The object of CROC 2 is simple: Players travel around collecting crystals, which they need to swap for the jumps that will safely bounce the title character through the game.
In the original CROC, those jumps were nondescript “blobs of jelly,” according to Scott Marcus, vp-worldwide promotions for game publisher Fox Interactive. Marcus hit upon the idea to give those blobs some shape for the game’s sequel, and took his self-described “song and dance” to Nabisco. The snack maker’s LifeSavers Co. candy division was all for a violence-free game that was expected to get into the hands of two million-plus six- to 14-year-olds.
Thus, the blobs became “Gummi Saver jumps,” and Parsippany, NJ-based LifeSavers gained product placement in an entertainment property that offered infinitely more viewings than a movie or TV show (albeit with a smaller audience).
Marcus adds that Fox wasn’t seeking a placement just for the sake of it. “We could do product placement all day long if we wanted to. But we wanted something that made sense.”
LifeSavers supported CROC 2’s April release with logos on 6.5 million packages, an Australian vacation sweepstakes, an FSI drop, and sampling events at electronics stores. The effort continues through the end of ’99.
Los Angeles-based Fox Interactive seeks partners for all its releases. “We try to find a bunch of little people, and one big partner who really gets behind it,” says Marcus.