To Hell and Back: EA’s Guerrilla Marketing Campaign for Dante’s Inferno

dantes-inferno“The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Take, for example, the marketing of Electronic Arts’s blockbuster new video game, Dante’s Inferno. Last year, the company set about trying to educate the public not only about the game but about a 14th-century literary classic and the very nature of human morality. What ensued was one of the most complex campaigns in video-game history, one that got EA burned for fakery and sexism, and then—thanks to a bold change of direction—lauded for intellect and creativity. It’s also a case study in surprising frugality, with a $200,000 guerrilla budget that yielded 47 million impressions of coverage. Today, AdFreak walks you through the nine circles of hell with the man who led the innovative and controversial marketing campaign for Dante’s Inferno. So, put on your asbestos gloves and get ready to descend into damnation, after the jump.” []    –David Griner, AdWeek, February 24, 2010

Dante’s Somewhere Between Sacramento and Tahoe

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Photo taken by Ruth Caldwell (2009)

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“Tuscany” Perfumes by Aramis

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Difficult to see, but the “Tuscany per donna” has as its slogan in French “Out of that stream there issued living sparks” (Par. XXX.64) and in English, “It draws fire to the moon” (Par. I.115). The “Tuscany per uomo” has as its slogan, “It moves the sun and the other stars” (last verse of Paradiso).

Contributed by Guy Raffa (University of Texas, Austin)

Inferno Enterprises Architects

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Contributed by Ruth Caldwell

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Contributed by Dennis Looney