The Obama campaign has purchased ad spots on several games that are connected to the Internet, including "Burnout," "Madden NFL '09" and seven others. The ads are, not surprisingly, running in battleground states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin, The Hill's Briefing Room reports.
Internet-connected Xbox 360 players will see the ads in these hotly contended states until Nov 3.
In "Burnout," the billboard ad reads: "Early Voting Has Begun/VoteForChange.com."
But so what? Since he threw his hat into the ring, Sen. Obama and his campaign have shown themselves to be Web savvy. They place ads on the Web, update Twitter accounts and rely on nontraditional ways of getting their message out.
Of course, television and radio are still important components of spreading the word for any presidential candidate, and the Obama campaign continues to use those outlets.
It just so happens that Sen. Obama has expanded his reach to encompass and reflect the changing methods that consumers of media are likely to encounter.
Sure, voters still sit down in front of the television and see the ads that run. But a vast portion of those voters also spend time in front of their computer to read the news. Or watch television on Hulu.com, surf videos on YouTube or stay in touch with social networking sites—if you're on Facebook, you've likely been seeing ads for months.
So why not take the escape out of escapism? The video game market, after all, does tend to capture that magic demographic of 18- to 34-year-old males.
What is important about the Obama campaign placing ads on video games is that it acts as a reflection of the changing social climate. The family sitting around the radio next to the fireplace was gone not long after televisions were in nearly every home. Family TV time has been steadily declining as younger people are increasingly drawn to spend time surfing the Web, instant messaging friends or texting.
Or even playing video games.
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