According to Ad Week today, Electronic Arts, which has been promoting the upcoming videogame release Dante’s Inferno, with a campaign telling gamers to “Go to hell.” However, this will change on Super Bowl Sunday during the EA Commercial: it will instead inform viewers that “Hell awaits.”
The company had to tone-down the tagline so that CBS would green light it. The network felt the “Go to hell” tag was too controversial for the broadcast.
Dante’s Inferno is due to hit stores two days after the Feb. 7 Super Bowl.
According to the Ad Week article, Consumer research showed that people have heard of the 13th-century poem, “Dante’s Inferno,” but don’t know the story line. Therefore, EA and the agency (Wieden + Kennedy) decided to focus the advertising on the game’s setting. The action-adventure title casts each player as an armor-clad Dante, encountering the nine circles of hell to save the soul of his murdered love.
The clever campaign even featured an EA-orchestrated fake religious protest outside E3 Expo last year. In November, EA launched a “Go to hell” Facebook app that allows users to send people to one of the nine circles of hell. It’s like Farmville for the literary set.
Some critics have pointed out that “Hell Awaits,” is actually more scary-sounding than “Go to Hell,” which sounds more rude than anything (what’s next, “kiss my ass”?) but pretty much all pundits agree that the PR momentum EA is getting out of this is flying as fast as, well, a bat out of hell.