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Engage In-Game Advertising Announces Launch, Pioneers Localized Video Game Advertising for SUBWAY(R).

SAN FRANCISCO -- Engage In-Game Advertising, the first independent in-game media company to provide strategic planning and placement services targeted specifically for video game advertising, announces its launch today. The company adds that it is pioneering localized in-game advertising programs in targeted markets for SUBWAY(R), the nation's largest quick service restaurant (QSR) chain.

San Francisco-based Engage focuses solely on providing strategic direction for companies that want to reach targeted audiences by integrating their advertising messages into console, PC and mobile game properties. Unlike other in-game media companies, Engage serves companies on regional and local levels on a market-by-market basis, allowing brands to better target their audiences geographically.

Engage's launch comes at a time when key market segments are turning from traditional media to new forms of electronic entertainment. For example, television viewership among men 18 to 34 declined by 12 percent in 2004, while the same group spent 20 percent more time playing video games. As a result, the 18- to 34-year-old male demographic has become increasingly more difficult to reach through traditional advertising mediums.

"Since it's a relatively new medium, many companies are unaware of the promotional reach and creative flexibility video game advertising can provide when trying to target the elusive 18- to 34-year-old male audience," said David Smith, vice president of business development for Engage. "When done correctly -- and the in-game ads contextually support the game environment -- we're finding gamers are in favor of video game advertising because it enhances the realism of the game play. As a result, our clients are discovering that in-game advertising is connecting well with their key customers."

That's exactly what SUBWAY(R) found when one of its largest local advertising agencies tapped Engage to develop an in-game advertising strategy targeting men 18 to 34 in several designated market areas, including San Francisco, Las Vegas and Sacramento. The objective for the in-game campaign was to increase awareness around the SUBWAY(R) $2.49 daily special and drive sales from the restaurant's heavy users.

After only three weeks of advertising in the most popular online action game played among men 18 to 34, SUBWAY(R) reached 31,000 unique gamers and achieved more than 19,000 eyeball hours of exposure in one market alone. All SUBWAY(R) markets running in-game advertising are seeing a measurable increase in traffic and sales.

"Not only was the campaign incredibly effective in connecting with our target audience, but it was cost effective as well," said Shawn Hazeghazam, a local advertising board chair for SUBWAY(R). "Our post-campaign survey showed a 94 percent ad recall among our target audience. For every penny we paid, our brand received one minute of exposure. This in-game program really delivered for us, at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising mediums."

ABOUT ENGAGE

Engage In-Game Advertising is the first in-game media company to provide strategic planning and placement services for video game advertising on a market-by-market basis. The company offers client brands and advertising agencies objective analysis of media and promotional opportunities within and around console, PC and mobile game properties. For more information, visit www.engageadvertising.com.
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Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 10, 2006
Words:517
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