Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

In Game Ads May Just Not Work 119

Posted by Zonk
from the hard-to-tell-when-you're-going-a-hundred-mph dept.
GigaGamez is reporting that the humorously-named Bunnyfoot research company (which specializes in behavior studies), has found that in-game ads just don't work. Some games which featured semi-stationary areas (like NBA Live) ended up with ads sticking in the minds of players. Games like Project Gotham Racing 3 ended up with the players having a 0% retention rate for ads that whizzed past. From the press release: "These results demonstrate a significantly poor level of engagement with consumers and exposed an apparent weakness within games to efficiently capture consumer attention. Despite following the model of real world sports advertising, current methods are not optimizing consumer engagement and are failing to influence the consumer in any significant way, the key driver for any marketing campaign and its validation. 'These results reflect the industry's concern relating to brand value and return on investment. Understanding consumer interaction at a deeper level of analysis allows us to measure the value of advertising investment' said Alison Walton, Head of Visual Engagement."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

In Game Ads May Just Not Work

Comments Filter:
  • by Bin_jammin (684517) <Binjammin@gmail.com> on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:49AM (#17335188)
    that the marketing geniuses would be so at odds with the players of games. Finally the data is in, you're playing a game, and you want to go around in a car, or run around and shoot people or play a sport or whatever. You don't want to think about a new pair of sneakers or getting a sandwich. You bought the game to play it, not to solicit advertising for upgrades to your lifestyle.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      Finally the data is in, you're playing a game, and you want to go around in a car, or run around and shoot people or play a sport or whatever. You don't want to think about a new pair of sneakers or getting a sandwich.

      All you've really said is that the advertising guys were stupid to insert ads into unsuitable games.

      The Sims is a perfect example of a game where advertising works, because you are thinking about a new pair of sneakers or getting a sandwich. There is room for advertising in-game and I would ha

      • by pla (258480) on Friday December 22, 2006 @09:06AM (#17336418) Journal
        There is room for advertising in-game

        No. Not even a little.

        As long as I PAY FOR the goddamned game, the advertisers will accomplish nothing but pissing me off by trying to advertise to me in-game.

        When they start giving the games away, my opinion on the matter may change (though if my stance on ad-funded television means anything, I just won't play those games). But I do not pay to watch ads.


        Pay up front, or watch ads. Make me do both, and you've lost a customer.
        • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@@@gmail...com> on Friday December 22, 2006 @09:47AM (#17336716) Journal
          You're missing the whole point of advertising.

          It's not to make you go out and buy something, because that depends on a whole host of factors that they know damn well they can't control. Are you hungry? Do you even need shoes? Do you own an HDTV? They know that, for the most part, and delivery food ads are the exception here, you're not going to drop what you're doing and lunge out to buy their product.

          What they want is to build up and reinforce this idea in your head, so that when you do need shoes or an HDtv or something, and you go to the store, you have a positive bias toward their product because it seems "familiar" to you. So it made sense for them to put ads in games, because they believed that you would subconsciously notice the ad and that subconscious recognition would reinforce that positive bias.

          What seems to be happening however, and what they didn't count on, is that the games require so much focus that you're not aware of the ad, even on a subconscious level, so they're getting crap return for their advertising dollar.
        • by xappax (876447) on Friday December 22, 2006 @10:52AM (#17337578)
          But I do not pay to watch ads.

          Do you pay to watch movies? Do you pay for cable/satellite TV? Hell, have you ever paid for a newspaper or magazine?

          If you do any of these things, you do indeed pay to watch ads. Wherever there is concentrated public attention combined with greed, advertising will find a way. Movies include ads both at the beginning, and included throughout the feature in the form of product placement. Some movies are even produced so cynically that the entire film can even be thought of as an ad for a product line primarily, and a film secondarily (Spiderman, for example).

          Pay-TV does the same thing. While you may not be exposed to "after these messages"-type ads, there are definitely large amounts of advertising dollars and interests having their way with your HBO Original Series. What brand of cars do they drive? Why do Cisco-brand routers happen to save the day from the hacker attack?

          Advertising does not always come in the form of 30-second TV spots or banner ads. Much of the most valuable advertising is subtle enough that it usually isn't identified as advertising. A glowing product review on a web site, a movie star seen using a certain brand of cell phone, a story on your local news station about a new video game system...
          • by vadim_t (324782)

            Do you pay to watch movies?

            Not since several years. And when I did, I arrived late precisely for this reason.

            Do you pay for cable/satellite TV?

            I don't watch TV on my own. If I do watch something, it amounts to less than half an hour a week, if somebody tells me about something interesting happening. And that's usually a part of some program, and most of the time I leave before ads begin.

            Hell, have you ever paid for a newspaper or magazine?

            Not since several years.

