MarketSource IMS Wins Marketing Strategy Award for Product Placement in Video Game

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Internet marketing strategy experts from MarketSource IMS recently utilized product placement to take home a 1st place award in the electronic games integration category for thePromo 2006 Entertainment Marketing Awards (EMMA).

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The idea intrigued us because those males are watching less TV and many spend hours playing video games.

MarketSource IMS, a firm specializing in online marketing strategy solutions, recently claimed a 1st place award for its utilization of product placement in video games and online games.

Ever wonder how to make a product stand out in a crowded marketplace and elevate it to a cultural icon brand? Engage your audience with innovative promotional marketing and advertising solutions. "Traditional approach? Well, that will get you traditional results,” says Peter Morrison, Executive VP at MarketSource IMS. “If you’re looking for iconic brand status, well, now let the games begin..."

Innovators of integrating products and brand attributes into video games and online games, MarketSource has leveraged their expertise to win a Promo 2006 Entertainment Marketing Award (EMMA) in the Best Electronic Games Category. The EMMA is the premier accolade for outstanding entertainment in marketing strategy.

As part of targeting the young male consumer, Castrol® SYNTEC®, BP Lubricants asked MarketSource to develop a non-traditional marketing approach that would put Castrol SYNTEC motor oil in front of this very elusive audience. “The male 18-to-34 demographic is increasingly difficult to reach,” says Mike DeBiasi, Marketing Director, BP Lubricants. MarketSource devised a plan to engage those young, passionate, car-loving males that integrated memorable Castrol SYNTEC brand messages into an Electronic Arts (EA) video racing game: 'Need for Speed Most Wanted.' “The idea intrigued us because those males are watching less TV and many spend hours playing video games.”

“We need to be creative in how we reach out to young men,” says Claire Lipnicki, MarketSource’s Account Director for the Castrol Account. “By integrating brand messages into naturally-occurring places in the virtual “real-world environment,” SYNTEC gets fantastic product placement in front of their core target, generating positive product awareness that creates an emotional brand connection.”

MarketSource handled the strategic initiative, branding guidelines, assets and messaging while collaborating with EA to execute seamless in-game placements. Those product placements played off the Castrol SYNTEC brand message, “Unlock the Power.” Castrol oil cans, street billboards, quick lube stations and a 3-D garage environment were just the beginning. The biggest impact idea was incorporating a high-performance vehicle — one of the most powerful in the game — which took many levels of game-play to access. MarketSource promoted a “cheat code” to the public and emailed it to thousands of Castrol database members to help players access the sought after vehicle. Combine that exposure with a 30-minute MTV special promoting the game’s release, coverage from national publications and the game hitting #3 on the bestsellers list with more than 8 million units sold and you get the kind of viral marketing buzz that makes corporate marketing executives salivate.

“Castrol SYNTEC fourth quarter sales increased nearly 30% over the same quarter last year. In fact, Castrol SYNTEC was the only major synthetic brand to gain share in that quarter,” boasted DeBiasi.

“Plus, research showed a 23% increase in awareness after playing the game,” added Lipnicki.

MarketSource also created online advergames for Castrol’s website that delivered an exciting virtual racing experience while promoting various Castrol brand benefits through product placement and game play. To drive site traffic, advanced search engine management techniques were incorporated.

For more information about MarketSource’s in-game product placement and advergame solutions, please visit here. For the Castrol SYNTEC case study, click here

About MarketSource Integrated Marketing Solutions:

MarketSource IMS, based in Howell, New Jersey has been solving online marketing strategy challenges for more than 30 years. MarketSource IMS delivers innovative, strategic and non-traditional Internet, product sampling, event, gaming, emerging media and search engine marketing solutions that impact consumer behavior.

About BP Lubricants:

BP Lubricants USA Inc. markets premium lubricants and business-building programs directly to independent lube operators, service providers, new car dealers and leading retailers. Our leadership brands include Castrol® GTX® – a premium conventional motor oil; Castrol® GTX® High-Mileage™ – designed for vehicles with over 75,000 miles; Castrol® GTX® Start Up™ – formulated to provide superior wear protection during the critical start-up period; Castrol® SYNTEC® BLEND™ – with an added level of synthetic protection; Castrol® SYNTEC® – a full-synthetic, super-premium motor oil; as well as our range of commercial transport lubricants. To find out more about Castrol products and programs, please call 1-888-CASTROL or log on to http://www.castrol.com/us

Press contact:

Taryn Tarantino

VP, Marketing

MarketSource IMS

Phone: 732.987.3422

Fax: 732.987.3439

Web: http://www.marketsourceims.com

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