Activision Blitz Covers Most Media Bases

LOS ANGELES Activision is set to launch skateboarding game Tony Hawk’s Underground on Oct. 27 with a North American advertising and marketing campaign that the company claims is the largest in its history.

The game will be featured on MTV’s upcoming show, 3-Way Threat, and integrated into NBC’s broadcasts of the Gravity Games. The marketing effort also includes sponsorship of Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huckjam 2003 arena tour; Tony Hawk’s Underground 29-city Face Off Mobile Tour that is co-sponsored by AT&T Wireless and Nestle’s Butterfinger; a national sweepstakes promotion with Tombstone Pizza; and promotional activities with action sports companies such as Billabong, DC Shoes, Hawk Clothing, Vans, Volcom, Transworld Skateboarding and Quicksilver.

Additionally, Activision is launching national in-theater and TV ads from Secret Weapon Marketing in Santa Monica, Calif. The ads are the first from the shop for Activision.

One 30-second in-theater ad, which is set to the song ‘”My United States of Whatever” from Liam Lynch, primarily includes images from the game to tell the story of a “no-name skateboard punk kid” who becomes a famous skateboarder, said Will Kassoy, vice president of global brand management for Activision. The in-theater ad will run during previews for films such as Matrix: Revolutions and Scary Movie 3. The in-theater ad will also run as a TV spot.

Secret Weapon has also created “Jersey,” a spot that follows a novice skater as he tries to escape from the city of Jersey, said Kassoy. In addition, a 15-second spot addresses the accolades the game has earned from both the mainstream and game-enthusiast press, he said.

The TV spots will run during football games on CBS, Fox’s Mad TV, MTV’s The Osbournes, NBC’s Fear Factor and Comedy Central’s South Park.

A three-month print campaign from Imagewerks in San Diego will appear in men’s, music, enthusiast and lifestyle magazines.

“This franchise is very well established,” said Kassoy, referring to the four previous Tony Hawk titles. “Our biggest objective is to communicate that this is a totally different game from where we’ve been in the past. It’s not just a name change, it’s a totally new Tony Hawk experience.”

While he declined to detail ad expenditures, Kassoy noted that Activision is spending twice as much on media for this game as it has for past Tony Hawk titles. The company spent approximately $5 million last year on ads for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 and nearly $7 million on all Tony Hawk games, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.