McCann/A&L Courts Casual Gamers

Incite Magazines Trying to Quash Stereotype of the Typical Player
SAN FRANCISCO–McCann-Erickson/A&L is trying to reach out to the untapped pool of casual computer and video game players in its $5-6 million launch campaign for Incite magazines.
It is the agency’s first work since its formation through the merger of McCann and Anderson & Lembke’s San Francisco offices this summer. A trio of national TV ads broke last week, and outdoor work will be unveiled in New York and San Francisco on Nov. 1.
Research indicates one in four U.S. households include at least one family member who regularly plays video or PC games, said Sharon Lo, director of marketing at Computec, publisher of Incite.
Incite magazines are the first gaming publications to focus on casual rather than hard-core gamers, said company officials. Of the total number of U.S. gamers, more than 86 percent fall into the former category, Lo said.
To help reach the target of game-playing men 16-34, the launch spots are airing on sports and entertainment programming on network and cable TV, including ESPN, TNT, CBS and NBC.
A&L won the account in a statewide review in March. Creative director Adam Kaufman, formerly executive creative director at A&L, oversaw the campaign.
“The premise [behind the campaign] is that gaming is more prevalent than most people are likely to believe,” said Zola Hall, agency account director. “The stereotype of the pimply-faced geek” holed up in his room playing games does not fit the majority of gamers, she added. The campaign seeks to reflect the witty, rather than geeky, tone of the magazines themselves.
All the spots use a smart-aleck mail carrier character who delivers the magazine directly to readers. In one ad, he interrupts a corporate meeting to hand the magazine to the chairman of the company. The ads end with shots of the covers of the magazines and the offer of a free trial issue.