Electronic Arts gives away free … fuel?

I have to hand it to Electronic Arts — they may be pretty damn spotty when it comes to quality, but damn if their marketing isn’t spot-on. With Mercenaries 2: World in Flames having launched in the UK today, publisher EA has been promoting the game in one of the most novel ways I’ve seen — by taking over a petrol station and offering £20,000 worth of fuel free to motorists. 

By 07:30 BST this morning, EA had already served more than 150 drivers with their £40 share of free petrol. The promotion is set to continues until EA runs out of juice. Security has been on-hand to deal with traffic and arguments, and according to the BBC, tempers were strained during rush hour as motorists began to argue like the greedy, Mad Max-style fuel hogs that they are. Still, everybody who got their free forty quid seems pretty happy. 

“This is a genius idea, whoever thought of this should be promoted,” stated one lucky recipient. “I’ll definitely be buying the game, you’re never too old to play computer games.” An EA spokesman stated that the promotion mimicked the game, which is set in Venezuela, where fuel is used as currency. 

Of course, this is Britain, which means one sour-faced killjoy bitch was displeased by this brilliant bit of marketing: “What an extraordinary thing to do, it’s totally irresponsible. I can’t believe they’ve been allowed to do it,” stated one wretched tart. “This area is usually very quiet but look at it now, there’s cars queuing everywhere. It’s just creating unnecessary problems.” She can shut up though, because this is a fantastic idea and EA should do it in her back garden next time.

[Thanking Budr]

Jim Sterling