Mad Men

EA Launches First Global Multi-Brand Media Campaign in Video Games for Unilever

Published: April 4, 2012

Dove® Hair Care Products and Unilever Ice Cream Brands to be Featured in The Sims Social

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apr. 4, 2012– Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) today announced a collaboration with consumer products giant Unilever to feature a variety of its most popular consumer brands in EA games. The agreement will first feature a variety of Unilever products in The Sims Social, each integrated in a unique way to enhance players’ in-game experience while showcasing some of the most popular Unilever brands.

Throughout a year-long campaign, EA and Unilever will roll out new integrations in The Sims Social, each featuring a Unilever product through interactive in-game items that enhance gameplay in fun and rewarding ways. In January, the campaign kicked off with the virtual Dove Hair Spa, where players upgraded their bathrooms and interacted with the spa and Dove® hair care products via a special Care & Repair with Dove® Hair Therapy shower feature rewarding them with “Love” and “Bling.”

“What a great kick off to a year-long, multi-brand relationship between Unilever and EA,” said Dave Madden, Senior Vice President of Global Media Solutions at EA. “In just a two week period, over one million The Sims Social players redeemed the Dove Hair Spa virtual items in their games. It’s a powerful combination of the right game, the right audience and the right gaming platform showing the success that real-world brands can have reaching highly-engaged players.”

Upcoming integrations will feature seasonally relevant Unilever products throughout the year. This spring and summer, Unilever’s ice cream brands – including new Magnum® Mini Ice Cream bars, new Yosicle™ ice pops and Cornetto™ ice cream cones – will help keepThe Sims Social players cool. Additional brands will be introduced later, including features that integrate other Unilever North America products into The Sims Social universe.

“As the second biggest advertiser in the world and No. 1 in developing and emerging markets, Unilever takes great pride in our pioneering media efforts,” said Luis Di-Como, SVP Global Media. “We are always looking for new opportunities and innovative ways to engage with our consumers. That’s why we build partnerships that go beyond so-called ‘traditional communication.’ Integrating our brands into popular EA social games like The Sims Socialallows us to reach our consumers in a more meaningful and impactful way – where they can have fun and spend time with our brands, thereby creating a deeper emotional connection and loyalty with our brands.”

In addition to the line-up of fun new branded items, each Unilever product integration insideThe Sims Social will connect with the next, further enhancing the gameplay experience through rewards and in-game bonuses to players who engage with multiple Unilever products. The Dove hair care campaign will continue in the months to come with an exclusive tab within The Sims Social “Store” giving players access to special Dove hair items and an engaging in-game quest tasking players to interact with items they previously unlocked from The Sims Social store, strategically linking each phase of the campaign.

The Sims Social, one of the most popular and creative social games on Facebook®, allows friends to experiment and play with life. In the game, players build meaningful friendships, budding romances, or scandalous rivalries with other Sims characters. Players can also customize their dream homes in a variety of styles and explore fun and exciting career paths. EA will unveil additional Unilever products in The Sims Social throughout the year, offering players a consistent roll-out of new and exciting items to collect and enjoy. These items will all feature relevant gameplay-enhancing properties that compliment Unilever products, while serving to boost a variety of character attributes and offering activities for Sims characters. With a multitude of gameplay elements tied to real-life, The Sims Socialpresents unique opportunities for companies such as Unilever to directly engage with gamers to build brand awareness and affinity for its products through social game interactions.

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company’s game franchises are offered as both packaged goods products and online services delivered through Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. EA has more than 100 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.

In fiscal 2011, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.6 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster franchises such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield™, and Mass Effect™. More information about EA is available at http://info.ea.com.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with operations in over 100 countries and sales in 190. Consumers buy 170 billion Unilever packs around the world every year, and our products are used over two billion times a day. We have more than 171,000 employees, and generated annual sales of €46.5 billion in 2011.

Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known and most loved brands including thirteen €1 billion brands, and global leadership in most categories in which we operate. The portfolio features iconic brands such as: Knorr, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Dove, Vaseline, Magnum, TRESemmé, Degree and St. Ives.

Unilever’s ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental impact (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal). We are also committed to doing what we can to improve health, nutrition and hygiene, with a target to help more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, as well as sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020. All of these goals are itemised in around 60 time-based commitments in our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.

Unilever has led the Food Producers sector in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 13 consecutive years. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. In 2011 Unilever led the Climate Counts Company Scorecard and was named #1 in the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders according to the latest survey findings from GlobeScan Inc. and SustainAbility Ltd.

Full Sail Graduates

The 2010 Spike TV Video Game Awards paid tribute to the year’s outstanding achievements in the industry for games, designers, music, animation, and more. Full Sail University graduates put their marks on the evening as 33 graduates were credited on 8 winning projects, including Game of the Year winner Red Dead Redemption.

Worked on by 14 Full Sail graduates, Red Dead Redemption not only collected the evening’s prime award, but also won for Best Original Score and Best Downloadable Content.

Among other winning titles handed out, Full Sail grads also worked on:

Best Xbox 360 Game Mass Effect 2

Best PS3 Game God of War III

Best Shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops

Best RPG Mass Effect 2

Best Multi-Player Halo: Reach

Best Individual Sports Game Tiger Words PGA Tour 11

Best Graphics God of War III

Existential Escapism

Video game addiction is a known issue around the world, with the advent of broadband technology in the 2000s it has evolved into a different level of addiction which involves the creation of an avatar and living a ‘second life’ through MMORPGs massive multiplayer online role playing games. World of Warcraft has the largest MMO gaming community on-line and there have been a number of studies about the addictive qualities of the game. Addicts of the game range from children to mature adults such as University professor Ryan van Cleave who almost lost everything as his life became consumed by on-line gaming.

