In-Game Ads Are Effective, So Get Ready For More

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

In-Game Ads Are Effective, So Get Ready For More

image

Just how effective is in-game advertising? Based on a study that followed Gatorade buying trends: extremely effective.

In-game advertising has been one of those constantly controversial subjects within the videogame industry. On one hand, it's an easy source of cash for developers and publishers. On the other, gamers tend to resent the fact that something they've just paid $60 for is trying to push more stuff on them. However, something that hasn't been obvious is exactly how effective the system is; now, the first official study on the subject is out, and it sounds like in-game ads are pretty good at getting people to buy things.

Electronic Arts has put a lot of in-game advertising into its various sports titles, so the study by The Neilsen Company focused on how effective they were at promoting Gatorade (a common ad property between different sports). Based on the results, households' spending on Gatorade increased by 24%. While that may not sound like a huge increase, it's actually quite substantial.

At first glance, it might be tempting to disregard the study as something that misrepresented the final results, but it turns out that it was extremely in-depth:

The study focused on households that purchased at least one of six EA Sports titles: NH 09, NHL 10, NBA LIVE 07, NBA LIVE 08, NBA LIVE 09 and NBA Street Homecourt. Gatorade had a variety of product placements within the games including arena signs, players' water bottles, score updates and other call outs.

The study was based on Nielsen's US Homescan panel of more than 100,000 households, representative of the US population, including a subset of Homescan homes that scanned video game UPC (Universal Product Codes) barcodes. The scanned barcodes were matched to a reference library of more than 14,000 video game titles. Nielsen compared the households that purchased at least one of the studied games before and after Gatorade branding was integrated into the games (the test group) with households that didn't purchase one of the games (the control group).

So why should you care about this? Well, it's a safe bet that this information is going to be used as an example of how effective games can be when it comes to marketing other products to players. That means that there will probably be more ads appearing in videogames down the line, which is something that I've never been terribly fond of.

Source: Marketwatch

Permalink

That's devious. As long as they keep it subliminal, or at least off the radar, I'm fine with it, though. If they start doing the Wayne's World sort of advertising, where it affects the game, I might be more inclined to burn it. of course, I don't play sports games, so nyeh.

Eh. I'm fine with it in Alan Wake. What I don't like is the stuff like is stuff the giant billboard ads all over Prototype. Hell, some of them were just painted on walls.

It's more because Prototype is open world. So, you see a shit ton more of them. Alan Wake had a few billboards, but literally every single block in Prototype was littered with ads. From "Hollywood Video" stores on the side of the street, to wall mural or whatever Gamestop ads, to the actual billboards.

Probably left more of an impression on me.

I'm waiting for the day the in-game character goes "I couldn't have stopped the bad guy without my Gatorade!"...

On a lighter note, I think we can all agree that fake ads are AWESOME:

they can issue products like that

But god it's gonna work an Anti effect if you put in commercials ofc

meh as long a it's not all over the place and not in your face I don't mind it.

I make a conscious effort not to buy stuff on adverts that decide to be in your face, or in games, or on TV, or well on or in anything!

Truth be told i like the little advertisments in gaming there are subtle, im suprised it actually works as an advertisment though, i've never had a single nothing to buy anything advertised in games.

Fuck that shit. I bet in-game ads are only possible in games that deal with the present. Our time. I can't imagine an epic Sci-fi franchise like Mass Effect to incorperate real ads anytime soon. It wouldn't add up and ruin leh immersion.

I don't really see what the problem people have with unobtrusive ads is. Hell, many of the webcomics I like I found out about through advertisements.

As for them in game, the only one I ever had to deal with was Robot Chicken DVDs on billboards in BFBC, which was my favorite show at the time.

Adds in games are fine, just make them part of the destructable environment so we can shoot and destroy them when we recognise it.
Add an achievement to it, like "adkiller" if you manage to hit 50% or more of the ads.