            I'm getting a lot more things done since I st

            • Not since several years. And when I did, I arrived late precisely for this reason.

              How late do you arrive to avoid the paid product placement in movies? Because, if you don't miss that, you haven't missed the ads.

              And that's usually a part of some program, and most of the time I leave before ads begin.

              Same question as preceding. As the GP noted, ads don't come only in the form of 30-second spots.

              If I want to see a movie, I'll get a DVD and skip past all the crap with mplayer.

              mplayer lets you skip over the pai

            • by xappax (876447)
              Good for you! I also do my best to avoid exposure to advertising as a policy - I avoid television and newspapers the same way you do. But I also realize that as long as I'm consuming modern information and entertainment, it's very likely that I'm being advertised to.

              Sure you can skip past the previews in a movie, but some of the highest-priced ads are actually located in the movie itself. You can get your information from free websites, but odds are, a lot of that information is slanted and influenced
        • by tepples (727027)

          As long as I PAY FOR the goddamned game, the advertisers will accomplish nothing but pissing me off by trying to advertise to me in-game.

          You paid for a disc, a license to use the game software, and the shipping of the disc and proof of license to your door. The advertisers are paying for the servers, server software, and bandwidth through which your computer communicates with those of other players.

          • by pla (258480)
            You paid for a disc, a license to use the game software

            Sorry, I don't play the "only bought a license, but we'll make you repay 100% of the licensing fee for replacement media" semantics game. Nor, for that matter, does anyone else. I say, without hesitation or shame, that I BUY, not "license", such things. If you want to use the RIAA's doublespeak, have a ball; but don't expect me to go along for the ride.

            When I buy a CD, I BUY a CD and the right (even if only ethically, not legally) to do just abo
            • by tepples (727027)

              If I either had to pay for the game up-front, or pay a monthly subscription (or more common, both), please re-read my previous post on the subject.

              How about the advertisers are paying for the bandwidth and servers, but you are paying for maintenance of the server software and enforcement of rules against griefers who would ruin your experience? Or vice versa: in cable TV, the advertisers pay for the shows, but you pay for getting them to your TV.

      • by Total_Wimp (564548) on Friday December 22, 2006 @09:07AM (#17336426)
        Movies are sometimes dinged for product placement. Sometimes this is justified, but other times the product placements are necessary. Do you really want to see characters drinking a generic soda or beer? how about driving through San Francisco and seeing fake billboards on the freeway? In some cases it can be funny, but if it's a realistic police drama, it would just pull you out of your suspension of disbelief.

        As some games get more realistic and they try ever harder to portray a true-to-life atmosphere, they need to include more elements of the real world. If fake ads or no ads work better for your game, like in Duke Nukem, then terrific. But if you're trying to portray a realistic view of many major cities, like many driving games do, or you're trying to portray the realistic environment of a pro sports stadium, real advertising on real billboards is going to be crucial to the atmosphere. I personally never played the GTA games, but my guess is the same goes there.

        Gratuitous advertising where the game creator just wants to rake in a few bucks is another story. Unless the game is ad-supported, like the US Army game which is completely free, but is essentially an infomercial for the Army, I see it as double-dipping the consumer. It would be like HBO all of a sudden putting ads in The Sopranos. It angers me that the game manufacturer would charge $60 for entertainment, but then put content in the game that is not only not entertaining, but actually annoying. It's like a friend inviting you to dinner and then pushing Amway. It's disrespectful.

        I hated it when BF2 made me click through ads for expansion packs to get to the game. Yeah, I get the "informative" argument, but does that justify the ad showing up every time I play, adding one more step to an already tedious start-up procedure? It doesn't add atmosphere, it doesn't increase my enjoyment of the game, and BF2 costs the same as any other popular game so I'm not getting a break on the price. Furthermore, I had no clue when I purchased the game that this would be the case. When I watch broadcast TV or pick up a paper, at least I know ahead of time what the rules of the road are going to be. Here it was just a grab on my time.

        As I mentioned before, it's all about respect. If the game manufacturers respect us, then they'll put ads where it's important for atmosphere and they'll avoid them where it's not. If they continue to try to annoy us and then continue to try to justify lining they're pockets by whining, "but games are so expensive to make!" I say fucke 'em.

        TW
        • by Itchyeyes (908311)
          Product placement does have its place in some cases. The problem though, is that a product is usually placed at the exclusion of other products. Instead of getting a generic soda, you get a world where Pepsi is the only thing people drink, or Fords are the only cars anyone drives, or every billboard is for the exact same product. To me, these things detract from the experience just as much as the situation where all products are generic. I think there's a balance to be struck there. For instance, have
          • You make an excellent point. I've seen TV shows where all the people, good, bad and otherwise, drive cars from the same manufacturer. To make matters worse, everyone drives this year's model. It's a little more subtle than advertising, but not much.

