Boston’s MMB to Introduce New Infogrames Title

A “wicked cricket” is the star of an upcoming $3 million ad campaign from McCarthy Mambro Bertino for Infogrames’ new videogame, Zapper.

The campaign, which breaks next week, consists of TV, print and e-mail executions. Work focuses on the mischievous antics of Zapper the Cricket, the videogame’s hero, who has special powers, including the ability to electrify enemies with his antennae. His mission is to rescue his little brother, Zipper.

Creative for the broadcast spots was derived from “classic bug situations,” such as a child attempting to set fire to an insect with a magnifying glass and a girl demanding that her boyfriend squash a scary bug, said Fred Bertino, president and co-creative director at MMB in Boston. Zapper appears at the end of each spot, shocking the offensive critters with his sparky antennae.

In a print execution, Zapper is getting ready to zap a frog. Copy reads, “Meet Zapper, a little cricket with a big attitude and a pair of high voltage antennae he’s not afraid to use, as he zaps his way through twisted worlds filled with non-stop action.”

The campaign is tagged, “One wicked cricket,” and targets 8-14-year-olds. Infogrames is hoping that Zapper will become a pop-culture staple, in the same fashion as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.

“That’s what will get kids talking—they immediately identify with the hero,” said Steve Arthur, the client’s director of brand marketing.

“It’s an important title,” said Bertino. “It’s an original character with tremendous potential.”

The client spent about $10 million on advertising through August this year, according to CMR.

Infogrames tapped MMB for its ad account last April. Fellow Boston shops Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Partners & Simons also contended. DDB, Los Angeles, previously handled the business. The shift came after Infogrames moved its U.S. base from Santa Monica, Calif., to Beverly, Mass.