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Businesses The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

In Game Ads May Just Not Work 119

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."
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In Game Ads May Just Not Work

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  • Sure About That? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FreeRadicalX ( 899322 ) on Friday December 22, 2006 @06:22AM (#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 Mikachu ( 972457 ) <burke.jeremiahj@gmail. c o m> on Friday December 22, 2006 @06:36AM (#17335380) Homepage
    Or even better, have companies create games to help advertise their companies, and release them cheap.

    Ever heard of Sneak King []?
  • by nelsonal ( 549144 ) on Friday December 22, 2006 @10:11AM (#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 Black Perl ( 12686 ) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:03PM (#17337736)
    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.
  • by xappax ( 876447 ) on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:15PM (#17338820)
    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 recognition device, and when we see things that fit into a pattern, for example the same logo in many places, our brain notes that, even if we don't intellectually take interest in it.

    Much of modern advertisement is about this, which is why logos have become so much more important than the message of advertisement. A logo is a compressed, subliminally accessible image that people can't help but notice. If people see the same image, or hear the same slogan or jingle enough times, it becomes familiar. Familiarity offers a huge bonus to the marketing of a product. Even if the consumer has never tried it, s/he feels a slight level of familiarity with it, and so is likely to trust it more than the competition.

    I don't mean to seem like a raving tin-foil-hat-wearer, but people who do in-depth media studies will tell you that the public's belief about the effect advertising has on them is /way/ different from the effect that it actually has, observable through actual market research. Most people's actions are very much influenced by an advertising environment that we cannot even identify.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal