IGA: In-Game Advertisements Work
When they first started showing up in games, a whole horde of so-called "purists" were indignant. "How can they pollute our games with advertisements?" some would self-righteously ask. Well, lest we forget, this is a business, and just as there's product placement in TV and movies, there is - and always will be - in video games.
Furthermore, as IGA Worldwide tells you, it works. In this new promotional video, IGA claims that around 36% of gamers exposed to in-game ads "bought or requested information of a product after seeing" that ad. IGA, if you didn't already know, has big deals with both EA and Sony to produce ads in games, so it's no surprise they'd conduct this research. Furthermore, they say that about 90% of those who saw the in-game ads "recalled brands they had been exposed to," which isn't exactly shocking. After all, isn't this the very point of advertising? You can say you don't notice and don't care all you want; your subconscious knows better, and so do the advertising agencies. The bottom line is that you can expect plenty more ads to pop up in games and the good news is, you really can ignore them all you want - it's not like a big ol' logo is floating before your eyes, blocking your view - but just don't expect them to go away. The more popular a game is, the more likely you are to see ads. Pretty soon, you'll probably be able to spot trends; there was always a reason everyone was seen clearly drinking ginger-ale in "Everybody Loves Raymond." And when Kramer asked after Mini Ritzes in "Seinfeld," there was likely an external reason.
It's just something we have to live with, and I for one don't care in the slightest. Provided it doesn't directly impact my enjoyment of a game, they can advertise in games until they're blue in the face. Go for it. More money for the industry.
4/18/2009 Ben Dutka