Infogrames Entertains DDB

Overcoming competition from incumbents, DDB here has landed videogame maker Infogrames’ $30 million advertising and marketing account.

The New York-based gaming company, whose titles include Driver and Deer Hunter, settled on DDB after consolidating separate ad accounts brought in through acquisitions of category mates such as Hasbro Interactive and

The review included finalists Arnold Ingalls Moranville in San Francisco, which had handled creative for; Attik in New York, which had creative for Infogrames and pitched with its San Francisco office; BBDO West in Los Angeles; and Rubin Postaer and Associates in Santa Monica, Calif. Media Planning in New York previously handled media.

“Of all the [agencies] we looked at, they far and away got what we were looking for in terms of a really integrated solution, as opposed to just advertising,” said Infogrames vp of marketing Sarah Buxton. “They understood our target market and category, and their campaign delivery [reflected that].”

Work will include creative and media duties, sales promotions, events, direct marketing and online marketing through Tribal DDB in L.A.

“It’s an incredibly exciting category and a terrific company with a really smart group in the marketing department,” said Rick Carpenter, president of DDB in L.A. “They publish such a broad range of titles covering all different kinds of genres. It’s a great creative opportunity.”

Buxton initially said Infogrames was seeking a bicoastal shop [Adweek, April 2]. But Carpenter said it has yet to be determined if other DDB offices will work on the business.

The agency will promote roughly 35 titles over the next year rather than promote Infogrames as a company, said Buxton.

“I don’t really see a lot of value in going out to the world and saying, ‘Here’s Infogrames,’ when we haven’t proven who we are through the titles,” she said.

The agency’s experience marketing Universal Pictures’ movies contributed to the decision to retain DDB, Buxton said. “They approach our category from more of an entertainment perspective, as opposed to just thinking of it as games,” she said. “There’s an opportunity with the entire industry to really step up marketing to provide a better understanding of the benefits and features of the game as it connects emotionally to the audience.”

The first ads are expected to break in July.