How crucial are the swing states in the presidential race? So crucial that President Obama is once again taking the chase for votes to the virtual battlegrounds of the video game world.
Starting today, the Obama campaign will begin running ads across multiple video game titles from Electronic Arts, including the new Madden NFL 13, in the key Electoral College-tilting states of Ohio, Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire and Virginia. The ads are aimed at encouraging the gaming demographic to take advantage of early voting in these states.
Beside console games, Obama is running "get out the vote" virtual ads in casual Web games on EA’s Pogo.com and in mobile games like Battleship, Scrabble and Tetris.
Obama has tried this before. Back in 2008 his team tapped EA to run virtual signage ads looking to encourage early voting in states like Florida and North Carolina in 18 games, including Burnout Paradise and Need for Speed .
According to Dave Madden, EA’s svp of global media solutions, the strategy paid off for team Obama. Based on surveys conducted by EA during the 2008 ad effort, gamers were 120 percent more likely to feel positively about the candidate and 50 percent more likely to consider voting for him after seeing the in-game ads.
“It was made clear in the last election that reaching consumers through video games makes a significant impact, so it’s no surprise to see this tactic used once again in such a competitive election,” said Madden. And this time around, it behooves Obama to diversify his video game outreach.
"The video game industry has gone through significant change since the last election, especially with the popularity of online, mobile and social games, and we’ve seen an expansion of our audience as a result," Madden added. "Video games actively and emotionally engaged consumers in a way that no other medium really can and that translates into a big opportunity for political candidates.”
In 2008 close to 41 million people voted early in the U.S. according to the United States Elections Project.