The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has launched a new ad campaign to let parents know that a.) Video game boxes have big black letters on them and b.) Those letters mean something to parents who are trying to keep tabs on their children's media consumption.
Instead of printing up generic in-store flyers and signs that discuss what the ratings mean, the ratings board hired the team behind the popular video game comic 'Penny Arcade' to create a series of ads that are fairly clever and compelling (and really spell out the point of the ratings). My personal favorite is the one that stars Joshua (above), who "reminds his friends (at least the ones that [sic] have kids) that they all have big black letters on the box..." Seriously, they are pretty hard to miss.
Surveys by the ESRB finds that 85% of the parents they asked say they are aware that video games have ratings, and 65% regularly check a game's rating before buying it. Those are pretty respectable numbers overall, but from personal experience running mom's video game boot camps, there are still plenty of folks out there who are not in the know.
In addition to promoting the ratings and the organization, this new ad campaign is also promoting the new(ish) ESRB mobile app, designed to help parents quickly find additional information about a game while they're on the go.
To see the entire ESRB/Penny Arcade campaign, go here.