Exclusive: Consumers Vote Yes on Need for Speed's Prop 130

By David Radd

Posted December 4, 2012

Sometimes it can be hard to breakthrough with an original ad concept. It's not just that most of the good ideas are taken; presenting a game or a concept originally can be hard while also staying true to the spirit of the original product. Still, Ayzenberg and Electronic Arts were able to come up with a unique angle for their Prop 130 infographic, considering the U.S. election was very much in everyone's mind when Need for Speed: Most Wanted launched. We talked with Daniel Lingen, community manager at Electronic Arts, about the Prop 130 infographic.

[a]list: Where did you come up with the idea for the Prop 130 infographic?

Daniel Lingen: We really wanted to showcase the idea that Most Wanted was all about “Making Trouble,” and we gathered in a room to brainstorm ways we could do that. Everything was brought up, but one idea in particular stood out: start some trouble in the upcoming U.S. election. With Proposition commercials and ads everywhere we really wanted to poke fun at them, and there’s nothing we’re more passionate than speed. So why not raise the speed limit to 130?

[a]list: When did it come up as a possibility that Prop 130 might go into the New York Times?

Daniel Lingen: We created the campaign around the concept of scalability – we wanted to make sure that the project would get better as more resources piled on. With that in mind, we spared no expense brainstorming the best place to put it. Billboards seemed great, but at the end of the day wouldn’t get us the distribution we’re looking for. TV placement was far too much, and it would most likely get lost in the shuffle. This is why we decided to go for a newspaper. Great distribution, and easily picked up and passed around.

[a]list: What sort of response have you gotten to the Prop 130 ad so far?  Do some people think it's real?

Daniel Lingen: During the first 3-4 hours of the day we saw a few comments here and there that thought the proposition was real. It wasn’t enough to actually catch momentum, but it did get a few chuckles here and there. Rest of the sentiment has been fantastic. Some of our favorite quotes include:

o   “This is some of the best advertising I've seen for a game this year. Easily.” – Polygon Commentor

o   “This is just the right amount of ridiculous that you know it is a joke, but presented in a serious stereotypical info graphic. Good on them.” – Kotaku Commentor

[a]list: Was there any serious attempt to draw out something resembling real statistics for Prop 130?  How were the "stats" constructed?

Daniel Lingen: No serious attempt. We kicked off our agency Ayzenberg with a few of our own ideas, but wanted to make sure all of the statistics were clearly made up. All in all we had a few back and forth where we eliminated / added the stats, but each time we made it clear we were aiming for just the right amount of humor so we didn’t seem too serious.  

[a]list: Were you pleased by the press coverage that Prop 130 got?  Were there any examples that stood out?

Daniel Lingen: Press coverage was fantastic, we couldn’t have asked for better reception. Outlets like Kotaku, Polygon, GameTrailers, and even MotoAuthro were all getting in on the action. Even the comments were pleased!

[a]list: Turning to TV, were there any particular inspirations for the TV Spot that was done with the show down with the cop cars?

Daniel Lingen: I can’t speak for the TV spot as I wasn’t on the initial team for that spot, but I can say it served as a huge inspiration internally. This game is all about making trouble. For the cops, for your friends, for fun, and the TV spot conveys that perfectly.


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