Advert for the Sydney

Eidos, a computer and video games developer, have released a new game to tie in with the build up to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The game has been released now because, as the advert states, it is ‘THE Game of THE Games’. Therefore it would be no good if it were to be released two years after the event, as the appeal for it would have considerably dropped. The advert takes the form of a double page spread, in a computer games magazine called ‘PC Zone’. The advert was on the fourth and fifth pages, just after the contents. By being positioned here I think that the advert has only got half of its potential audience. This is because once you have found what you are looking for you would flick past the pages the advert is on so many people probably would ignore it. It may however get more attention than it would in the middle or back pages.

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The potential audience for the game is young males, in their early twenties, who are interested in both sports and computer games. I think that the game may seem to be too complex for a younger audience, if the language used in the advert reflects game content which it probably does. This would make it too tedious and time consuming for a younger player, who doesn’t really care about how many menus, and options there are, but the standard of gameplay. It would also appeal to the control freak inside people, as they would effectively be able to alter the results of the Olympics.

The advert is set out very well, with a very clear layout and with lots of different fonts and sizes of typeface used. The writing is in a simple, plain typeface which does not detract from the advert in any way. The writing is also plain colours, either black or white. This also helps the writing to do what it is meant to, to inform people, and not to clutter up the advert or detract attention from the rest of the advert. It is very uncluttered, with everything arranged in neat orderly rows. There is a good amount of spacing so nothing looks like it has been crammed in and the advert has been put together at the last minute. This looks more pleasing to the eye, and it also gives the advert that look of quality, which is essential to help to sell the game.

The form of the advert is that the bottom fifth of the advert contains screenshots from the game, each one highlighting one of the ‘twelve gruelling events’ that you can take part in. The word gruelling also indicates that the game is tough, echoing the toughness of the Olympics. Below these are the small print official logos and extra, but not as exciting, information. Directly above the pictures is a line of bullet pointed facts about the best features of the game such as, ‘Great multiplier fun’ and ‘Official TV Commentary’. The word Official is used as emotive language, to encourage people to buy because it must be quality if it is ‘Official’

The next two fifths up from that contain a white background, with the official ‘Sydney 2000’ logo, along with the games slogan ‘THE Game of THE Games’. These are on the far right. Next to these are two fingers in a running posture, with the comment ‘how fast are your fingers?’ next to them. Above this is the last two fifths. In this there is a picture of Michael Johnson, the fastest 200-metre runner in the world. The crowds behind him are blurred to give the impression of speed, along with enhanced ripples caused by wind resistance on his face and upper body. The picture is cropped so you cannot see below the thighs, and the fingers in the two fifths below replace the legs.

They are very cleverly fitted in so that they look like the legs would if he were running and also match up correctly with his thighs. This is very unusual. No normal person has fingers for legs, so this picture is designed to make you look and to grab your attention. Also the fingers are not blurred, when the picture of the athlete is. This could be to suggest that no matter how hard you try, you would not be able to keep up with him. The fingers represent the reader. The words ‘how fast are your fingers?’ are used because, even though Michael Johnson is running, to run in the game you use your fingers, not your feet, so it is important to know that how fast you can move your fingers the faster you can move. Michael Johnson may be on the right side of the page to give the impression that he has run across the left hand one.

On the left hand page to the bottom right is the fact that ‘his legs take him 200m in 19.32 seconds’. This is referring to Michael Johnson. This picture also appeals to the sports enthusiast, as the picture along with the amazing statistics will make them want to read on to try to find out the answers to questions such as Why? When? How? People also know as the ‘Armchair Sports Enthusiast’ will like this picture, because they are people who often like sports and sport orientated computer games, but are too lazy, or cannot get out and do these sports, so the opportunity of a new game would appeal to them.

The pictures at the foot of the page, ten of them in total, all show action shots of the different events featured in the game. They include pictures of athletes crossing the line, just about to finish a race. There is a picture of a swimmer in the middle of what looks like a very complex dive, and a picture of a canoeist stuck in some rapids. All of these pictures have been chosen along with the statements above them to highlight the best features of the game, to show the quality of the graphics and the realism of the events.

This helps the company to sell the game, because if pictures of what happened to the game when it crashed or a shot of the menu or install screen were included instead of these shots, they would not have nearly as much effect as the pictures in the advert. The statements above the pictures also help to sell the game to the reader. ‘Authentic Locations’, ‘Latest Motion Capture’ and ‘Great Multi-Player Fun’ are a few of the statements included. These statements also help to sell the game, and highlight the main points that the pictures cannot show a picture cannot show ‘Official TV Commentary’!

These statements also only highlight the good points, because someone who is a prospective purchaser of the game would be pretty put off if the statements included things like, ‘poor gameplay’, ‘extremely difficult to install’ and ‘cannot work with most game controllers’. Some of these statements also include ‘technical jargon’ to help to sell the game. A good example is ‘Latest Motion Capture’. Many people will not know what it is and it may play a very small, insignificant part in the game that will not improve the game at all but, because it sounds high tech and modern, many will think that it will. It is not actually used to help the reader, but may be used to persuade or ‘con’ them into thinking that the game is more advanced than it actually is.