CAMPAIGN-I: Private surf - Richard Davies, the managing director of Good Technology, looks at Tangozebra's Mission to Mars online campaign

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

home video

Launched: March 2001

Developed by: Tangozebra.


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