            TW
        • by readin (838620)
          or you're trying to portray the realistic environment of a pro sports stadium, real advertising on real billboards is going to be crucial to the atmosphere.

          For me, one of the major benefits of playing a sports game on the computer rather than watching it on TV or going to the stadium is that I don't have to put up with the advertisements. I mean, do people really want a realistic environment when they play sports games? How many people stop playing for 3 minutes every so often to go watch an advertisem
          • by blugu64 (633729)
            "How many people order hot dogs and pay the delivery guy an extra $5 to simulate prices at the stadium? "

            Please tell me where I can order delivery franks. That would be just too awesome for words.
          • " I mean, do people really want a realistic environment when they play sports games? "

            Your hot dog and bathroom examples notwithstanding, people do appear to be asking for a more realistic environment. I was kinda surprised to see real players' faces in next-gen football, basketball and boxing games, but people seem to be snapping them up.

            "If people don't want to have other negatives of the stadium experience, why would anyone expect us to have the advertising of the real stadium?"

            I really don't agree with
        • by HalAtWork (926717)
          Do you really want to see characters drinking a generic soda or beer? how about driving through San Francisco and seeing fake billboards on the freeway?

          I think it's great when they show generic things. Often times you see a derivative of a real-life product and notice nothing out of place, but at least if you DO notice it, you don't feel distracted by the idea of someone trying to influence you and you don't just get distracted by seeing the product prominently placed, it just blends into the backgroun
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        There is room for advertising in-game and I would have thought it's fairly "no duh" that it won't work everywhere.
        Well, advertisers aren't stupid obviously. They're not going to go insert advertisements into some first person shooter game.. that would just be silly. Imagine if you had a game like Battlefield 2 and you were running around and there were billboards for Coca Cola in the middle of the desert. How stupid would that be?
        • by rujholla (823296)

          They're not going to go insert advertisements into some first person shooter game.. that would just be silly.

          I don't know if you were just poking fun at the Subway add in HL with that comment or not. But, I think if done right adds in a game could work. What if you are wandering through some french town seeing an old style add for Coca-Cola with a french theme painted on the side of a bldg with maybe a few holes knocked into it might be realistic enough that it would make some people think of grabbing a c

    • by Shaper_pmp (825142) on Friday December 22, 2006 @08:49AM (#17336298)
      Exactly. When you watch TV you're passively receptive, so advertising works because you're already passive and receptive to being "told" messages and instructions - what's coming out of the TV is the object of the exercise

      Computer games and the web are much more active, intellectual media - you're constantly deciding where you want to go and what you want to do, and a large part of successful game playing/web browsing consists of quickly and efficiently identifying the useful information presented to you, isolating it from the irrelevant information and ignoring the rest - the computer game or website is a method to achieve the object of the exercise, not the object of the exercise itself. And (as we all know), anything that interrupts you in your pursuit of an aim doesn't persuade you so much as irritate the living shit out of you.

      TV advertising is aimed at people who are sitting there waiting to be told things.

      In-game and online advertising is aimed at people who already know exactly where they want to go and what they want to do, and unless it's an essential part of their activity your advertising can and will be ignored and discarded as fast as the user can humanly process it.
      • Damn, too bad my mod points expired yesterday. Very nice post.
      • by Fozzyuw (950608)
        Computer games and the web are much more active, intellectual media

        I wouldn't classify the web as being intellectual. hehe I've killed more brain cells on some sites than all my years of drinking beer. =P

        Cheers,
        Fozzy

      • by rujholla (823296)

        Are you sure?

        Didn't those old subliminal adds in movie theaters that got banned that just flashed pictures of coke and popcorn get banned because they were too effective almost like commands.

        I think your mind would process out most stuff like you said, but it its something that you might be thinking of anyway, an add in game might trigger something in you even if it is almost immediately processed out. It would have to be done correctly, but ...

        Going back to my previous post, if its been a long

        • IIRC, there has never been a single clinical or scientific study which showed single- or multiple-frame subliminal advertising actually works.

          It was first tried out in movie theatres, and on the strength of purely anecdotal evidence it was promptly banned in movies, TV, pretty much everywhere.

          Non-subliminal advertising (liminal advertising?) works very well - billboards and the like can and do have a long-term effect.

          However, one of the most striking differences I see between people "at home" on the net and
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Black Perl (12686)
        It's simpler than that. Ads are for the audience, not the participants in the event. Do you think true-to-life NBA players are going to remember what brand name is on the wall at half-court?

