selling coke to kids

Does it work when I link to articles from the New York Times, or do you have to register to read them? I think I’m linking in such a way that you don’t have to, but I don’t know. If you haven’t registered to read the Times on-line, you really should anyway. It’s really good, and it’s free.

If you get a chance, read this article by Matt Richtel. It’s about the increasing trend toward the tying of consumer products into video games. I find the thought somewhat frightening that you can, in the new Sims Online game, for instance, consume McDonalds fare. As a marketing guy, I think it’s brilliant. After all, if you have to consume fries to survive on a virtual level, wouldn’t you think that you’d be more likely to eat them in the real world? While brilliant, I still think it’s evil. It’s probably also unstopable.

Here’s a blurb.

Advertisers are increasingly integrating soda cans, cellphones, food and other products into movies, television shows and even rap songs. Now big-league product placement is coming to video games, where consumers will not just see these items, but interact and play with them — and eat them.

One of the largest makers of video games, Electronic Arts, plans to announce this week contracts worth more than $2 million — thought by industry executives to be the biggest ever in the game industry — that integrate products from McDonald’s and Intel into a video game to be released this fall. The game will let players be nourished by virtual Big Macs and communicate using computers emblazoned with the Intel logo.

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