NEW YORK, Aug. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ad Council, the national non-profit organization behind public service communications programs including Smokey Bear, "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk," and "Love Has No Labels," announced today that it is collaborating with leading gaming companies and top gaming influencers to launch Game for Good. Collaborators include Penny Arcade, Twitch, Polaris/Maker Studios, Rooster Teeth, YouTube, 3BLACKDOT, PlayQ, Zynga and Games for Change. The unprecedented effort aims to harness the power of games and the gaming community to drive awareness, engagement and impact on the critical social issues addressed by Ad Council campaigns.
To kick off Game for Good, the Ad Council will be taking its iconic Love Has No Labels campaign to Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) West in Seattle from September 2-5, 2016. One of the largest gaming events in North America, PAX West is a celebration of gamer culture and is attended by thousands of gamers from across the country. Love Has No Labels will integrate its messages of diversity and inclusion throughout the event including: two PAX panel discussions featuring SIMS Studio Senior Producers Lyndsay Pearson and Sarah Fuchs and gamers Etika (Desmond Amofah), Annemunition, Ms. Vixen and Jimmy Wong, with the latter being streamed live on PAX's Twitch channel; a Love Has No Labels activation in the PAX Diversity Lounge with a GIF booth and giveaways sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, a campaign partner; and post-panel discussions with Rooster Teeth's Mica Burton in a livestream from the Expo floor. The activation will be promoted through social media using the hashtags #LoveHasNoLabels and #WeAreGamers and via the campaign and Ad Council channels.
"To really have an impact on social issues, we need to meet people where they are spending their time and for millions across the country that's playing games online, on mobile or on consoles," said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. "We're thrilled to collaborate with the leaders in this space to co-create and integrate content that furthers our campaign messages in ways that are meaningful for the gaming community."
Building on the Ad Council's successful Creators for Good program, which matches YouTube influencers with Ad Council campaigns they care about, Game for Good will work with gaming influencers as well as publishers to reach fans of popular video game titles online and on social media. In addition, Game for Good collaborations will explore integrating campaigns into games and gaming IP into Ad Council campaigns.
"We're thrilled to partner with the Ad Council and lend our voice to the positive message of this campaign," said Luis Medina, Senior VP of Partnerships at Rooster Teeth. "As a woman of color in gaming, our host Mica Burton is a reflection of Rooster Teeth's diverse community and represents the progress we want to see in our industry. We're happy to work with this great group of partners to tell that story at PAX."
The Ad Council produces more than 40 national fully integrated campaigns addressing issues including Bullying Prevention, Shelter Pet Adoption, Hunger Prevention, Recycling, Autism Awareness and Underage Drinking and Driving. Each public service campaign is developed by creative agencies in partnership with a leading non-profit organization or a federal government agency, such as Autism Speaks, Feeding America or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The PSAs are distributed to media outlets nationwide and are run in donated media, exceeding $1.6 billion annually.
"The Ad Council has been a longstanding advocate for building awareness regarding important social issues with Game for Good representing another noteworthy campaign," said Erin Wayne, Lead Community Manager, Twitch. "Since we believe in cultivating a diverse and inclusive environment, Game for Good is aligned with our values and we look forward to seeing it resonate with others around the world."
Beyond the PAX West activation, a dedicated Game for Good advisory group will work on opportunities for collaboration across many different Ad Council campaigns over the course of the next 12 months, focusing on both the PC, online and console gaming audience as well as the casual gaming audience on social media and mobile platforms.
"We're honored to help create a home for this vital message," said Jerry Holkins, Co-founder of Penny Arcade. "The Ad Council has done tremendous work and we are thrilled to have a stellar cause like the Game for Good campaign kick-off at PAX West."
The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of public service campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit Adcouncil.org, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.
About Games for Change
Founded in 2004, Games for Change facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as powerful tools in humanitarian and educational efforts. To further grow the field, Games for Change convenes multiple stakeholders, highlights best practices, incubates games, and helps create and direct investment into new projects. www.gamesforchange.org
Twitch is the world's leading social video platform and community for gamers. Each month, more than 100 million community members gather to watch and talk about video games with more than 1.7 million broadcasters. Twitch's video platform is the backbone of both live and on-demand distribution for the entire video game ecosystem. This includes game developers, publishers, media outlets, events, user generated content, and the entire esports scene. Twitch also features Twitch Creative, a category devoted to artists and the creative process. For more information about Twitch, visit the official website and blog.
PlayQ is a leading mobile gaming company, building high quality titles played by millions around the world every day. PlayQ creates original intellectual property distributed on iOS, Android, and Desktop. Its titles have ranked within the top 100 grossing in over 50 countries across all platforms. The company, recently named as one of the 2016 Best Places to Work in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal, was founded by Joseph Aigboboh and Ryan Komori with the mission to deliver the best original entertainment to the broadest global audience. To learn more about PlayQ, please visit: http://www.playq.net and http://www.tastebuds.com.
About Rooster Teeth
Rooster Teeth is a pioneering studio responsible for some of the biggest online series in history, such as the award-winning and longest-running web series, Red vs. Blue. They also produce the globally acclaimed animated series RWBY, the first western anime series to be distributed in Japan; the award-winning Rooster Teeth Podcast; and Immersion, a reality format that brings video game theory to the real world. Rooster Teeth has a massive global footprint of more than 25 million subscribers to its YouTube Network, 3 million unique monthly visitors to its RoosterTeeth.com hub and 1.8 million registered community members. The company was founded in 2003, and is now a subsidiary of Fullscreen, Inc., a global youth media company that develops online creators and produces multi-platform entertainment experiences. Discover more at RoosterTeeth.com.
Since its founding in 2007, Zynga's mission has been to connect the world through games. To-date, more than 1 billion people have played Zynga's games across Web and mobile, including FarmVille, Zynga Poker, Words With Friends, Hit it Rich! Slots and CSR Racing. Zynga's games are available on a number of global platforms including Apple iOS, Google Android, Facebook and Zynga.com. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., and has additional offices the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland and India. Learn more about Zynga at http://blog.zynga.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
3BLACKDOT (3BD) is an influencer-driven digital studio that is focused on leading gaming culture. 3BD is comprised of some of the largest YouTube Influencers in the world that garner over 700 million monthly views on their content and have a global audience of 70+ million followers. 3BD works with Strategic Partners, top Advertisers, Brands, and Individuals to leverage the massive audiences of leading Influencers from around the world and to drive engaged audiences to games, content, platforms, products, and services.
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"3BLACKDOT works hard with its partners to help highlight the positive impact video games and video gamers are having on our society," said Luke Stepleton, Co-Founder of 3BLACKDOT. "Gamers are often an overlooked community in the YouTube space and working with the Ad Council has been one of the highlights of our year to date."
"PlayQ is proud to partner with Ad Council on the Game for Good initiative to support such important public issues," added Joseph Aigboboh, PlayQ CEO. "Our broad global reach, recognizable characters and strong original IP provide a unique platform for supporting social causes and raising awareness."
"Games for Change is thrilled to be working again with the Ad Council, in particular on this wonderful initiative set to highlight the power games have beyond entertainment and how they can impact social issues," said Susanna Pollack, President Games for Change. "We are honored that an organization like The Ad Council understands the value that games possess, and are excited to continue educating the world on what games can really do."
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SOURCE The Ad Council