First TV Salvos For Mortal Kombat 4

DDB Strikes Battleground Blows for Midway Home Entertainment
DALLAS–DDB Needham Dallas last week launched four television spots for Midway Home Entertainment’s latest game release, Mortal Kombat 4.
Three 15- and four 30-second executions are backed by $4 million in media spending and will run through the end of the year.
The 30-second ad, “Darkness Is Calling,” opens in a forest with white smoke drifting through trees. Live-action scenes of weapon-wielding characters are interspersed with animated game shots as a narrator observes: “The crushing pound of a mallet. The shattering blow of a club. The slashing edge of a blade. They call to you.” The spot ends with the character Raiden striking a gong and the tagline, “Mortal Kombat 4. Darkness is calling you.”
Each spot plugs the game’s availability on computer CD-ROM and the Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation systems.
“We wanted to convince gamers that this was not just another game in the series, but an unparalleled addition to the gaming industry,” said DDB vice chairman and chief creative officer Jim Ferguson.
The 15-second spots open with the gong scene and various characters that have been brought back for the latest release, including Scorpion.
“Our research shows that in order to attract the attention of avid gamers, the spots should reinforce the revival of the most revered Mortal Kombat figures,” said DDB account director Laura Maddox.
The commercials are airing on select national cable television stations, including MTV, Comedy Central, TNT and USA.
Corsicana, Texas-based Midway Home Entertainment is a division of Midway Games, a designer and manufacturer of coin-operated video titles under the Midway and Atari trademarks.
In 1997, a review for Midway’s advertising account ended in a split decision, with DDB Needham and McCann-Erickson, Dallas, dividing duties for the computer game developer’s various titles. The company subsequently decided to consolidate its $15 million account at DDB [Adweek, Feb. 2, 1998].