What is In-Game Advertising?Put simply, in-game advertising is serving ads into agame environment, but the nuances varydramatically. For some 3D games, in-game ads appearas posters or billboards in the virtual world. For online2D casual games, in-game ads can replace an object inthe game with a branded product, or even serve abranded quest into the game for a week long run.
The World of GamingWith advancing technology, videogames havebecome increasingly interactive, common andaddicting.Videogames are now accessible in our homes, atwork, and on our cell phonesThe internet allows players to interact with otherplayers around the world
Industry Facts72% of American households play computer or video gamesThe average game player age is 3758% of players are male and 42% are female19% of most frequent game players pay to play onlinegames55% of gamers play games on their phones or handhelddeviceIn 2010, consumers spent $25.1 billion on the gamesindustryGamers spend on average, 8 hours a week playing games
Types of In-Game AdvertisingIn-Game ads can either be “dynamic” or “static.”Static ads stay the same every time the game is played. Theyare typically hard-coded during the development and appearas billboard or props, like vending machines.Dynamic ads can be changed over the internet for onlineplayers.
Main Categories Featured in IGAAutomotiveBeveragesFast Food Companies
Significance for AdvertisersVideogame industry is huge and it keeps growingDFC, a research company that specializes in the videogame industry, predicts that in-game advertisingspending will double from $3.1B to $7.2B by 201653% of players are ages 18-49, so if this your target in acampaign, in-game advertising could be verybeneficial
In-Game Advertising: Example 1 McDonald’s Campaign
Advantages of In-Game Advertising Easy to target a particular market accordingly with a videogame genre Quickly reaches consumers, ex: (Farmville, which launched on June 19th 2009, reached 50 million users by October 1st of the same year) Effective in increasing brand awareness, and especially effective at priming audiences for engagements and sponsorships within associated gaming environments
Advantages ContinuedAccording to Microsoft’s Massive (an in-game adserving company for Xbox & PC), in-game advertisinghas been found to increase purchase intent by 24%,brand recommendation by 23% and, overall brandrating by 32%In-game advertising also has a greater advantage overTV since, TV spots only feature 30-60 seconds ofcommercials & a typical in-game advertisementexceeds 300 seconds!
Advantages ContinuedNew medium to reach consumersAds are unavoidable in a virtual environmentHigh reach due to the growing popularity of videogames
Disadvantages of In-Game AdvertisingHigh game repetition creates a negative brandattitudeDifficult to plug a product on an alien planet in theyear 2553 in Halo, or do the same in a fictionalmedieval world filled with dragons and orcs in Skyrim
In-Game Advertising: Example 2Obama’s 2008 campaign
Academic Research: Journal of AdvertisingThe prominence of a brand placement has a positiveimpact on brand recallBrand attitude became more negative as the numberof game repetition increased
In-Game Advertising: Example 3 Coca-Cola Polar Race
Tips for when to use In-Game AdvertisingLooking to reach an 18-34 year old audienceWant to avoid advertising clutterWhen there is a contextual relationship with yourbrand & the game
Do’s of In-Game AdvertisingDo keep your message creative, simple &straightforwardDo make sure message is relevant & tailored toaudienceDo use the most vibrant colors of your brand palette,but avoid making it too bold & out of keeping withthe brand environment which, will spoil theexperience
Donts of In-Game AdvertisingDon’t use messaging that is inappropriate (Gamersare quick to tweet, blog or post about brands thatannoy them)Don’t attempt to use IGA as a cheap medium but,instead an impactful cut-through
Future of In-Game AdvertisingMost likely, games will start being formatted bybuilding the game around the brand’s social mediaplanGames will start using content that unlocks based onuser engagement (ex: FB page which will reveal agame code).
Discussion QuestionsHow many people here play video games?Have you ever noticed in-game advertisements while playing?What category of in-game advertisement have you seen the most?& in which type of game?In your opinion, do you believe in-game advertising is effective?If so, do you find it more effective than TV advertising? And why?Do you find IGA annoying, pleasant or irrelevant when playing avideo game?Has an IGA ever influenced your purchasing decision?Do you feel that more companies will start advertising throughgames?
ReferencesInitiative. (2012). In-Game Advertising: Gaming is a global phenomenon and presents huge opportunities for advertisers. 1-9.Skim, m. (2010). In-Game Advertising Project: Static vs. Dynamic IGAs and Concerns. http://is300project.blogspot.com/2010/11/static-vs- dynamic-igas-and-concerns.html
References ContinuedCauberghe, V., & De Pelsmacker, P. (2010). Advergames. Journal of Advertising, 39(1), 05-18.Tassi, P. (2011, Sept. 14). Analyst says video game advertising will double by 2016. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/ 2011/09/14/analyst-says-video-game-advertising- will-double-by-2016/