        What's amazing is it seems that they haven't yet had that d'oh!!! moment.
    • You don't want to think about a new pair of sneakers or getting a sandwich. You bought the game to play it

      And thats just the thing. Of COURSE traditional sports advertising didn't work! They were measuring the wrong targets response. I wonder how effective ads in a stadium are for the pro athletes since that would be the accurate comparison. Here's a hint to marketers...when we're focusing on playing the game, we ignore passive ads on the sidelines and billboards. If you make your ads more intrusive t

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by xappax (876447)
        The most interesting thing about advertising is that it's become so ubiquitous that even the people it's targeted at don't realize they're seeing it. People filter ads out all the time, ignoring them in order to pay attention to the information that's interesting to them at the time. People look past billboards, flip past ads in magazines, turn to have a conversation during TV commercials - we tend to ignore ads, but they leave an impression on us anyway.

        The human brain is a very powerful pattern recogn
    • unless you're playing sneak king. . . DAMN I want a hamburger!
    • by Fozzyuw (950608)

      You don't want to think about a new pair of sneakers or getting a sandwich.

      I don't want to think about buying sneakers or eating a sandwich, no matter what I'm doing. People don't watch TV because they're hungry or they want to go shopping (exception might be the Super Bowl ads and the Home Shopping channel). They don't drive their cars to look at billboards (unless there's something news worth [blogs.com] about one). And they don't go to the cinema to sit through 20 mins of ads (though, I love seeing the pre-views

  • You want to engage the consumer right? What consumer are we talking about!? A Gamer! Make finding an ad in a game like a secret area of a stage, which is equiped with its own special bonus! Or how about minigames on loadscreens that involve a product or logo? The real problem with in-game ads is trying to get marketing employees to do something creative in a nerd enclave like the gaming realm.
    • by The Evil Couch (621105) on Friday December 22, 2006 @05:10AM (#17335290) Homepage
      No, screw marketing gimmicks. The way is to bring compelling games that focus on a product or brand. Like the old 7up spot games. Hell, Burger King just did it. Selling for 4 bucks a pop, their Xbox games are actually pretty decent and are selling like hotcakes.

      Actually, considering how crappy Burger King breakfast is, they're probably outselling hotcakes by a wide margin.
      • IIRC the amiga game Zool [wikipedia.org] was sponsored by Chupa Chupps, having the first levels 'candy-themed' and it worked nicely.

        Supercars II (top-view driving sim with homing missiles) was also sponsored... by a local driving school in the UK :)

        It was obvious then that these ads had about 0 impact on the player, it should still be obvious now.

        • What are you talking about? Ever since I played that game I can't get enough Chupa Chupps. They're all I've thought about for the past 20 years.
           
          What you gon' do with all that junk?
          All that junk inside your trunk?
          I'ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,
          Get you love drunk off my Chupp
          My Chupp, my Chupp, my Chupp, my Chupp, my Chupp
          My Chupp, my Chupp, my Chupp, my lovely Chupa Chupp
        • by nelsonal (549144) on Friday December 22, 2006 @09:11AM (#17336458) Journal
          I know Subaru was shocked at how much demand there was for WRXs when they were launched. I think they decided that games like Gran Turismo were responsible for a huge amount of branding. That's the sort of advertising that works in games.
          • by Anonymous Coward
            It had nothing to do with the fact most all the major automotive review publications declared it the best engine/transmission/suspension package for the money, and one of the best combos period?

    • by DarkIye (875062)
      They already sort of do that with Flash banner ads. Adblock has long since removed them from my view, and good riddance to them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mikachu (972457)
      Or even better, have companies create games to help advertise their companies, and release them cheap.

      Ever heard of Sneak King [xbox.com]?
  • what a sad story.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oedneil (871555) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:52AM (#17335206) Homepage
    They don't work for the advertiser? More importantly, they don't work for the consumer. When there's evidence that in-game ads are subsidizing (or cancelling out) my game purchase costs, maybe I won't mind so much. I can't get behind this double-dipping.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rob T Firefly (844560)
      Exactly. Burger King's Xbox games are a perfect example of this. People know they're buying a marketing tool, but at $4 it's actually worth it to the players because the games are pretty neat game-wise.
  • by KiloByte (825081) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:59AM (#17335246)
    Understanding consumer interaction at a deeper level of analysis allows us to measure the value of advertising investment' said Alison Walton, Head of Visual Engagement."
    If they say they can measure the value of advertising, why don't they see it's negative? Ads not only push people like us away from the product being marketed, but also cost the consumer twice. Once in the cost of the time/attention wasted trying to avoid them, and a second time in the costs incurred by the marketing department and the ads themselves.

    What about, let's say, increasing the quality, or, if that's too hard, reduce the price by exactly the amount wasted on marketing? The price reduction would get you way under the price of competition and thus the company would have the same sales without ads. Same sales, same profits, just with the customer more happy.
    • by mattmacf (901678) <mattmacf@[ ]online.net ['opt' in gap]> on Friday December 22, 2006 @06:05AM (#17335492) Homepage
      In my experience, in-game ads haven't been terribly burdensome to look at, and in many cases they blend in reasonably well so as not to detract from the overall experience (TFA mentions NBA Live, where banner ads can even add to the realism as seen on TV). On the bright side, selling advertisements subsidizes the cost of the game for the consumer at the expense of the product being advertised. For those of you feeling smugly superior because you intentionally disregard the ads, congratulations, your game was made cheaper because of them.

