Tiger’s ‘Ready’ in EA Online Salvo

NEW YORK Electronic Arts has launched an online campaign featuring Web-only footage of Tiger Woods to promote his new video game.

The banner ads promote the “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06” game with video of Woods taunting users as they try to make a putt. Woods directly addresses the player, saying lines such as, “You think you have what it takes to beat me” and “Come on, it’s a gimme.” The tagline reads: “Tiger’s ready. Are you?”

Aegis Group’s Freestyle Interactive developed the ads for EA. The San Francisco-based shop traveled to Florida in June to a commercial ad shoot done with Woods by EA agency Weiden + Kennedy. At the end of shooting, Woods recorded a dozen brief video takes for the Internet ad.

“We feel this medium is at a place now where original content makes sense in these ads,” said Andy Tress, Freestyle managing director.

The campaign launched today, in advance of the game’s release on Sept. 22. It will run on sites such as ESPN.com, IGN and GameSpy.

With 50 percent of U.S. households now having broadband Internet connections, advertisers are earmarking more resources to Web video ads, Tress said. In a campaign that ran the spring, Disney had Vin Diesel record video that ran in banners to promote his movie, The Pacifier.

“I get the sense that consumers don’t just want to see TV spots on the Web,” Tress said. “To a true fan of golf, this is an engaging experience because you feel like you’re having a one-one experience with Tiger Woods.”

While Freestyle will gauge the click-through rate to the EA site, it will put more emphasis on the interaction rates, Tress said. “Time spent in the unit will be equally important as driving people to the Web site,” he added.