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Madden 11

Twitter's Earlybird Launches Madden 11 for $39.99 on Buy.com; Sells Out But Doesn't Translate to Twitter Followers

Yesterday was the launch of Madden NFL 11 (coverage here). Yesterday was also my first purchase through Twitter's Earlybird. Earlybird had a big offer on the new Madden NFL 11 video game - it normally retails for $59.99 but was sold through Buy.com (sans @Earlybird) for $39.99.

Considering the savings and the timing - it was a compelling offer... and it sold out after three offer releases over a two hour period.

Interestingly, the promotion did not lead to a significant increase in Twitter followers for Buy.com (@buy_com). Despite the offers buzz, Buy.com only gained ~300 Twitter followers. Ultimately, I imagine that they are valuing the promotion in part to increased social buzz / presence (as I imagine most purchasers were like me: in and out with only a discounted video game).

Madden 11 Launch Campaign vs. Madden 10

Last year I covered the Madden 10 advertising blitz that took over ESPN and YouTube's homepage with slick, expanding units that interacted with the pages' content. I have always been impressed by ad units that disrupt a page's live content - but ultimately the units are built individually for each site and thus don't scale.... so it's no wonder that the Madden 11 advertising blitz is different: Madden 10 YouTube Takeover

Unsurprisingly, the Madden 11 ad units are quite different. In addition to being contained within their pixel real estate... the big focus is Facebook and social sharing.

Here is the primary unit on ESPN.com's homepage. The unit itself contracts after several seconds of viewership. Most interestingly, is the order of the ad's three call to action buttons:

1. Like This (on Facebook) 2. Buy it Now 3. Get the Demo

By getting the demo, you are able to view HD video content within the ad unit:

Notice that the Madden 11 campaign extended beyond ESPN's homepage... or even their NFL section. Here is a more aggressive takeover of the MLB Scores section. There is more Madden content above the fold than actual content:

And lastly, when you visit the Madden Facebook page - the focus again is to drive "Likes". Drew Brees points towards the Like button and the 'Get Started' button begins with driving Facebook fans: