TBWA is claiming an advertising coup by running the first full-page
‘scratch off’ ad in a press campaign for the computer games company,
Virgin Interactive Entertainment.
The ad, which is for the horror adventure game, Harvester, features a
black-and-white photograph of an archetypal post-war US family. The
mother, father and their two children appear to be running towards the
camera without a care in the world. However, the ad’s headline suggests
a different story: ‘Scratch the surface of small town America to reveal
the horror beneath.’
When the reader scratches away the silver surface, an horrific image of
the grim reaper - complete with red staring eyes and a glistening scythe
- is revealed standing outside a 24-hour diner. The image is shown in
full-colour to contrast with the original black-and-white photograph.
The copy reads: ‘Harvester. Horror comes home on PC CD-Rom.’
Trevor Beattie, TBWA’s creative director, said: ‘This game is so
horrific it carries an 18 certificate. We wanted to reflect that horror
in an unusual way. The ad is genuinely interactive and is intended to
scare the pants off the reader.
‘Virgin has small budgets to work with but it is intent on causing a
fuss. It’s our job to get the games noticed in an incredibly busy
market. It’s a great creative challenge.’
The ad was written by Graeme Very and art directed by Phil Martin. Media
planning and buying are through Eurospace.
The Harvester campaign breaks in computer magazines in November.