The inclusion of a free virtual version of Renault's electric Twizy Z.E Concept car in The Sims 3 should go great lengths towards helping increase player awareness of the Renault brand.
With The Sims 3, EA has discovered a whole new way to deliver in-game advertisements to its players. Take the free downloadable Renault Twizy Z.E Concept car, available this spring as part of the Electric Vehicle Pack, which includes the car and several other environmentally friendly energy generating devices, such as solar panels and windmills. It's more than just a free car. It's a free car that has a positive effect on your game experience. Using the Twizy will reduce your family's weekly household bills, giving you an edge over other vehicles.
The Electric Vehicle Pack is part of a multi-year agreement between EA and Renault, announced today, that will allow the developer to integrate Renault's line of electric vehicles into the game.
"The Sims 3 players have demonstrated consistent enthusiasm for bringing cool ‘real world' brands into their virtual world," said Steve Seabolt, VP of Global Brand Development for The Sims. "We're excited to work with Renault on their electric vehicles and have them available for download for The Sims 3."
I guess I just wasn't aware of just how cool Renault was. Perhaps that's a failure on my part. The Twizy is the most adorable little car I've ever seen, but it doesn't strike me as particularly cool.
But it's still an interesting development. Integrating brands is one thing, but associating those brands with positive effects in your video games? That's almost... brilliant.