTFY.
posted by Mister_A at 12:11 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → OBAMA select Vote

FTFY. Now it's two-player.
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:17 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


What's the difference between Palin & the Madden '09 IQ test?

Heh.

Sorry to any/all Ron Paul supporters

GOOGLE GRAPHIC DESIGN
posted by cortex at 12:21 PM on October 14, 2008


To me, if it would be possible to avoid the bias, I think the same people who did the Obama app should do one for McCain. To be able to instantly evaluate stated issue poistions, side-by-side, would be invaluable.

Totally. And maybe we can round up some volunteers from some of the Obama campaign centers and have them work two days a week in McCain's offices!

Are you kidding me?
posted by eyeballkid at 12:23 PM on October 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


Totally. And maybe we can round up some volunteers from some of the Obama campaign centers and have them work two days a week in McCain's offices!

I would totally sign up for that. But for very bad reasons.
posted by Tehanu at 12:59 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Most of those reasons involve Colonel Tigh and McCain's twitter feed.
posted by Tehanu at 1:01 PM on October 14, 2008


I would subscribe to your newsletter &c. Tehanu.
posted by Mister_A at 1:21 PM on October 14, 2008


I predict that I will go home, pop in Paradise, and I'll get so into it, I'll forget why I started playing it again (specifically to see the ad), I'll get into a takedown race, be cruising along, ending fools left and right, when I'll look up, see Obama's mug staring down at me, whereby I'll be nudged straight into oncoming traffic only to experience a highly detailed slow motion shot of my car crumpling into nothing, completely screwing up my race.

Thanks a lot Barack.
posted by quin at 2:15 PM on October 14, 2008


I'm glad Pikmin 3 isn't just about to come out, because I don't know if I could handle salvaging Obama campaign buttons.
posted by JHarris at 2:26 PM on October 14, 2008


I still don't like in-game advertising.
posted by box at 3:41 PM on October 14, 2008


BTW, CBS/NYT showing Obama up 14 nationally over McCain, Likely Voters.

them's some gaudy numbers there.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:56 PM on October 14, 2008


In other news, Dish Network recently started up a new channel that does nothing but play a two-minute Obama ad over and over and over.

Between that and game advertising, it makes it seem like his campaign must have more money than it knows what to do with.
posted by JHarris at 4:25 PM on October 14, 2008


Nah. I think they're just maximizing their exposure to new audiences in the final stages. Supposedly the DNC wants to shift some money to Senate races but Obama/Biden said no. But also supposedly the RNC is shifting money to Senate races. Not sure if either is true, yet, but I think Obama is only leading quite as strongly as he is because he's never let up with the ads and he can afford to do that.
posted by Tehanu at 4:30 PM on October 14, 2008


Also new: http://taxcut.barackobama.com/

I think their pace of promoting Obama in every means they can think of is only going to get faster as this race draws to an end.
posted by Tehanu at 4:32 PM on October 14, 2008


I would totally sign up for that. But for very bad reasons.

Hi, I'm here from the McCain-Palin campaign and I'd like to fuck you hard, big boy.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:54 PM on October 14, 2008


I think you and I have very different understandings of "bad."
posted by Tehanu at 5:05 PM on October 14, 2008


I think their pace of promoting Obama in every means they can think of is only going to get faster as this race draws to an end.

Truer words never spoken. And on top of that, their offline grassroots organization seems to be growing exponentially. Every day they have more people trained to canvas and work the phones. I haven't seen anything quite like it before.
posted by Elsbet at 7:44 PM on October 14, 2008


Between that and game advertising, it makes it seem like his campaign must have more money than it knows what to do with.

Cable time is pretty cheap. I'm not sure how effective an entire channel is, however. The game ad looks like a good idea. I bet both combined were cheaper than one national ad run on a major network in prime time.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:21 PM on October 14, 2008


You are standing in the middle of the heartland of America.
There are McCain supporters in all directions.

> change

You can't do that here.

posted by Mikey-San at 12:56 AM on October 15, 2008 [13 favorites]


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