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Videogames in play for ad dollars


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A recent article in Spots N Dots (a daily Television Sales newsletter) focused on how Videogames have become an attractive way to advertise to a demographic that's not watching as much TV.


Apparantly, last year, the number of Men 18-34 who watched TV was down drastically and video games were seen as one of its causes. Since the, the numbers have returned to normal levels, but advertisers are starting to see the power of using ads in videogames to reach the M18-34 demographic. This concept is growing in popularity and Nielson is starting to take notice.


Here's an excerpt from the article:


For the typical TV-based video games, advertiser

ads are sprinkled throughout the game, for

instance on billboards on the sides of buildings,

and integrated in other ways into the fabric of the

games. For internet -based games, both Microsoft

and Massive Inc. have announced new

software that allows advertisers to place ads on

those same integrated billboards, changing the message

in real time to target whoever is playing.

Nielsen is getting in on the trend, announcing the test

of a new service to measure the audience for TV-based

in-game advertising. Every time an ad appears on the

video screen, a digital signal would be stored in the

game, which could be read later by Nielsen. The test

involves the Chrysler Jeep ads within the video game

Tony Hawk?s Underground 2. In preliminary results,

87% of persons interviewed after using the game remembered

seeing a highly integrated ad more than lessintegrated

ads, and 40% indicated they would more

inclined to buy the advertised product.

But Nielsen?s technology might become obsolete

before it becomes available if the computer-based games

dominate in the future, as expected. In those games,

advertisers can be immediately informed over the internet

when their ads are being viewed by a user. And a cookie

will give them all sorts of information about the player.

In an industry where only about 10% of the games on

the market make back their development costs, video

game makers are keen to develop their ad revenues.

The Yankee Group suggests that only $79 million was

spent on video game advertising this year, but that will

rise to $200 million by the end of 2008. The rise of

computer-based games will help because ads can be

produced and placed quickly. TV-based games take

months to develop, potentially making their ads old before

they appear.


Source: Spots N Dots Newsletter


What do you guys think of this new movement? Acceptable or intrusive? Do you think this could help smaller game develops with revenue problems?


I've heard of a few games planning to test this a bit, like with billboards in a racing game. That I really dont mind. I actually thought the DOLE logos all over Super Monkey Ball were funny. But when Mario starts to eat Snickers bars and drink Coca-Cola, that might be pushing it for me. :)

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It would piss me off to have ads in a fantasy based game like Mario, but I think they can be beneficial for other games. For example, it's not going to hurt my enjoyment to shoot up Dell computer monitors, Pepsi machines, and Wegas in a new Max Payne game. On the contrary, it would add an extra touch of realism and possibly give the game company room for a bigger budget.


However, if they gave Max a long winded speech extolling the virtues of Pepsi in graphic novel format, I'd probably draw the line.

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  • 4 years later...

I thought I would resurrect this thread after downloading the latest patch for Killzone 2. According to their site


P.S.: I almost forgot to mention: The patch also adds DLC support! ... So you know what that means... ;)


The DLC support includes an advertisement for the new DLC coming to the PSN store. The ad pops up between games online.


This is the type of advertisement that I like. It's game specific, acceptable and unobtrusive.

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Depends on the game really. I've played plenty of games where ads have not bothered me. Burnout has billboards all over (same with PGR), Fight night had sponsors just like regular fights do, Rainbow Six had a movie ad on the side of a truck (think it was for Next).


However I would be pissed if I was playing Mass Effect and saw a Pepsi ad, or Halo and a Samsung ad was in the middle of a Convenant ship :-)

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