It's always nice to see agencies doing something a little
different, and while games running inside banner ads aren't exactly
original (Kleber did exactly this for Capital FM back in 1997), they
still retain some novelty value. Tangozebra's campaign for the DVD
release of Mission to Mars combines one such banner (using their N-XEC
technology) with a DHTML (dynamic HTML) game, driving traffic to a
The banner was excellent, loading quickly, playing well, and a sensible
choice of game (sideways scrolling shoot 'em-up) for a 468x60-sized
Tension was built by increasingly nasty waves of asteroids to dodge or
shoot, with good use of sound throughout; clear instructions up-front
helped too. After playing you're prompted to enter a prize draw and fill
out your details on the spot.
By comparison, the DHTML execution was a little disappointing. The aim
here is to land your craft on to a moving crater, at which point a
somewhat cheesy flapping flag appears, prompting you to click through to
win a DVD. DHTML doesn't seem to offer the same gaming potential as the
wonderful N-XEC; controls were sluggish, and I wondered to myself why a
crater was sliding around like that anyhow. I might also find it a bit
intrusive if it were placed on a page I was actually trying to read.
The microsite was basic, but slick: a league table for the banner game,
an outline of the film and a 'send this to a friend' link. It would've
been nice if the high score table had shown me how well I had done (not
just the top ten players), and it's a shame that given everything else
Tangozebra crammed into the campaign, I couldn't go the whole hog and
buy (or at least pre-order) the DVD from the microsite - though if
you've seen the film you may consider this omission quite humane.
Overall, though, a nice piece of work and a good banner - maybe there's
life in the old dog yet.
Owner: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Site positioning: Promote the release of the Mission To Mars DVD and
Launched: March 2001
Developed by: Tangozebra.