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GameSpot Audience Picks Microsoft’s Halo 2 Ad as Best Commercial of 2004


SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- January 27, 2005 -- GameSpot (, a leading source for unbiased gaming information and a property of CNET Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNET), today announced that Microsoft’s Halo 2 ad is the overall winner of its second annual GameSpot Commercial Challenge. The Challenge, which was conducted entirely online and voted on by GameSpot’s audience, recognizes the best and most creative commercials that were featured on television or the Internet during 2004. More than 110 different commercials competed, and winners were chosen in 20 categories such as video game genre, mobile, auto, and tech gear. All of the winning commercials can be viewed at:

Participating advertisers enjoyed significant visibility for their commercials, as the result of gamers’ enthusiastic participation in this year’s GameSpot Commercial Challenge. GameSpot’s savvy, young audience of gamers is the perfect sounding board for advertisers who target many of their major brands at the site’s key demographic of 18-34 males. Roughly 91,000 GameSpot users visited the Commercial Challenge Webpage, where they were allowed to vote once in each of the 20 different categories. More than 512,000 commercial videos were streamed and 18,000 downloaded over the six-week holiday voting period, yielding almost 284,000 votes.

More than 83 percent of GameSpot’s audience uses broadband, making it easy for them to watch TV-quality advertisements on the Web. GameSpot users had fast and free access to all the commercial entries, and voters were entered into a sweepstakes to win prizes such as a $1000 EB Games gift certificate and Nintendo DS system.

“GameSpot’s users have enjoyed our streaming video since 1998, and as our Commercial Challenge shows, they clearly welcome video ads as part of their experience on the GameSpot Web site,” said Laurel Skillman, vice president of marketing, GameSpot. “Our young, male audience wields a significant amount of influence in today’s marketplace and enjoys the opportunity to let advertisers know their preferences.”

Microsoft Game Studios won GameSpot’s Commercial of the Year Award for “Halo 2,” created by entertainment ad agency The Ant Farm. The 60-second TV commercial featured striking animation from the Halo 2 video game and was edited like a movie trailer, summarizing the game through a single line said by Master Chief -- the protagonist of the game -- “I need a weapon.”

“We are excited that our advertising campaign for Halo 2 resonated with GameSpot users,” said Cameron Payne, Lead Global Product Manager for Halo 2. “Because of the magnitude of Halo 2 we knew we had to go way beyond the typical expected video game advertisement. To be voted the best among GameSpot’s youthful and broadband-savvy audience is great proof that our material resonated among our most desirable buying audience.”

GameSpot’s audience is 94 percent male with 65 percent between the ages of 18-34. This sought after target audience spends an average of 20 hours a week playing games. (Source: GameSpot Profile Study, February 2004)

About GameSpot

GameSpot ( is a leading online source for gaming information. The GameSpot family includes GameFAQs, Game Rankings, Wireless Gaming Review, GameSpot DLX, and GameSpot Trax, its real-time market intelligence tool. GameSpot’s Websites offer free access to tens of thousands of PC and video game reviews from expert editors, previews of the hottest upcoming games, game downloads, video streams, guides, breaking news, and hints. GameSpot also has one of the most active online gaming communities which is a free, innovative social network service that makes it fun and easy for gamers to meet and interact with others that share their specific gaming interests.

About CNET Networks

CNET Networks, Inc. ( is a premier global interactive content company that informs, entertains, and connects large, engaged audiences around topics of high information need or personal passion. The company focuses on three categories -- personal technology, games and entertainment, and business technology -- and includes such leading brands as CNET, ZDNet, TechRepublic,, GameSpot, CNET, CNET, Webshots, Computer Shopper magazine, and CNET Channel. With a strong presence in the US, Asia and Europe, CNET Networks has operations in 12 countries.


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