These are great times. It is about time advertisers invaded our video games in the same way they do our driving (billboards), walking (fliyers, posters), and our private home (emails, bulk mail, text messages).
It has been hard for advertisers. I applauded their perseverance and very glad that they are finally seeing their long deserved results. These poor guys, such a long road. It didn't start with this generation, it's been going on for decades. Some examples:
Noid from Dominoes for the NES:
7-UP's Cool Spot for the SNES:
Crackdown for the 360:
Metal Gear Solid 4 for the PS3:
Now it's Alan Wake's turn to shine.
What's a better way to introduce a full fledged Verizon commercial but in a full blown everything is going to hell situation? I can't think of one either:
It's a great product placement. The player is too absorbed at this point with the great atmosphere and dangerous situation of the game. This Verizon commercial will give the player the strength and hope to carry on to survive this possessed lodge minutes before its full destruction.
The best advertisers are always with you, not just in one instance like in the Verizon commercial. Throughout the game Alan Wake can collect batteries to power up his light, an essential weapon in the game. Energizer, recognizing this incredible responsibility, has stepped up to the plate and made the Energizer batteries the official batteries for end of the world situations. Lost your wife to the Darkness? Energizer is there for you. Because of the low resolution of the game, the Energizer batteries Alan picks up throughout the game can't really be recognized, but it's the thought that counts.
Towards the future, let's hope for even more interactive ways to take advantage of what our advertisers have to offer. Here is what I hope happens in Alan Wake 2, in a perfect world: