Copyright 2003 Eidos Press Release

[ January 27th 2003 ]

G4, the TV network all about video games, today announced a major on-air, cross-channel and online campaign, in conjunction with game publisher Eidos Interactive and game developer Core Design, to cast superstar, video game character Lara Croft in a ground-breaking marketing program to promote both the cable channel and Eidos' popular Tomb Raider franchise. The announcement was made today by Dale Hopkins, senior vice president, sales and distribution, G4.

As part of the million-dollar agreement, G4 will produce three network-image promotional commercials featuring the spirited heroine of Eidos' wildly successful Tomb Raider game and motion picture series. The Lara Croft spots will premiere on G4 in February and will continue airing for six months. The spots will go into higher rotation during Eidos' launch of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, the latest video game installment, which debuts in spring 2003, and the release of the second Tomb Raider movie, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life, opening in July 2003. G4 currently reaches nine million homes in markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Washington, D.C. and Seattle.

"This massive three-pronged campaign, coupled with the innovative use of a famous video game character, illustrates G4's ability to continually deliver compelling opportunities to publishers and our viewing audience," said Hopkins. "We are grateful to Eidos for entrusting us with Lara, which empowered both parties to package this campaign with edgy, technologically advanced creative that will captivate audiences."

Through the cross-channel component of the deal, agreements with G4's cable affiliates, including Comcast, AT&T Broadband, Time Warner Cable, Insight, Cox Communications, Mediacom and the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), will allow the Lara Croft spots to air on other young-adult oriented cable networks such as MTV, Comedy Central and ESPN. These cross-channel promotions will give G4 and Ms. Croft exposure to millions of video game enthusiasts across the country.

Conceived by the G4 in-house creative team led by Julie Fields, vice president, creative director, and Melissa Bolton, director, on-air promotions, the ads employ tongue-in-cheek humor, approaching Lara Croft not as a video game character, but as the real-life superstar she has become, as she is interviewed by a G4 reporter in various outdoor locales. In one installment, Croft and the journalist sit by a campfire toasting marshmallows. "Do you think men are only interested in you because of your body?" he asks. "No. I'm rich, too, darling," replies Lara Croft.

The campaign's unique concept -- treatment of a video game character as a pop-culture icon, and irreverent commentary on the relationship between celebrities and the media -- is realized by the use of cutting-edge TV production technology. G4 uses real-time animation of Lara Croft combined with live-action footage, enabling a video game character to step out of the world of pixels and into the world of humans.

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