Old Spice Pimps Deodorant Through Branded XBLA Titles

| 5 Apr 2010 14:05

Deodorant and gaming: a match made in beheaded unicorn heaven.

Advertising in videogames is becoming bigger and bigger, and the concept of the "advergame" goes right along with it. Deodorant company Old Spice wants to advertise to you so bad it's sponsored development of three new advergames - created via Microsoft's XNA Dream.Build.Play competition - that you can purchase for the privilege of being advertised to. Don't worry, I'm confused too.

An advergame would be considered anything with an official sponsor that is not necessarily made to generate a profit, but to get across the message for a product instead. Old Spice's three games are called Newton vs the Horde, Old Spice: Fresh Card Game, and Old Spice Racers.

The creepiest one appears to be Old Spice Racers, which sounds like it should be the most normal. Checking the screenshots, I see a beheaded unicorn and a gorilla on a unicycle, both of which I coincidentally happened to have a nightmare about last night. Newton vs the Horde sounds interesting, as it tasks players to build traps to kill "stinky zombies." Old Spice: Fresh Card Game appears to involve cards, and deodorant.

I don't quite get the concept of paying to play through what was designed as an advertisement, but if these games are quirky, fun, or strange enough they could be worth the cost of $3 each. Then again, I'm technically advertising for advergames that are advertising for Old Spice, so the deodorant industry has apparently already taken over my mind. If you play these games, just make sure you do it to have fun, and not to listen to the message that Old Spice will make you feel manly and smell fresh no matter the season, or else the corporations will win.

I have to go apply some Old Spice now.

UPDATE: These games were actually created by independent developers and then branded with Old Spice, which would explain why they are being sold. They're basically indie games with the Old Spice name on them. As far as advergames go, they're probably worth at least checking out based on the way they came into existence. A corporation sponsoring game development is a really cool idea that I definitely approve of.

(Via: Joystiq)

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