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It’s Kimmel Live for Video Game

Jun 11, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Old-fashioned live commercials are making a comeback on late-night television, with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel emerging as one of the leading practitioners.
At a time when advertisers are concerned that viewers are fast-forwarding through their increasingly expensive 30-second spots, people watching “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Friday night probably sat through a live pitch for Sierra Entertainment’s new video game “The Bourne Conspiracy,” engineered by Horizon Media.
On the Friday show, Mr. Kimmel was engaged in one of his periodic conversations with a parking lot security guard character named Guillermo.
After some light banter about the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team to disarm viewers (which included a pitch for the comedian’s specials preceding NBA Finals games on ABC), Mr. Kimmel remarked that Guillermo had competed with Matt Damon for the role of Jason Bourne in the series of hit movies, showing video of Guillermo and Mr. Damon together in a clip. (In the clip, Mr. Damon—who famously bragged about his intimate relationship with Mr. Kimmel’s girlfriend, comedian Sarah Silverman in a video that became a big hit on YouTube—assumed that somehow Mr. Kimmel was behind Guillermo’s appearance.)
In integrations for other movies, the affable but awkward security guard has been superimposed onto film clips shown on “Kimmel,” including scenes from “Bee Movie,” “Dreamgirls” and “The Bourne Identity.”
For “The Bourne Conspiracy,” Guillermo was put into a fake trailer for the game.
After the clip, Mr. Kimmel held up the box and said the game was in stores.
“Creating a high quality in-game partnership with Guillermo for this new video game and getting two minutes of game-play to be the center of an entire segment of a nationally broadcast show is a first in the game-play category,” said Barbara Thompson, senior VP and managing director at Horizon Media. “We think this innovative marketing strategy will help push sales of the new Sierra Entertainment game over the weekend.”
While this type of integration has been done before with movie releases, a TV character has never before been put into real game-play for the purpose of marketing a game.
Staffers from Horizon and Sierra developed the idea, and Horizon negotiated the integration and supporting media. Mr. Kimmel’s staff wrote the script for the fake trailer and Guillermo did the voice-over. Sierra’s High Moon Studios produced the piece.
The launch campaign also includes TV, print, in-cinema and online.

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