      Also, if you think about your comment for a moment, the idea that an advertisement costs the consumer twice is illogical. If the advertisements are avoided (and precious brainpower is consumed to NOT buy the product being marketed), the costs incurred by the marketing department AREN'T passed on to the consumer (who doesn't buy the product after all). If the consumer does buy the product, it's unlikely s/he spent a great deal of time avoiding the ad.

      Furthermore, I'd like to point out that advertisements aren't inherently good or bad. It's entirely possible that an advertisement made a consumer aware of a product that a producer was producing. It's possible that said consumer now enjoys a greater economic utility per dollar than with whatever alternative s/he was using prior to seeing the advertisement.

      Finally, (and I think we /. folk seem to forget this) many people actually prefer the higher priced name brand product to the lesser known generic. Whether it be spiffier packaging, clever marketing, or simply the fact that "everyone else does it," many people make purchasing decisions on more than simply price/performance or whatever similar metric you care to devise. Believe it or not, something as simple as the container a beverage comes in can unconsciously affect the taste. Try serving cheap plastic bottle vodka in a handle of Grey Goose to your friends and see if they can tell the difference. (note: great for college parties!) Bonus points for swapping the good stuff into the plastic bottle and seeing whether its the beverage they prefer, or just the packaging. (For a much better perspective, check out the book Blink [wikipedia.org] by Malcolm Gladwell. The Wikipedia entry doesn't do it justice, but the book is a great read.)
      • by DrSkwid (118965) on Friday December 22, 2006 @06:31AM (#17335604) Homepage Journal
        I think you'll find that the price of a game is set by what the market will bear, not the cost of production.
        So although the production costs are offset by the advertsing revenue, the saving is not passed directly on to the purchaser. Except to say that the availability of the game is perhaps made possible by the offset in prduction costs.

        Advertisers will want to advertise in the the already successful franchise games such as the aforementioned PGR. How much different the game do you think the would be in both polish and price if it carried zero paid for advertising compared to whatever revenue it can generate through in-game ads? I would say zero.

        Ergo, in-game advertising is a cost borne by the purchaser by having to experience them, not so bad in PGR but I find them quite annnoying in other games.
      • by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Friday December 22, 2006 @09:07AM (#17336428) Homepage
        On the bright side, selling advertisements subsidizes the cost of the game for the consumer at the expense of the product being advertised.

        Oh, silly me, I'll just ask Valve and EA for some money back from CS:S and BF2142 because since they just stuck ads in there, I should be saving some money right?

        Don't be so naive. The companies see it as an additional revenue stream, not as a way to pass on savings to the customers.

        • by nelsonal (549144)
          Dunno if games will ever get there, but newspaper circulation barely covers the cost of paper and ink, so in that case the savings are very well passed on to the consumer. Even more true with broadcast television.
        • In an efficient and competitive market (such as the computer game market) some of that additional revenue will have to be passed on as savings to customers if all computer game makers gain the additional revenue stream, because there will always be incentives for competing companies to lower prices and gain market share. Unless there is collusion, since they all have this incentive, and would lose out if other companies lowered prices and they did not, all of the game companies will thus have to lower pric
      • by ShakaUVM (157947)
        In my experience, in-game ads haven't been terribly burdensome to look at, and in many cases they blend in reasonably well so as not to detract from the overall experience (TFA mentions NBA Live, where banner ads can even add to the realism as seen on TV). On the bright side, selling advertisements subsidizes the cost of the game for the consumer at the expense of the product being advertised. For those of you feeling smugly superior because you intentionally disregard the ads, congratulations, your game wa
    • I've seen couple of dozen ads for PS3 and WII lately. (last two weeks)

      all things considered, has this paid for advertising garnered them a single sale? will it?

      supply & demand are tied right now- and I believe they would be without the advertising..

      Until there is one sitting on a shelf unwanted, why pay for airtime?

      talk about wasting advertising dollars.
  • BRB (Score:5, Funny)

    by PWill (1006147) <paul@smoothweb.net> on Friday December 22, 2006 @05:02AM (#17335268) Homepage
    "Oh man, you're so dead. Right in my crosshairs!" "Oh shit!" "OOH! 2 Liter of Mountain Dew only $.50! BRB"
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      This got modded funny, but I don't think it's so far off the mark... Change it just a bit...

