MMB Gets Into Game

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

The effort, which breaks next week, consists of TV, print and e-mail executions. Work focuses on the mischievous antics of Zapper the Cricket—the hero of the eponymous game—who has special powers, in cluding the ability to electrify enemies with his antennae. His mission is to rescue his little brother Zipper.

Broadcast spots were derived from “classic bug situations,” such as a child attempting to set fire to an insect with a magnifying glass, and a girlfriend demanding that her boyfriend squash a scary bug, according to Fred Bertino, president and co-creative director at Boston-based MMB. Zapper appears at the end of the spots, shocking the offensive critters with his sparky antennae.

The campaign, tagged, “One wicked cricket,” targets 8- to 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, director of brand marketing at Infogrames.

“It’s an original character and has tremendous potential,” said Bertino.

In a print ad, Zapper is preparing 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 client spent about $10 million on ads through August, according to CMR.