Kids are heavier than ever and get too little exercise, as school physical fitness has nearly evaporated and home activities revolve around computer games. So, to ensure that the computer time is extraordinarily bad for kids’ health, Activision and Pepsi have teamed up in a cross-promotion from Hell.
Activision and Pepsi have come up with “Rank Up XP,” a cross-promotional deal that is implemented via the new video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The offer goes like this: When gamers buy certain Pepsi products, such as Mountain Dew or Doritos, they get redeemable codes to use for “Double XP time” in Call of Duty. Since I’m not familiar with the game, I can only say that it gives people a distinct advantage (presumably in Internet play?).
This is where the folly gets a little comical… The promotion manages to offend two parties in the process, one being the people they are marketing to in the first place. You have hardcore competitive gamers who are irked that someone gets an advantage simply by buying something, then of course health advocates who see it as promoting continued overindulgence in unhealthy foods in an “activity” that is already keeping young people dormant.
Here’s what gamers get: for buying 24 ounces of Mountain Dew, the prize is worth 15 minutes. But hey, why not go for a 12 pack, then you get 45 minutes! But wait, there’s more! Go for the grandaddy of a deal in Wal-Mart’s 20-pack Mountain Dew and get 90 minutes.
Or, you could save your money and mimic the game through paintball, or just do anything that involves a little fresh air and some physical activity. I’m not against gaming altogether, but a little more actual human interaction never hurt anyone.