      Hunter: "Oh man, you're so dead. Right in my crosshairs!"
      Prey: "Oh shit!"
      Hunter: "OOH! Mountain Dew... Hmm... After this round, I think I'll go grab one from the fridge." **blam**

      The ad DID help increase the 'need' for the product, just like ads are supposed to do. Nobody sees a Mountain Dew ad on TV and immediately rushes to the store for that and only that. They put it on their list and get it later. Or the
  • Well, duh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by iainl (136759)
    No-one looks at trackside adverts in Gotham, because we're too busy looking at where the road is going, what the other cars are doing and so on.

    Real motorsport doesn't just have trackside adverts, but sponsorship on the cars, too. If the rear bumper of the opposition has a big Bosconian logo like in Ridge 6, I'm rather more likely to notice it when trying to get past him.
    • by quintesse (654840)
      No, because you will still be too busy playing!

      Trackside adverts are not there for those driving the cars (like you are doing while playing) but for those people beside the track watching the race.

      Those people are not constantly engaged because there are always those moments when you are waiting for the race to start or waiting for the next car to appear. And that's when you have time to look (consciously or not) at the adverts.
      • by hurfy (735314)
        So we need to push game companies for more spectator modes in games....

        I was looking for a more compelling reason than: I like to watch sometimes ;)
    • In a racing game, we are the pilots. I highly doubt real pilots pay any attention to ads either in the track or in their opponents' cars.
    • by danpsmith (922127)

      Real motorsport doesn't just have trackside adverts, but sponsorship on the cars, too. If the rear bumper of the opposition has a big Bosconian logo like in Ridge 6, I'm rather more likely to notice it when trying to get past him.

      Please, please, don't give them any free ideas. I'd rather have them pay for those in marketing research, at least then I can be spared the advertisements that are intrusive and effective for a few years.

      I've personally passed my saturation point on advertising and I've become e

      • by iainl (136759)
        It's too late for that. I mentioned Bosconian, because it's already on one of the Ridge Racer 6 cars. Gotham is modelling road cars instead of dedicated racing ones, which is why there is no advertising currently on them.

        Not that you need any; while they got a 0% recognition for the trackside advertising, I can certainly tell you that the F50 GT I was driving is sold by Ferrari.
    • Maybe not actively, but what about subconsciously. I remember tales of experiments where they would flash something equivilient to "you're thirsty, drink coke" one frame in 50 during a movie - not enough to be consciously picked up - and have a definate increase in coke sales.

      If it works for movies, why not games?
  • Bullshit! (Score:2, Funny)

    by yoprst (944706)
    They just didn't do it right! Pogo the monkey is just engraved into my brain!
  • Know what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    I don't really care about in game ads. They add to the realism of the scenery, at least in most games. Our whole lives are saturated with ads, a few billboards in a game make it more realistic. If the ads are remotely applicable to me, fine. If not, ill just ignore them, like every other ad. Plus, it will backfire, as people spray paint comments on the more annoying ones, and advertisers realize we dont even notice their crappy ads, for the most part.
    • by DrSkwid (118965)
      I would argue that taking ads out of the world make it more realistic.
    • When you say "not notice", you actually mean "not consciously notice" -> advertisers are perfectly aware of and perfectly happy with that.
  • Sure About That? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FreeRadicalX (899322) on Friday December 22, 2006 @05:22AM (#17335342)
    I don't know, I'd be willing to refute the article's claims. About a month after beating the first Guitar Hero I bought an (effin SWEET) Epiphone Flying-V, which I've been playing 1-2 hours a day since then, even after the release of Guitar Hero 2. I'm not ashamed to say that the inspiration for the purchase was mostly the game (Loading screen: "You may eventually want to consider buying a real guitar"). Not that I didn't have Guitar fantasies to begin with. Maybe I'm just a toolshed.
    • by PopeJM (956574)
      the same could be said of racing games. But Axe commercials in Ghost Recon? The unintended marketing may make me think the guns in that game are cool (whether I can buy them or not.) same with the helicopters. However, I don't buy a game for someone to obviously try and ensnare me in a web of consumerism that I didn't pay for.
  • In this instance, it turns out, the ads had no bunnyfoot :-)
  • I don't mind in-game ads, until they become too intrusive as TV ads are. As for their effect, they might, if they gel with the game and are properly placed. (IMO) Like If (hypothetically) I have to pick a bike in HalfLife or Halo and, I get to choose from some branded ones! :) cheers
    • by Kasis (918962)
      Agreed. I used to enjoy watching TV, now I don't watch it at all because I hate the constant advertising. I would have considered a TIVO type solution but we were still using VHS when I was pushed past my limit. Now I simply obtain my viewing entertainment from other sources.

