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In-Game Advertising Reaching Audiences 72

Via Joystiq, a report that in-game advertising works quite well. From the article: "A new study released on Monday found that in-game ad campaigns resulted in a 60 percent increase in awareness of new brands. The study, commissioned by in-game ad creators Double Fusion and carried out by Nielsen Interactive Entertainment, tested various forms of ads in the PC game 'Metro3D.' And while the study reported some differences in the effectiveness of animated and static ads, Double Fusion's co-founder, Guy Bendov, said the results weren't what he had expected."
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In-Game Advertising Reaching Audiences

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  • Maybe it works, but I sure won't have it. There should be an option to turn it off, or the like. At least I won't have to worry about Nintendo advertising anything but its other games.

      Never played super monkey ball then? Giant friggin japanese bananna company commercial.
    • Play Pikmin II then. Half the stuff you hd to pickup was an advertisement of some sort.
  • by SoCalChris ( 573049 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:34PM (#13717462) Journal
    The study, commissioned by in-game ad creators Double Fusion

    An advertiser releases a report stating that their method works, and it gets picked up by slashdot?
    • several times here on slashdot, but the editors never seem to learn.
    • Slashdot EeziPost (TM) MK 1.0.001[game kid-0xC2-thewhitenoise] (beta [slashdot.org] with patch [slashdot.org] es [slashdot.org])

      #NB: For obvious reasons, the first option is ENABLED by default - remember to turn off if you are NOT responding to a dupe

      [X] Another: [ ] Dupe [X] Slashvertisment [X] WTF [X] $editor is a dork [ ] dupe trifecta is now in operation

      [ ] Frist psot [ ] $link_to_GNAA [ ] $link_to_goatse [ ] $random_drivel

      [ ] I Haven't RTFA, but... $random_opinionated_comment

      [ ] Slashdotted already!. I bet their server runs on $topic_item too

    • in-game ad campaigns resulted in a 60 percent increase in awareness of new brands.

      Hmm... are you aware of this brand you've never heard of? Ok, now play this game. Now are you aware of it? No? $%&#ing 40% jerkoffs.

      50 percent of study participants said they found that in-game ads make the experience more realistic, while just 21 percent disagreed. Similarly, 54 percent said in-game advertising "catches your attention." Just 17 percent disagreed, the company said.

      82% agreed that the ads were "bloody
    • "An advertiser releases a report stating that their method works" I see your point, but I'd hope my cousin's business practices are a little more honest than that. And in all honesty if you had only read "The study, commissioned by in-game ad creators Double Fusion" you didn't get to the part where it says Nielsen Interactive was involved. Nielsen interactive might ring bells as one of the Industry's leading tabulators, as in A.C. Nielsen, the people who brought you TV show nightly rankings.
  • by Errandboy of Doom ( 917941 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:39PM (#13717511) Homepage
    I use TiVo, AdBlocker, I even show up to the movies 10 minutes late.

    Why do they keep finding me, wherever I hide?

    What's next, my DM beginning with: "By the way, before we get started, I'd like you all to know that this dungeon crawl is sponsored by Jolt Cola and Lays Potato Chips?"
    • I'd love it if a snack company would sponsor my D&D or LAN parties. When you have a group of people who will live on one meal a day for three days when they know somebody else is paying for the potato chips on Friday, it gets rediculous. We used to draw straws to see who had to be stuck as the cleric, now we have two short straws. One is the cleric, one has to drive to the party store every thirty goddamn minutes.
  • For now.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pureseth ( 917220 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:39PM (#13717514) Journal
    I think it may work because people aren't used to seeing ads in games, and IMO they shouldn't. It was probably the same case online, when people weren't used to seeing ads on webpages, they may have noticed them more, but now most people are used to seeing ads on the net and usually disregard them.

    If ads are put in games, people will most likely get more used to them after awhile and start to disregard them as they do now with website ads.
    • Oh god I hope not. Originally online advertising wasn't bad. A banner may ruin the color scheme of a website or something like that but nothing that was actually in your way of getting to the content of the webpage. As time went on online advertisement has gotten more and more annoying. Then the advertisers have had to start resorting to what they are doing now. How many websites have you been to that have a large flash image in the middle of your screen with moving pieces and audio that you must let animat
    • by mnmn ( 145599 )
      I strongly support ads in games. They can really make games cheaper. In time I think they'll make games free. Think of most yahoo and google services. Google isnt posting satellite pictures and petabytes of data storage for the sake of philanthropy. Their ad jobs really pay off, see how big google is now?

