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THQ’s Bilson: TV Ads For Games 'A Big Question Mark'

Some video game publishers are placing large amounts of money towards extensive television ad campaigns or high-profile spots, but THQ’s VP of core games Danny Bilson questions television's effectiveness.
If you tuned into ESPN, Spike TV or the Super Bowl this year, you may have seen a lot of ads for games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 or Dante’s Inferno, among other titles. But THQ’s VP of core games Danny Bilson questions the effectiveness of TV ads for certain video games, especially when an increasing amount of gamers are watching TV less. "One of the bigger questions we have to ask ourselves is how important is television?" Bilson told the[a]list daily. "How important is television to a core gamer on a non-television brand? So I think television has some relevance on [THQ’s] WWE and UFC because I consider those TV brands." At E3 earlier this month, the publisher made an effort to put its upcoming Kaos Studios-developed title Homefront front and center with a large presence throughout the L.A. Convention Center. Advertising for that title, Bilson said, is less "gamey" than typical campaigns -- and more cost effective. "[TV advertising is] incredibly expensive, and what I can do with $2 million, which will buy a few TV spots on a big sporting event, what I can do in outdoor, or on the web, or direct-to-consumer is way more exciting," said Bilson. "…I’m playing games, I’m not watching TV,” Bilson continued. “You know where I want to market? I want to market on Xbox Live. I want to market on PSN, because every night that’s the switch I turn on at my house. And that front end comes, and those windows come, and all that marketing’s getting right to me because I’m a core gamer. That’s where I want to invest. Television is a big question mark for me."

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