FEATURE: Christmas marketing

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With so many massive titles due out between now and Christmas, publishers will be calling out to gamers and gifters through some equally gargantuan campaigns. MCV provides a complete rundown of every major moment...

UBISOFT

Six titles will benefit from the bulk of Ubisoft's marketing investment this quarter – but those are only the tip of the publisher's new release iceberg.

Just Dance 3, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Tintin, Rayman Origins, ABBA: You Can Dance and The Black Eyed Peas Experience will each receive a dedicated six-figure multimedia campaign.These games will be promoted via heavyweight TV and retail activity around their respective launch dates. Ubi has also invested in series of unusual ventures for its biggest titles.

Just Dance 3, for example, is the official sponsor of Katy Perry's UK and Ireland concert tour this autumn. The game will be playable at every venue and a competition will give fans the chance to meet the singer herself.Meanwhile, a free Just Dance 3 app will allow iPhone and Android users to create quick music videos using tracks from the game, and share them on Facebook and YouTube.

The game will also form one half of a combined sampling tour with Rayman Origins. A stand promoting the two brands will travel to seven city centres over the course of three weeks. Ubisoft is calling it our most ambitious trial activity ever”, predicting an audience of 2.5m people.

For Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft are running a more cerebral stunt with the Unlock The Animus cryptograms. This series of puzzles is supported by CVG and Gamesradar, as well as other Future publications, and gives players the chance to win a trip to Istanbul. .There will also be a combined campaign to promote Ubisoft's Kinect-exclusive titles, including Rabbids: Alive & Kicking, Power-Up Heroes, Motionsports Adrenaline and My Self-Defence Coach.

SEGA

The two major pillars in Sega's Q4 line-up are Sonic Generations and Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The former has signed a three-month sponsorship deal with The Simpsons on Sky, as well as cross promotion on Cartoon Network and inclusion in Nintendo's 3DS campaign. There will also be TV ads on terrestrial and satellite channels, and online ads targeting gamers, children and gifters.

We are very excited to have secured the sponsorship of The Simpsons on Sky,” said Sega marketing director Amanda Farr. Not only is the programming a perfect fit, but the frequency it delivers will ensure great awareness from pre-launch right through to the key Christmas gifting period.”

Meanwhile, Mario & Sonic represents Sega's biggest ever TV spend – the publisher estimates that over 90 per cent of all UK housewives with kids will see the ad at least 14 times.

In print, a broad-reaching campaign covering specialist and national press began at the start of the year and will continue to run until the Olympic Games themselves.

But before all that is next week's release of Football Manager 2012 and Sega is determined to own the footballing space with its campaign. A partnership with Sky Sports starts today (Friday, October 14th) and will run until the end of November. 20-second ads will run during all live games on Sky Sports and ESPN, with 30-second spots airing just before kick off in five Premier League games.

There will also be online advertising across various Premier League and Football League Club sites.

EA

Fresh from the record-breaking success of FIFA 12, Electronic Arts now turns its attention to its Q4 line-up.

As you would expect, Battlefield 3 is the firm's biggest release.Advertising began on TV back in March during the FA Cup and will ramp up in the next few weeks. Even outdoor advertising began early, with 96-sheet banners springing up nationwide back in July. EA is teasing that they have something special lined up for the Waterloo area.Cinema ads lead the Need For Speed campaign and are expected to reach 17m people.

Online advertising will drive pre-orders, with EA predicting a further 15m impressions. And a sampling tour will take the game to driving events and shopping mall around the UK.

The Sims 3 Pets will also be a significant release, with plenty of strong advertising across TV, online and outdoor. The Create aPet demo launched onPC last month.

ACTIVISION

The third-party publishing giant has a number of blockbusters out this Christmas, each with a dedicated triple-A campaign.

Perhaps the most ambitious product is Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, the game that merges the worlds of video games and toys.Activision has been putting the game in consumers' hands at GAMEfest and last week's launch event at famous toy store Hamleys.

The publisher has also partnered with Nickelodeon for the nationwide Skylanders Live tour.Online and TV ads will run until December and 3D ads will run before screenings of two key kids blockbuster movies.

Goldeneye: Reloaded will target FPS?fans on PS3 and Xbox 360 with a range of print and online ads, as well as TV ads and 2,000 billboards.And let's not forget that other little Activision shooter.

Yeah, that one.

While Activision is remaining tight-lipped about how it will be promoting Modern Warfare 3, you can guarantee it will be big. Really big.

SONY

The PlayStation platform holder's attentions will be divided between Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One and a raft of Move titles.

Uncharted is set to be Sony's biggest launch in history and will be supported by a 5m campaign. This centres TV ads running throughout October and November. Uncharted 3 will also headline Sony's sponsorship of Five Movies, which began in January.

Fans will be able to check out a short film exploring the concept of action heroes on all of PlayStation's digital channels. This has been produced in collaboration with Oscar-winning director and producer Ed Zwick.Sony has partnered with Nickelodeon to give Ratchet &?Clank a strong placement on Nick.co.uk and idents on the company's TV channels.

Additional ads will run around shows on the Turner and Disney networks.

The Move range is split into two tiers. The hero tier focuses on DanceStar Party, Medieval Moves and EyePet. These will be advertised in cinemas. DanceStar has already been signed as the sponsor for The Only Way Is Essex.The range tier – titles such as Move Fitness, Move Mind Bender, After Hours Athletes and Carnival Island – will be advertised on TV during popular family shows.

MICROSOFT

Microsoft has already kicked off Q4 in style with the multi-million selling Gears of War 3 but the hard work is far from over.

Today (Friday, October 14th) sees the release of Forza Motorsport 4 and the company has readied the series' largest campaign to date. In addition to TV ads and Underground banners, Microsoft is running a special activity with Westfield Shopping Centre. Petrolheads can vote online or at Westfield to help build – and possibly win – a new supercar.

Kinect Sports: Season Two will be supported by heavyweight online and TV campaigns, as well as a sponsorship of A League Of Their Own.An ongoing Kinect radio campaign on Absolute and Heart has reached millions so far this year.And then there's the small matter of Halo: Combat Edition Anniversary. Expect Microsoft to go big onthis title as its November 15thlaunch approaches.

NINTENDO

Christmas has always been a period in which Nintendo shines and 2011 looks like it will be no exception.

Naturally, the platform holder's mascot Mario will be prominent thanks to the release of not one, but two new titles: Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7.The former will be accompanied by a huge marketing campaign across TV, print, online and outdoor. Nintendo will be drivi

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