  • I've always thought this was a good solution to commercials. Its more subliminal but I think it would work better.

    This might be the key to online sitcoms. I'd rather see someone drinking a pepsi or driving a VW than sit and watch new low rates commercials.
  • by Castar ( 67188 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:56PM (#13717648)
    I think the picture next to the Joystiq article says it all, really. A 30s mobster car driving past a Starbucks - just what I want to see if I'm trying to immerse myself in the world of Al Capone. Starbucks is everywhere in the present, now they're colonizing the past as well...

    I don't mind ads in videogames, but there are two rules: I have to benefit somehow by seeing the ads (like a lower price for the game) and the ads have to avoid breaking the illusion. Anything else will just end up ruining the game, and making it worthless to both the player and the advertiser.

    Of course, in practice this means advertising will only really be viable in modern games (unless you could cleverly work in some dystopian future where Coke-Glaxxo-Lockheed oppresses citizens. Does that still count as marketing?)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      "...like a lower price for the game..."

      I've heard this one a lot before. I'm not saying this is your particular standpoint on it, it doesn't sound like it, but I have heard other's support in-game advertising for this reason.
      I think people are really fooling themselves by assuming that in-game advertising, something that solely exists to support the producer's pursuit of more money in the first place, will every give value back to them.
      People don't put advertising in games so the player can save on the dev
      • There is already proof of this actually. When EA made need for speed underground 2 they sold ad space in the game world, sold the space for music titles, and made deals with car companies for what vehicles would be included. The game still came out for $50 just like every other title even with that extra revenue.
    • I second the "It must fit with the game" rule.

      If I am playing a sports or racing game and I am at a real-world track, stadium etc, I expect to see the same ads as you see at the real world track.

      Also, for ads like the ones in this article (i.e. ads that actually make money for the developer/publisher) the ads should be for brands that are known around the world and not for "US" brands that the rest of the world doesnt know about (for example, in the new expansion pack for Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, they have t
      • As long as they have real product ads in Gran Turismo, it feels real. I don't care if it's Dominos pizza instead of Dunlop tires. Try playing old 8/16bit racing games like Radracer and Super Hangon with no advertisements. The environment doesn't feel quite right.

    • It'd be fun to see ads of Coca Cola and even stuff like Marlboro in Counterstrike and WarcraftIII. Maybe travel insurance billboards in Flight sim games, and NRA in GTA3 and counterstrike.

      They COULD release 2 versions of games, a cheaper one with ads and expensive without ads, just like cable TV. Slashdotters will stop complaining and everyone will just buy the cheaper one.
    • A 30s mobster car

      Alternatively, A London Taxi.

    • You could have a Coca Cola product that'd fit nicely in a medieval MMORPG. But it'd have to be tailored to the environment.

      For instance, I don't think there's any reason why Coca Cola couldn't come up with an energy drink sold in potion flasks and use a font matching for the period. Of course, that'd require considerable effort, and I doubt they'd bother just to make something that doesn't look out of place next to the wizard's shop.

      But it's certainly possible. Now the question is whether such a thing would
    • The wee yellow light thing on the top tends to give this away as a Black Taxi, usually found in London but also may be sighted in Glasgow and various other UK cities. manufacutered by http://www.manganese.com/company_lti.php/ [manganese.com]
  • Puh-leeze! (Score:3, Informative)

    by RM6f9 ( 825298 ) <rwmurker@yahoo.com> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @07:04PM (#13717728) Homepage Journal
    I'll believe their ads work when I can see increases in sales independently measured and metered by the companies doing the advertising - "Brand Awareness" doesn't add one red cent to the bottom line.
    • "I'll believe their ads work when I can see increases in sales independently measured and metered by the companies doing the advertising - "Brand Awareness" doesn't add one red cent to the bottom line. "

      OK, so you want more measurable proof. Fine, I understand that, but brand awareness makes a huge difference to the bottom line for retail products, especially emerging brands, which is what the article is referring to.