      I was quite content with internet advertising when the ads were just static banners or even bold images. Then they became intrusive, noisy and distracting so now I have an ad-blocking solution which eliminates almost all advertising
    • by danpsmith (922127)

      I don't mind in-game ads, until they become too intrusive as TV ads are. As for their effect, they might, if they gel with the game and are properly placed. (IMO) Like If (hypothetically) I have to pick a bike in HalfLife or Halo and, I get to choose from some branded ones! :) cheers

      Oh, have no doubt, they will eventually become as intrusive as TV. We already have forced advertising on DVDs that you paid for and it's only a matter of time before games become just like that format. The idea is to do a slo

  • by dircha (893383) on Friday December 22, 2006 @05:58AM (#17335474)
    If the publishers really aren't making enough money, they should just charge everyone the extra $1 per unit or whatever it takes, and let the market decide.

    Would a book publisher seriously consider adding in some full page adds in the middle of a novel? Of course not, so why do they think they can get away with it games?

    I'll happily pay the extra $1-2 per unit for a game that isn't offered at a lower price without ads.

    Whereas I will not even consider purchasing a game with ingame ads for real world products.

    And I doubt this is a matter of publishers not being able to finance their games and make a reasonable profit. This is a matter of publishers being greedy, and I hope customers will make them pay for their greed by refusing to purchase products in which they introduce this crap.
    • by LegionX (691099) *
      "Would a book publisher seriously consider adding in some full page adds in the middle of a novel? Of course not, so why do they think they can get away with it games?"


      This is a lame comparison.

      Comercial products are *mentioned* in books often (although most writers arent paid for this), and that would be the real comparison.

      Pages of ads in a book would be comparable to popups in a racing game, i.e. distraction.
      • by fotbr (855184)
        It may be a lame comparison, but they DID put ads in books, as mentioned elsewhere, usually in the form of tear out cards. In a way, its a better comparison than many -- the ad is there, and its annoying, but with a little effort, it can be removed. In a game, that removal would be considered a 'crack', and given how loosely applied the DMCA is, could result in criminal charges against you if companies really wanted to force the issue.
    • by unapersson (38207) on Friday December 22, 2006 @07:11AM (#17335764) Homepage

      Would a book publisher seriously consider adding in some full page adds in the middle of a novel? Of course not, so why do they think they can get away with it games?
      They certainly used to in paperbacks. Adverts for Menthol cigarettes, Insurance, etc. They were normally in a postcard style page right in the middle of the book with a perforated edge so they could be torn out. They were really annoying to read around. I'm just glad the practise has disappeared.

    • Not full colour ads, but product placement [bbc.co.uk]...
    • I don't know about regular straightforward ads, but they're already doing product placement in books [bbc.co.uk].

    • Would a book publisher seriously consider adding in some full page adds in the middle of a novel? Of course not, so why do they think they can get away with it games?

      The reason they are considering it is because they see "mind share" leaving television and movies for video games, a trend that will likely continue. The advertisers want to place their advertising anywhere that has the most viewers/participants. They are willing to pay game studios money to put the ads in the games, and the game studios have a

  • it's a pity they don't have a game that simulates traffic jams. we'd be more likely to look at roadside ads if we were stuck in traffic. but then again, that would be one lame game. however, when i've played plenty of fps games i tend to look at the environment around me more often because of the stupid puzzles they put in to break the shooting fest which would become repetitive.
  • I know in Need for speed series I remember the stupid burger king and shaving adds, as well with cingular wireless... It DOES work but you have to have a game that fits the context and the focus of attention needs to be paid attention to. You can strategically place adds in high visibility areas and they will get noticed if they stand out or are repeatedly seen over and over again, provided the exposure is long enough.

    Of course this study picks the worst games to do it, I would really like to see a study d
  • people say advertisements make games more realistic. (or at least you should)
    People are starting to get used to something that annoyed them in the first place (making them jump ship).
    What's next? ads in your dreams (to make them more realistic?)

    To quote Futurama:

    Leela: Didn't you have ads in the 20th century?
    Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio. And in magazines. And movies. And at ball games and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts and written on the sky. But not in dreams. No sire

  • These results demonstrate a significantly poor level of engagement with consumers and exposed [...] Understanding consumer interaction at a deeper level of analysis allows us to measure the value of advertising investment

    Nope, these results demonstrate a total lack your understanding of a very simple consumer preference: Fuck off and stuff your advertisement where the sun don't shine.

    The whole quote is a longwinded marketing-droid newspeak for "we don't yet know how to force ourselves on these people who don't want to see our stuff".

    I sincerely hope the piracy scene will rise to the challenge. A few years from now, you will have two jobs: Removing the copy protection and removing the ads.

  • by GryMor (88799) on Friday December 22, 2006 @08:04AM (#17336030)
    "Despite following the model of real world sports advertising..."

