LONDON 16 July, 2010 - Swiftcover.com is set to become the first insurer to use in-game advertising. The new brand campaign will feature virtual billboards in games such as Pro Evolution Soccer; Guitar Hero, Tiger Woods PGA Tour and Blur (a racing game). The ads will run through August and September on Xbox Live.

The in-game ads will tie into Swiftcover’s “Get a Life” advertising campaign theme featuring Iggy Pop and the “Little Iggy” puppet.

Tina Shortle, Marketing Director for AXA Insurance and swiftcover.com, commented on the initiative, “Swiftcover and Steak have worked closely together over the past five years to stay ahead of the competition. We were the first online only car insurer in 2005, we launched the first car insurance mobile site back in 2007 and have pioneered emerging media channels including Video on Demand and Spotify. Most importantly, we’ve capitalised on early-adopter advantage and have seen some fantastic results.”

The idea was conceived by Steak, who brokered the deal with Massive, the leading video game network, on behalf of swiftcover.com.

Alastair Boyle, Group Account Director at Steak added, “In-Game advertising is a perfect fit for the swiftcover.com brand and their target audience. This is the latest in our drive to use innovative ad formats for the right reasons, rather than jumping on every new media trend.”

Chris James, EMEA Manager at Massive concluded, “We’re very pleased to be working with Steak to select the right in-game placements for swiftcover.com. In-game ads have been shown to have some of the best recall rates around so it’s fantastic that more and more advertisers are now realising the potential of this medium.”

Studies have shown 72% of gamers recall seeing ads for brands in-game. In 2009 there was a 20% increase in average ad recall from the year before and the average brand
recommendation lift scores were 29% ahead [MICROSOFT, 2009] 73% of gamers agreed that “ads enhanced the realism of the game” [INTERPRET, 2008]; and that across 600 gamers on Xbox 360 and PC showed that brand familiarity increased by 64%, brand rating increased by 37%, purchase consideration increased by 41% [NIELSEN, 2007].

- ends-

For further information, please contact:
Jocelyn Bull, Marketing Director, Steak: contact.pr@steakdigital.co.uk - 020 7420 3500
Lorette Nettar, PR, Steak: contact.pr@steakdigital.co.uk – 07968 521 684

Editor’s Notes
Swiftcover.com was the first online only insurance company to launch a mobile site, and advertise on Spotify and Seesaw.

About Steak Ltd:
Steak’s purpose is to drive digital response. We use a full range of digital strategies and tactics, including search marketing, online advertising, and creative design to get results for our clients. Our search-inspired approach means we bring the intelligence of search marketing to all communications, both online and offline. Steak’s clients include Virgin Holidays, Debenhams, Swiftcover and DSGi the specialist retailing group for UK brands Currys, Dixons.co.uk and PC World. Steak is a previous winner of the coveted Media Agency of the Year Award at the Interactive Marketing and Advertising Awards and has offices in London, New York and Melbourne. www.steakdigital.co.uk

About Massive:
Massive Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft, is the creator of a leading network for dynamic video game advertising. With 40 game publisher partners and more than 100 committed titles, the Massive Network offers advertisers the ability to reach an aggregated gaming audience in real time across multiple platforms. Over 100 blue-chip advertisers have run campaigns across the Massive Network throughout North America and Europe. Publishers in the Massive Network generate revenue through dynamic in-game advertising, enabling them to leverage the value of their content while preserving and enhancing the game experience. Massive's technology allows for all forms of downloadable media and advertising content to be contextually integrated into the game environment, including image, audio, video and game object formats. www.massiveincorporated.com

Published on: 3:21PM on 4th August 2010