      • Thousands of slashdot participants (okay, maybe only hundreds) are aware, via my sig, that I run an online publishing website: Zero, zilch, zip, nada, no commerce to date has resulted therefrom.
        You may counter that the reason may have something to do with the site not being to their liking, or that the intersecting group of authors and slashdot participants who've seen my site is zero, but none of that obviates my point: "Brand Awareness" does NOT equal sales.
        You wan
        • In your situation, brand awareness != sales. As you said, maybe you aren't increasing your brand awareness among your market. Furthermore, a /. sig isn't going to increase brand awareness nearly as much as a colorful logo or something like that.

          "but none of that obviates my point: "Brand Awareness" does NOT equal sales."

          I did not say that brand awareness = sales. My point is that brand awareness affects sales, Especially when the product is a retail product of an emerging brand (which yours is not --
  • Metro3D? (Score:2, Informative)

    by eLDeR_MMHS ( 237991 )
    Has anyone actually seen "Metro3D?" Some quick google searches just turn up a developer company (one that doesn't even appear to make PC games) and not an actual game.
    • Like you, I can find precisely zero evidence that Metro3D the game actually exists - they're a publisher of PS2 budget titles in the UK.

  • Every time the "ad on games" topic comes up, I mention two games that got ads and product placement right: Sega's Shenmue and Sonic Adventure 2.
    • the only games that got ad advertising right are games that have zero ads in them.

      if a game has ads in it, i will assume it's available for free, since nothing else could offset the utter anger and disgust that will come out of gamers.

      if game = ads, then game = free.

      there's no middle ground for me. if i pay 50 bucks, i expect no ads whatsoever.
      • I kind of like looking at the ads in Sonic Adventure 2. Heh.
        There are just some posters on some walls in some levels, which you can blow right past without even generally noticing.
        They're not "AND NOW A BLINKING ANIMATED MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSORS!!" things. And they were either real or made up ads for Sega things. (The only real one I can think of right now was some ISP or webpage service or something..)
        Grand Theft Auto 3, and Vice City, have ads in them - but they're all for made-up in-game things.

        I kno
  • by Rakarra ( 112805 ) * on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @08:57PM (#13718605)
    After a long hard battle, come in to Starbucks (now with locations in Undercity and Stormwind! Every other small town will have one within the month), put up your axe, and trade war stories over a latte!
  • I think that the games should be cheaper, now that there are going to be ads in games...
  • Great for MMO's (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jessecurry ( 820286 ) <jesse@jessecurry.net> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @11:29PM (#13719363) Homepage Journal
    I think that this new advertising medium holds a great deal of promise for some MMO's. For example, in CoH I would be just as happy seeing a subway as I would seeing the City of Gyros ad. Now it wouldn't have a place in World of Warcraft, but any time that it is unobtrusive I welcome it, especially if the revenue goes towards future enhancement or eliminates subscriber fees.
    • About six months ago Anarchy online actually started in game advertising on billboards. It worked nice and they DID use it to eliminate subsciber fees. I think its an awesome idea and it definately benefits everyone
  • Audiences reaching for game publisher's competitors.

    Seriously, even if in-game product placement went towards lowering game prices (and I won't hold my breath), this is nothing less than pandering for the quick buck at the expense of long-term value. In other words, the Hollywood formula. It's only a matter of time before these publishers have to start looking for a P2P scapegoat to explain away slumping game profits.
  • by rayblueline ( 662568 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @01:52AM (#13719881)
    IANAAE (I am not an ad executive) but I have been working in the ad industry for a few months, so I read the comments on this thread with great interest because I'm always wondering what the future of advertising is going to be like. I mean, like most people here, I block every intrusive online ad that I see and if I had TiVO you can bet I would skip past the commercials, so given that the number one issue in my industry is ad advoidance, I'm wondering what kind of advertising slashdotters are okay with? Certainly companies require advertising to keep the wheels of the economy moving, but the challenge is to come up with advertising that people want to spend time with. I think this means that more advertising has to become opt-in but I also think it means that the distinction between 'advertising' and 'content' as two seperate things has got to go. Ultimately, I think that there's got to be no qualatiative distinction between those two things, but I'm curious what y'all think.
    • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @02:50AM (#13720077)
      There are a few things that can go into advertising that people will watch. I speak mostly from my own opinion as a consumer of entertainment products, so YMMV depending on who else you ask. But please, if there's anyone out there in a position of power that you can convert into a believer in the principle of Not Annoying Potential Customers, please do so :)

      One is humor. People watch the Super Bowl to see two things: the game (and the associated cheerleaders, hehe) and the hilarious commercials that come out each year. Admittedly, I don't drink Budweiser, because their product sucks, but at least they make some damn funny commercials.