    There is the problem. Sports advertising is targeted at spectators, not athletes. For the most part, games don't HAVE spectators. I don't see how advertising can work when the target is in an active, task oriented, state as oposed to a passive observer state.
  • Despite following the model of real world sports advertising, current methods are not optimizing consumer engagement and are failing to influence the consumer in any significant way

    That's because real world sports advertising targets the spectators, not the competitors. Spectators have time to look around when the action on the track/field/pitch is slow. Competitors are busy all the time.

    "Need For Speed: Spectator Edition" - coming soon to Xbox360, PS3 and Wii (hotdogs sold separately).

  • is NOT directed towards the guy with a basketball or steering wheel in his hand, it's directed at the AUDIENCE of the sporting event, who have a little free time to look around..
  • by RingDev (879105) on Friday December 22, 2006 @09:25AM (#17336544) Homepage Journal
    Despite following the model of real world sports advertising

    Ask the players of a NBA game if they can remember what the adds around the bleachers are. That model is designed to advertise to the audience of the game, not the players.

    -Rick
  • I think the only difference between the results they are getting for in-game ads and the results they get for real-life ads is the fact that in game, since we're dealing with a digital avatar the results can be actually MEASURED.

    I think most people generally tune out most ads. Their impact is actually zero. It's occasionally possible that IF I'm thinking of buying something and IF the ad is catchy and IF I happen to notice a particularly clever presentation or jingle, it may briefly impinge on my consciou
  • I fucking hate a world in which this study has to be done. Here is how much I hate marketing: Last night, at the bar, super hot promoter chick comes over to pass out free vodka. I physically recoiled. Yes, I hate marketing more than I love super hot chicks giving me free vodka.
  • Advertising corrupts. Anybody who sells advertising becomes beholden to the advertisers instead of to their customers. Newspapers, magazines, television -- all put the demands of their advertisers before the needs of the consumer. In-game advertising stinks. It won't be long before the advertisers start demanding changes to the content, just as they do to newspapers.

    Why do you think so many newspapers soft-pedal the bad news about global warming, and still have huge sections devoted to buying and driving c

  • by splutty (43475) on Friday December 22, 2006 @10:37AM (#17337332)
    An example of where advertisement actually adds to the whole gameplay concept and experience is Eve Online.

    At all jumpgates there are billboards, and they will show advertisements for in-game corporations (Such as Quafe, who makes energy drinks, strangely enough they buy cigarettes, garbage and assorted minerals...), or list one of the current top5 most wanted people. Inside stations there will be advertisement for the corporation in question all over the place, and even for other corporations as well.

    This adds to the whole game, and to the whole atmosphere of play.

    Another great example is the stripbar advertisement billboard that comes with certain built outposts, including the picture of a stripper :)

    However any 'real world' advertisement in this game would just simply make no sense. And I think there are quite a lot of games where advertisement wouldn't make sense, or just be plain annoying or detracting from the game.

    Another example where it does work is in Quake (2?) where the background music was written by Nine Inch Nails (NIN for short), you can get a nailgun as a weapon, and the boxes containing the nails actually have the NIN log on them, that's just brilliant, and in its way an advertisement for the band (Whom I'll visit in March ;)

    Just my 2 rambling isk.

    Splut.
    • Another example where it does work is in Quake (2?) where the background music was written by Nine Inch Nails (NIN for short)
      That was the first one. Quake 2 was mostly by Sonic Mayhem.
  • I am not opposed to appropriately placed ads. That sounds pretty vague but really that's the long and short of it.

    I remember once noticing while flipping through channels a few years ago that one of the characters on a sitcom - Friends or some other thing - was drinking a beer, an actual bottled beer. And I thought, wow, it really seems more authentic to see characters doing the sorts of things you would expect.

    As another poster very astutely pointed out, this can add realism and authenticity to a game

  • So what? They're not after a good retention rate as measured using this or that test - they're interested in an increase of sales because of the advertising. The best advertising works unconsciously, by associating the idea of happiness, success of fulfilment with their product.
  • The real reason why they are ineffective is because they aren't noticable (i.e. there is no way to notice the ad while playing the game.) The common methods so far is pasting things on billboards, which doesn't attract attention, or breaking the gameplay (e.g. as done on MSN Gaming Zone) which interrupts the game.

    The trick is to have the ads related to something within the game. For example, UT2004 can have a sniper tower with a billboard advertising Jolt cola as "electrifing" - and that sniper tower cont
  • Well, these anylists succeeded in completely missing the point of advertising. Advertising is ALL subconcious and subliminal. Do you really think people go out and buy a McDonald's hamburger because they are intently watching the commercial? Bullshit. It's all about brand recognition. Even something as simple as having a distinctive logo, that you can simply flash the outline, and you're brain, somewhere deep inside says "Sun Microsystems" (I'll use that one because it's one of my favorite logos).

    In a rac

Man will never fly. Space travel is merely a dream. All aspirin is alike.

Working...