NEW YORK Horizon Media has created a Nintendo Wii integration for client Geico, which will leverage its appeal in the recently launched Big Beach Sports game.
The effort marks the first time the media agency is weaving the brand into a game, as opposed to dynamic insertions, said Donny Williams, vp, director of digital strategy at Horizon Interactive. "It's a value proposition that we think we need to be taking advantage of. Everyone at one point or another is in the market to get an insurance policy. It makes a lot more sense to have a continued presence," he said.
Big Beach Sports, which debuted a few weeks ago, allows gamers to compete in several outdoor contests -- such as bocce, cricket, disc golf, football and soccer -- in a beach setting.
Geico's involvement will center on sponsored events, with banners positioned around the designated beach areas. At the beginning of each event, a simulated aerial camera will display the gaming area while panning across Geico signage.
While other brands were considered for such "fixed integrations," Williams said the nature of Geico's business made it a perfect fit. "Geico is a fun brand, so it kind of lends itself to the gaming environment," he said.
Horizon has a strategic relationship with Engage In-Game Advertising, an independent video game ad company, which assisted with the deal.
Said David Smith, co-founder and president of Engage: "Big Beach Sports delivers a natural environment where brand sponsorship adds a realistic element commonly found at outdoor sporting events."