      Two is informativeness. By this, I mean true informativeness. People are far less likely to mind a quick ad showing what's on TV next weekend, because it provides factual information about the show (excerpts are shown) and when it's on. Likewise, people don't mind actual trailers before movies (though sometimes the sheer vast quantity bothers people), because it gives them a chance to find out what's coming out next summer or holiday season, and gives them the feedback of one's peers as people mutter things like, "Yeah, that's gonna suck," between trailers.

      Three, related to informativeness, is tailored interest. Here, I mean a matching of the interests of the viewer with the information provided in the ad. Channels that are already tailored for certain types of customer are great for this sort of thing - for example, an ad for history-related books or DVDs would do well on the History Channel, or an ad for a feminine hygiene product would work well on Lifetime (Television for Victims).

      But the more narrowly-tailored the interest category is, the more likely it is that the viewer will take interest. This is why Amazon.com's product suggestions work so well, at least when their system's recommendations aren't thrown off by those gifts you recently bought your niece for her birthday. Also take Planetside for example, which recently started placing ads in-game. An ad for a new graphics card would garner a lot of attention there. Everyone playing that game is at least in the market for new graphics hardware (whether they can afford it or not). Unfortunately, SOE got suckered into running a bunch of Fanta ads, which is one step above running ads for feminine hygiene products there (which, afaik, they haven't done... yet).

      One caveat here is that if customers feel like they're being spied upon, they will complain - Amazon gets away with it because when people surf Amazon, they're interested in buying something. The information Amazon provides makes shopping easier and more productive. But when people surf their favorite news website and get tailored ads, it feels like Big Brother is watching. That's why cookies are so often blocked, especially from Doubleclick.

      Four is unobtrusiveness. This is the one that Intarweb ad execs really don't get (except for Google). The hallowed days of Punching the Monkey and Winning $20 are long gone, and people hate ads with a passion these days because they get more annoying instead of less. More and more people filter out ads because they blink and move and pop up/under and make noise and generally ruin a pleasant websurfing experience. Viewing an ad that gets past such filters may garner brand recognition, but it's in the context of "Fuck me if I'm gonna buy their product!" (This is the main reason I refuse to use Orbitz, and their TV ads don't help matters either.) On the other hand, most people don't bother filtering Google ads, because they're text, they don't blink/move/make noise, and frequently, they are related (if sometimes only tangentially) to the websurfing topic of interest.

      The same thing applies to TV ads. Placing a gigantic ad for a channel's next show after every commercial break right on top of the show you're trying to watch and then making sound effects to boot pisses people off.
  • Hey guys
    Guess who from your friendly executive dept...
    I'd reference you to the full PR. Better yet, I'd love to hear all suggestions to info@doublefusion.com
    Next time Zonk, please quote the full sentence ;)
  • It seems that the game they used in the study is not a game called "Metro3D" but a game BY Metro3D called "London Taxi" [altavista.com] (warning - babelfish translation), a Crazy Taxi-style game. More information in this blog [mercurynews.com].
  • As long as the ads don't get in the way of the game (ex. the 30's Strarbucks sighting mentioned earlier), I really don't care. It's not that big a deal to me if a guy is drinking a generic cola or a Pepsi. It also doesn't matter if a cityscape has billboards with -gasp- real products on them.

    There is also the argument that sports games should have in-game advertisering. I really think in-game advertising helped legitimize Jet Moto as a concept (If only they had a team Rad).
  • Don't lynch me all at once... but could this actually be good? If in-game advertising works well, and main-stream products are advertised in games, might this not make games more main-stream? Just a thought.
  • Most of the hottest games today come with tools to make mods. Isn't it simple enough to just make a "No Ad" mod that replaces the advertising with a brick wall or crate or whatever else is supposed to be there? Personally, I like the fake ads and fake product placements in video games - it allows the creators to add some humor in an otherwise dark game. i.e. in FarCry, the mercenaries' bunkers have copies of PlayMerc lying around. Doom 3 has SuperKnockout(?) Chicken. Space Quest IV had Radio Shock, etc

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