Disney Set to Launch 'Advergame'

19 January 2005

Walt Disney Co will commemorate Disneyland's 50th anniversary this year with the introduction of 'advergaming' - internet and video games carrying commercial messages.

Due to launch on May 5, the multiplayer "Virtual Magic Kingdom" will be part of an 18-month global initiative, targeting "tweens" aged 8 to 12.

Disney's intention is to create hype within the tween market to visit a Disney park during the anniversary celebrations.

President of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Jay Rasulo said: "We hope it becomes a real hangout for preteens and teens."

However, Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy and fellow ad critics argue that advergamers are exploited for consumer data and the ad platform is nothing more than "digital infomercials."

Data sourced from USA Today Online; additional content by WARC staff