SBJ/December 20 - 26, 1999/No Topic Name

Rice gets small for kids computer game

Jerry Rice will appear in a new ad campaign for software game manufacturer Humongous Entertainment. Rice, of the San Francisco 49ers, is featured in the Humongous title Backyard Football, a game geared to children younger than 12.

The game features NFL players as children. In the 30-second ad spot, created by Publicis in Seattle, Rice joins a group of children to play football and is transformed into a child in order to play. The game is animated, and in the spot Rice morphs not only into a child, but also into an animated character.

"It gives the idea of the magic that happens when you take these players and turn them into kids," said Mike Salvadore, director of marketing and business development for Humongous Entertainment.

Backyard Football was introduced to the market in November. An independent data reporting firm says it is now the No. 2-selling children's title, behind Toy Story 2.

Salvadore said Backyard Football is the first football game geared toward younger kids. Humongous also produces Backyard Baseball and Backyard Soccer. Updated versions of those games, scheduled for release in the spring of 2000, will also feature actual players as children.

The campaign featuring Rice for Backyard Football breaks Sunday. The $2 million spot will run for four months on network and cable television in eight markets: Washington, Boston, Seattle, Dallas, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Jacksonville and Indianapolis.

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Related Topics:

NFL, Publicis, San Francisco 49ers

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