Onyx Oblivion:
Eh. I'm fine with it in Alan Wake. What I don't like is the stuff like is stuff the giant billboard ads all over Prototype. Hell, some of them were just painted on walls.

It was worse in Alan Wake for one simple reason. Find the room of light or whatever, get the clicker. "It's time I go to Cauldron Lake and end this thing!" Bam, giant friggin' billboard for Verizon in the middle of the screen.

I guess we can thank gamestop for this. Horray for customers being punished because retailers are sucking up oceans of income that should go directly to people who matter.

I always just thought those ads were in sports games, because it makes it more like what you see on television. Just like how in say, FIFA, the stadiums have ads that change, just like in real life. So there's one showing that for all the crys of it ruins immersion, there's at least one genre it helps make more immersive (which is saying alot about sport games).

Of course, it wouldnt work in many futuristic or fantasy games. I can't imagine the Warden in Dragon Age sitting around the camp fire listening to Alister prattle on and cracking open a Bud.

I actually don't mind in-game ads as long as they don't have audio and they don't smash the immersion to pieces (which usually they do).

Wipeout HD did it well at first when they just had a small banner during loading screens.
Then they majorly fucked up and had video ads play during every loading screen. Which increased the loading time by like 15 seconds and had choppy loud audio.

Every time a loading screen came on i started dreading the words "DDUUUHHH BUY LYNX NOW" echoing through my living room.
And i wasn't joking about the "DUUH" part either.

I don't mind ads with humour in certain games either. Like i can imagine Snake sitting down and cracking open a beer while winking at the camera :D

Stuff like the Energizer batteries in Alan Wake are fine.

I don't want an ad for Pepsi Max in Mass Effect though.

It's fine if the ads are in the proper environment, but really if they are going to include ads in scifi games please please make a proper scifi ad for it. I dont mind if I see Gatorade ad in a billboard in some cyberpunk game if its designed to appeal the the environment and would suit to the cyberpunk world it resides in.

adverts in games work because they are few and subtle (that I have seen) if it becomes like TV where you get 3+ ads back to back every 10 minutes....well, thats gonna wreck the game and totally ruin the effect of the ads.

As long as they don't change Nuka Cola, I'm fine.

If its not out of place and actually fits in the environment then it won't bug me. Like someone above me said the ads in prototype were terrible, just painted logos for Gamestop and other companies that looked out of place.

Or when I played Far Cry 2 multiplayer and out in the middle of a warzone in the African desert was a billboard advertising Quantum of Solace on Blu-Ray and DVD.

put ads into games and make the games cheaper. Im all for that. BUT if you're gonna put ads into games and still charge me an arm and a leg. I say FUCK THAT!

Yeah, I remember going out after playing GTA IV and drinking Pi▀wasser for months afterwards. I dunno, I think in games like EA Sports titles it okay , I mean as a Sports Sim they want to replicate the "experience". But if I start seeing ads for coke on Pandora in Boarderlands 2, or for McDonald's in Dragon Age...I'm not convinced that this is a good idea...besides the fact that I'm almost okay with in game promotion done in the product placement way, putting actual ads in a game is just not on. I mean, what we get to watch the same (probably innane) 30second ads every time we hit a loading screen?

Ad's are supposed to pay for the purchase of shows and air time that are generally free to air (or based on a fairly low monthly subscription). We don't get ads on DVD's and movies anymore, for precisely this reason. I might draw a line at advertising other games or putting them in a specific area where you choose to watch them, but lets be honest, that's not what we are talking about here.

Straying Bullet:
Fuck that shit. I bet in-game ads are only possible in games that deal with the present. Our time. I can't imagine an epic Sci-fi franchise like Mass Effect to incorperate real ads anytime soon. It wouldn't add up and ruin leh immersion.

You don't think Coca-Cola would be successful in the 22 century? You don't think Shepard can't use the latest Apple product? You think IBM is not manufacturing Geths(of the highest quality)?

Think again.

If In-Game Advertising permeates other games set in fantastical locales (IE: Reach, The Capital Wasteland, etc.), I will fucking lose it.

Traun:

Straying Bullet:
Fuck that shit. I bet in-game ads are only possible in games that deal with the present. Our time. I can't imagine an epic Sci-fi franchise like Mass Effect to incorperate real ads anytime soon. It wouldn't add up and ruin leh immersion.

You don't think Coca-Cola would be successful in the 22 century? You don't think Shepard can't use the latest Apple product? You think IBM is not manufacturing Geths(of the highest quality)?

Think again.

You should.

Who needs Coca-Cola? We got amazing Krogan drinks. Why use Apple? They have Omni-tools, we all know the best Omni-tools are produced by the Asari.

Geth aren't manufactured by humanoids, but by Quarians. As an AI, they evolved and create their own weaponary and units. I don't see your point even still because adding present day companies into some epic sci-fi universe doesn't compute. It would be a horrible mistake to include anything from real companies in such games like Mass Effect. It detracts from the realism and the universe I am soaked in.

Onyx Oblivion:
Eh. I'm fine with it in Alan Wake. What I don't like is the stuff like is stuff the giant billboard ads all over Prototype. Hell, some of them were just painted on walls.

I'm waiting for the day the in-game character goes "I couldn't have stopped the bad guy without my Gatorade!"...

On a lighter note, I think we can all agree that fake ads are AWESOME:

I love how it is just 1 German word meaning watter lol.

OT: Doesn't work on me lol. I don't get cravings. I say i do for specific foods but thats just cause i like them more then most.

This has been going on for a loooong time, I remember ad's in C.S games, from Alienware Laptops to the lastest James Bond film. These we're just posters on a wall, didnt detract from the game, were easily ignored, but I'm sure they did their job.

I dont have a problem with it tbh, product placement is everywhere n the media, so why should games be any different. As long as it doesnt detract from the game, then far enough.

Well, its like advertising anywhere, always work to some extent - Helps gamers already like the product though...

Skate 2 does this well with the Dr. Pepper vending machines. However, the moment games make them invincible ads, like Pepsi in Bionic Commando or that Dodge car in Rainbow Six: Vegas, it becomes terrible. I understand they doen't want their product associated with guns and violence but the moment it breaks the immersion I hate it more for that.

Straying Bullet:

You should.

Who needs Coca-Cola? We got amazing Krogan drinks. Why use Apple? They have Omni-tools, we all know the best Omni-tools are produced by the Asari.

Geth aren't manufactured by humanoids, but by Quarians. As an AI, they evolved and create their own weaponary and units. I don't see your point even still because adding present day companies into some epic sci-fi universe doesn't compute. It would be a horrible mistake to include anything from real companies in such games like Mass Effect. It detracts from the realism and the universe I am soaked in.

You don't see a joke when it's in front of you, do you? Also, Mass Effect already have in-game advertisement - http://www.gamingbits.com/general-gaming-news-bits/mass-effect-2-enhancements-prescribed-by-dr-pepper/

And anyway, we all KNOW that Geth run on IBM chips, smarter minds for smarter race.

I remain a bit dubious. Ads and sports have co-existed for a long time now, and - as was pointed out by several above me - taking out the ads (or the Gatorade) from sports games actually makes the experiences less akin to real life, Gatorade especially. That said, secondhand evidence along the order of Modern Warfare and obscure guns seems to jive well with this evidence. Maybe adverts in games work best when people don't realize that they're adverts, or when they add to the experience (or both).

Anyway, I don't have any real problem with in-game adverts, but that's largely due to my stance on out-of-game adverts. I just don't really care about their existence, as they're easily ignorable at worst and largely informative at best. (Well, they can be pandering at worst, see: BP, but I'm not sure that was really an advert and not just PR, but I digress.) They aren't "cramming" anything "down our throats" because we still have to make a decision, and then go and execute that decision.

