Following its ‘Viral’ Dreamcast launch campaign, Sega’s going paranoid with a new campaign promoting the August launch of the SegaNet high-speed gaming network tagged ‘Opponents are Everywhere.’ The ads, part of this year’s US$135-million marketing campaign for the Dreamcast console and SegaNet Internet service, will kick off in gaming publications this July and rotate in with existing TV ads over the summer. Sega will also sponsor this September’s MTV Video Music Awards (for the second year running), as well as sponsoring a slew of other music and sporting events aimed at the 12 to 24 set.
In other gaming news, Nintendo of Canada has just signed a deal with McDonald’s that will see video game stations set up in selected Canadian fast feeders. The N64 Fun Zones will offer kids the chance to try out the latest games for free and will be phased in across the country over the next two years.
The cereal wars will heat up again this summer with an ambitious back-to-school on-pack promo from General Mills. The cereal giant is shrink-wrapping about five million free CD-ROMs to boxes of cereal spanning 20 brands, including Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cocoa Puffs. Each CD-ROM will contain one of nine software titles, such as Lego’s Creator, Mattel’s Amazon Trails and JumpStart’s Math for Kindergartners and Reading for First Graders. The CDs will also offer a free month of Internet access from Lightdog.com and an electronic version of the Merriam Webster Dictionary. The promo will run from July through September with TV ads from Saatchi & Saatchi, New York kicking off in August.
Scholastic Entertainment has managed to leash the first packaged goods tie-in ever for its 40-year-old Clifford the Big Red Dog property to mark Clifford’s fall TV debut on PBS. Keebler, which also recently announced a tie-in with Children’s Television Workshop (see ‘Merger Mania,’ page 85), will push a self-liquidating free book offer (with three proofs of purchase) on 16 million packs spanning 13 brands. The promo will run from July 16 through September 9 with a national FSI drop on the first day. As well, in-store end-caps and P.O.S. displays featuring Clifford will push a ‘Read Between the Snacks Sweepstakes’ offering a grand prize US$25,000 college scholarship and a Scholastic library of thousands of titles delivered to the winner’s school by the Magic School Bus. Kids can also win one of four Scholastic book titles instantly through game pieces found in participating Keebler brands packages.
Clifford will receive an additional boost via a separate promo running July through September featuring Clifford portrait backdrops and goodie bags at all JCPenney Lifetouch Portrait Studios across the U.S. Three national FSIs will support.