Product Placement: Edge Shaving Cream Gets Into…Video Games?

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Video game enthusiasts may not be known for their grooming skills, but that hasn’t stopped Edge Shave Gel from cutting a deal with the makers of the popular game Assassin’s Creed.

With the Nov. 11 release of the game’s latest version, players will now have the chance to unlock in-game content with codes found on limited-edition cans of Edge, according to a release from Edge parent company Energizer Holdings.[more]

With the codes, gamers can give their characters a leg up with swords, armor, and other gear.

“We know our fans are dedicated to the game,” Tony Key, senior vice president, sales and marketing of Assassin’s Creed owner Ubisoft, in the unintentionally hilarious release. “However, that doesn’t mean their grooming routine should suffer. Partnering with Edge to offer our consumers a promotion like this allows our gamers to get a leg up on fellow gamers, in and out of the game, with exclusive content and a superior shave.”

With the promo, Edge joins a slew of other brands that have gone the in-game advertising route. Many such attempts have been memorably clumsy.

Those who have played Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker know that if their character has Doritos, Mountain Dew, or Pepsi on them when they die, they will immediately be brought back to life, Cracked notes.

Zool: Ninja of the Nth Dimension has the very un-ninja logo for Chupa Chups Lollipops all over its platform. 

And Yum Brands’ Pizza Hut branding seemed to take over 2009’s Phantasy Star Portable 2 in Japan with players turning in their “swords and shields for far more powerful fare, like pizza pans and pizza boxes.” To restore a character’s energy, pizza and coffee was for sale at Pizza Huts throughout the game. 

That’s not to say in-game product placement can’t be handled well, though.

One of the first, back in the ‘80s, was “Pepsi Invaders,” which used the Space Invaders format but replaced the incoming aliens with letters that spelled out Pepsi and a Coke bottle at the bottom shooting lasers, the Guardian recalls.

More recent examples include how Burnout Paradise features Obama’ 2008 campaign billboards throughout, and Pizza Hut’s redemptive smart move in EverQuest II of inserting a way for players to order and pay for the brand’s real-world pizzas without having to leave the game itself.

Even when the delivery person arrives, though, somebody has to actually put down his or her joystick and answer the door. Gaming has its difficulties, after all.

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[Image via Edge]

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