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Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Vodafone embraces in-game advertising

American mobile content provider THQ and mobile operator Vodafone have signed an agreement with Vodafone, that will see the Vodafone Live brand included in the upcoming video-game Juiced for the PlayStation2 and Xbox video-game consoles and PC systems.

This is the first time that a mobile operator brand is to be fully integrated into a mass market game allowing players to both use mobile phones as part of the game action as well as download the game via their mobiles.

Juiced is a racing simulation that immerses players in the lifestyle and culture of the street car-modification scene. Players aim is to build up a crew of ?driving gods? and dominate the established street racing scene of 'Angel City'.

The main information channel within the game for players to get their news and race challenges is through the use of mobile phones. Six handsets have been positioned within the 'modding' section of the game. When the user 'mods' his car with engine upgrades, new stereo, new paint job they can also select from amongst six Vodafone mobile handsets to use to communicate with crews between races.

Prominent Vodafone Live logos will also be displayed throughout the game, and users will see the Vodafone Live logo all the time.

Additionally, under the terms of the agreement, THQ Wireless? version of Juiced will be available for download by Vodafone?s consumers in sixteen countries worldwide, with game-play similar to that in the console versions of the game.

Juiced will receive marketing support across Europe, with Vodafone, THQ and THQ Wireless combining efforts. In particular, THQ?s marketing campaign for Juiced includes heavyweight TV, radio, print and outdoor advertising and editorial and advertorial promotion with Fast Car magazine for seven issues, where the editorial team modify a Mazda RX7 into the ultimate street car, culminating in readers having the chance to win the Juiced car.

The deal will also see sponsorship of MTV?s Pimp My Ride programme, including the first ever UK shows fronted by rap DJ Tim Westwood, and MMS distribution with retailer and student promotions

Furthermore, the front cover of the UK?s Mobile Gamer magazine is heavily Juiced-branded, with 500,000 magazine copies being inserted into the UK?s Official Xbox, Official PlayStation 2 and Games Master magazines.

Financial details of the agreement have not been released.

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