Wednesday, November 19, 2008
New Generation Prefers Video Game Champs to Sports Icons
Each generation embraces different cultural icons. When I was growing up in the 90s, we ate Wheaties for breakfast, slipped into a pair of Nike Air sneakers, and drank Gatorade at lunch, all for one main reason: We wanted to "Be like Mike".
As we entered a new decade, a different type of icon emerged-the video game hero.
The best part about it is anybody can be a hero, because any kid can star in his own game. Instead of hitting the football field for a game of catch, today's young males are playing Madden 09, or they're jamming out to Guitar Hero on the XBox instead of practicing their favorite instrument.
As more young males opt to showcase their skills on the video game version of life's , Dr. Pepper is shining its promotional spotlight those household heroes, rather than major sports stars such as Lebron James. (Although, they did show some love for Dr. J in one of their ads that debuted earlier this fall.)
If you think the notion of a video game hero sounds absurd, tell that to Tom Taylor, the man who will appear on 175 million 20-ounce Dr. Pepper bottles from January to April. Taylor spends an average of 15 hours per day to maintain his high-ranking and celebrity status within the competitive online gaming community.
An article in today's New York Times explained the deal. Dr Pepper constructed the promo through a partnership with Major League Gaming, a New York City company that organizes 50 professional teams, to compete in six annual multi-player tournaments, including Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4.
While the audience aren't exactly Super Bowl-sized, they typically draw an average of 12,000 to 15,000 spectators. Who knows, maybe by the next decade, more people will be watching EA's Madden video game version of the Superbowl than the TV broadcast.
By Matt O'Hern at 05:11 PM | Comments (1)