Besides, anything that lessens publishers' financial investment in a title is probably a good thing for the industry.

Onyx Oblivion:
Eh. I'm fine with it in Alan Wake. What I don't like is the stuff like is stuff the giant billboard ads all over Prototype. Hell, some of them were just painted on walls.

Alan Wake has giant billboard ads all over the place. I haven't played Prototype, but I don't understand your distinction.

Straying Bullet:
Fuck that shit. I bet in-game ads are only possible in games that deal with the present. Our time. I can't imagine an epic Sci-fi franchise like Mass Effect to incorperate real ads anytime soon. It wouldn't add up and ruin leh immersion.

I could imagine Apple branded Omni-tools (an iTool? hah, that's probably too much, although it would make a good joke) and something like a "Colt Excalibur A2, the latest in compact military assault technology", to cut from whole cloth. The fact is that they make up a dozen companies to brand their things anyway, mixing one or two real, current companies wouldn't be too far-fetched. (Honestly, it would be the harder to fit ads into a historical setting, unless they were vintage time-period ads.) Although to be fair, none of those are "real" ads, as you so put it.

Granted, it might ruin the immersion for some folks, but then again it might ruin the immersion for some folks even tastefully done in a modern setting.

Also: the Krogan drink things that can kill a man. I'd prefer a Coke for my delicate human sensibilities, thanks.

Cynical skeptic:
I guess we can thank gamestop for this. Horray for customers being punished because retailers are sucking up oceans of income that should go directly to people who matter.

I fail to follow your logic. If a publisher had a magic wand to make Gamestop and all other secondhand retailers not exist and they would use it to get more money, there would be no reason for them to stop in-game adverts because they would make even more money.

pneuma08:

Onyx Oblivion:
Eh. I'm fine with it in Alan Wake. What I don't like is the stuff like is stuff the giant billboard ads all over Prototype. Hell, some of them were just painted on walls.

Alan Wake has giant billboard ads all over the place. I haven't played Prototype, but I don't understand your distinction.

It's more because Prototype is open world. So, you see a shit ton more of them. Alan Wake had a few, but literally every single block was littered with ads. From "Hollywood Video" stores on the side of the street, to wall mural or whatever Gamestop ads, to the actual billboards.

Probably left more of an impression on me.

pneuma08:
I fail to follow your logic. If a publisher had a magic wand to make Gamestop and all other secondhand retailers not exist and they would use it to get more money, there would be no reason for them to stop in-game adverts because they would make even more money.

Yea yea yea, all capitalistic entities are inherantly evil and only want your monies!!

But the choice to include ingame advertisements was a judgement call between pissing people off and getting even pennies indirectly from the sale of used games.

Its a concept similar to how car manufacturers work. They know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that cars that are driven will need maintenance/repair. So whether they're being sold new or not, they're still getting a steady stream of income the very fact their cars exist.

Publishers know games will be played. Copies that transfer ownership will be played more than ones that aren't. Thus, ingame ads.

On the other hand, if they weren't being raped by used sales, with retailers pocketing all the proceeds from selling other people's ideas, the "pissing people off" factor of the choice would hold more weight. Because, right now, if people like you (the publisher), they buy used thinking they're supporting the industry. If they don't like you, they pirate, knowing they aren't supporting the industry.

I'm up for it. Cheaper or higher budget games right? Right?

Fuck these guys!

I'm oddly for it. Inflation has been higher than the price of games so games now are cheaper than back in the Atari days (accounting for inflation). Yet development times and budgets are massive. Charging $60 USD or [[insert local currency here]] year after year is great for the consumer, as inflation lowers the -real- price as the nominal price stays the same, year after year. If publishers can have another revenue stream, it'll put off the day they raise prices again.

Cynical skeptic:
-snip-

Your argument linking retail and in-game adverts is spurious and speculative, not to mention oversimplified. I have no desire to continue this line of discussion. Good day.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here