B.F. Skinner’s theory of operant conditioning claims that the frequency of a given behaviour is directly linked to whether it is rewarded or punished. If a behaviour is rewarded, it is more likely to be repeated. If it is punished, it becomes suppressed. Orzack says variable ratio reinforcement is the idea that the best way to optimize the desired behaviour in the subject is to hand out rewards for correct behaviour, and then adjust the number of times the subject is required to exhibit that behaviour before a reward is handed out. For instance, if a rat must press a bar to receive food, then it will press faster and more often if it doesn’t know how many times it needs to press the bar. An equivalent in World of Warcraft would be purple (epic) loot drops. Players in World of Warcraft will often spend weeks hunting for a special item which is based on a chance system, sometimes with only a 0.001% chance of it being dropped by a killed monster. The rarity of the item and difficulty of acquiring the item, gives the player a status amongst their peers once they obtain the item.

Orzack, a clinical psychologist at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts claims 40 percent of World of Warcraft (WoW) players are addicted.

Globally, there have been deaths caused directly by exhaustion from playing games for excessive periods of time. There have also been deaths of gamers and/or others related to playing of video games.

China

In 2007, it was reported that Xu Yan died in Jinzhou after playing online games persistently for over 2 weeks during the Lunar New Year holiday. Later 2007 reports indicated that a 30-year-old man died in Guangzhou after playing video games continuously for three days.

The suicide of a young Chinese boy in the Tianjin municipality has highlighted once more the growing dangers of game addiction, when those responsible do not understand or notice the risks of unhealthy play. Xiao Yi was thirteen when he threw himself from the top of a twenty-four story tower block in his home town, leaving notes that spoke of his addiction and his hope of being reunited with fellow cyber-players in heaven. The suicide notes were written through the eyes of a gaming character, so reports the China Daily, and stated that he hoped to meet three gaming friends in the after life. His parents, who had noticed with growing concern his affliction, weren’t mentioned in the letters.

In March 2005, the BBC reported a murder in Shanghai, when Qiu Chengwei fatally stabbed fellow player Zhu Caoyuan, who had sold on eBay a dragon saber sword he had been lent in a Legend of Mir 3 game, and was given a suspended death sentence.

Taiwan

In February 2012, a man in New Taipei, Taiwan, was found dead facing a computer after gaming for 23 hours. In July 2012, an 18-year-old man identified by surname Chuang died after playing 40 hours of Diablo III in an internet cafe in Tainan, Taiwan. Both cases were reported as death by cardiac arrest.

South Korea

In 2005, Seungseob Lee (Hangul: 이승섭) visited an Internet cafe in the city of Taegu and played StarCraft almost continuously for fifty hours. He went into cardiac arrest, and died at a local hospital. A friend reported: “…he was a game addict. We all knew about it. He couldn’t stop himself.” About six weeks before his death, his girlfriend, also an avid gamer, broke up with him, in addition to his being fired from his job.

In 2009, Kim Sa-rang, a 3-month-old Korean child, died from malnutrition after both her parents spent hours each day in an internet cafe raising a virtual child on an online game, Prius Online.

Vietnam

An Earthtimes.org article reported in 2007 that police arrested a 13-year-old boy accused of murdering and robbing an 81-year-old woman. A local policeman was quoted as saying that the boy “…confessed that he needed money to play online games and decided to kill and rob…” the victim. The article further related a police report that the murder by strangling netted the thief 100,000 Vietnamese dong (US$6.20).

United States

In February 2002, a Louisiana woman sued Nintendo because her son died after suffering seizures caused by playing Nintendo 64 for eight hours a day, six days a week. Nintendo denied any responsibility.

Press reports in November 2005 state that Gregg J. Kleinmark, 24, pleaded “guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter”. He “left fraternal twins Drew and Bryn Kleinmark unattended in a bathtub for 30 minutes, in order to go three rooms away and play on his Game Boy Advance” while “in the mean time, the two ten-months old kids drowned”.

A New Mexico woman named Rebecca Colleen Christie was convicted of second degree murder and child abandonment, and sentenced to 25 years in prison, for allowing her 3 and a half-year-old daughter to die of malnutrition and dehydration while occupied with chatting and playing World of Warcraft online.

In November 2001 Shawn Woolley committed suicide due to the popular computer game Everquest. Shawn’s mother said the suicide was due to a rejection or betrayal in the game from a character Shawn called “iluvyou”.

Ohio teen Daniel Petric shot his parents, killing his mother, after they took away his copy ofHalo 3 in October 2007. In a sentencing hearing after the teen was found guilty of aggravated murder, the judge said, “I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents they would be dead forever.” On 16 June 2009, Petric was sentenced to 23 years to life in prison.

In Jacksonville, Florida, Alexandra Tobias pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for shaking her baby to death. She told investigators that the baby boy’s crying had interrupted her while she was playing a Facebook game called FarmVille. She was sentenced in December 2010.

In November 2010 in South Philadelphia, Kendall Anderson, 16, killed his mother for taking away his PlayStation by hitting her 20 times with a claw hammer while she slept.

Video Game Addiction

Internet Addiction