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Tuesday 13 May 2008

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Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo and PC games bring a new dimension to advertising. US $55 million was spent on in-game advertising in 2006. This figure is set to rise to more than US $800 million in the next decade according to Parks Associates.

There are two types of in-game adverts. Static adverts are built into the game at the development level, which means it is hard-coded into the game and will always be there.

Dynamic adverts can be imported into games through an internet connection. Dynamic adverts can be purchased on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 as well as PC games. The name dynamic comes from the idea that advertisers can modify or update their branding appearance to ensure it is up to date with real world changes. For example, should an advertiser change their branding, they can update their in-game advert to ensure its in-game profile is the same as how players see it in real life.

In some games it might not necessarily work as well as others. But that is where our creative juices can flow! You don’t think your accounting service is relevant for a James Bond or Grand Theft Auto game? Why not ask the developers to create a playable area designed around your office? Or place your logo in the street that a mission is played. It sounds crazy, but isn’t that part of the fun?

Free online multiplayer games are a growing market. The research company Interpret reports that 85 per cent of the casual gamers it has surveyed prefer advert-supported free games to paying for downloaded games. Although this isn’t rocket science, it is still a good result for advertisers looking for an opportunity to access a notoriously hard demographic to attract to their brand.

The rates for in-game advertising are not exactly the same for putting a small banner in an edition of The Age. In fact, it would be fair and honest to say that the costs will run to millions of dollars once developer costs are all calculated. However, this is set to become a very popular advertising stream in the medium-long term. Watch this space!!

Reference:

Gaudiosi, J; Advertising Age; 17/3/2008,vol.79 Issue 11, p38

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