In-game Advertising Set to Suck-up Carmakers' Ad Bucks

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
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in game advertising set to suck up carmakers ad bucks

CickZ is reporting that eyeball experts Nielsen Entertainment have declared in-game ads effective brand builders. The audience measurement mavens performed a double-blind study on 600 gamers, setting them loose on one of two versions of Electronic Arts' "Need for Speed Carbon." One version was ad-less; the other included billboards hawking automobiles, consumer packaged goods, quick service restaurants and technology tools (presumably not the people conducting the experiment). Nielsen claims the automotive ads generated a 69 percent increase in purchase consideration among likely car buyers. Translation? Unknown. But according to Alison Lange Engel, marketing director for the Massive in-game ad agency, "There is a halo effect [no pun intended] that being in the game makes them [the brands] cool." Well she would say that, wouldn't she? In fact, so would Electronic Arts, which would like nothing better than to become the in-game advertisers medium of choice. And Nielsen, who undoubtedly aspires to become the measurement king of the new ad genre, which Parks Associates estimates will reach $2b by 2012. Who are also in the video ad game.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Cgraham Cgraham on Aug 09, 2007

    I hate adds. I think commercials are eating away at my life. I hate add placement in movies. The only sort of adds that I enjoy is the fact that in certain shows (24) all the good guys drive Ford and the bad guys drive Chevy/Imports. If they are going to fill my games with adds, they better subsidize the price of the game, although I would like to see how they advertise for Toyota in a WWII FPS.

  • Samir Syed Samir Syed on Aug 09, 2007

    I think I have about 250 hours of playing time for this game. One of the things that struck me as I drove around was the ridiculous number of automotive ads, billboads and banners that inhabit the setting (Palmont City). When you tune your car, you don't just buy stiff springs. You buy Eibach springs. Every piece is branded, right down to the brake pads. Ferrari used to avoid licensing its products to video game developers, but it realized kids were growing up more interested in Lamborghinis and Porsches. Forza Motorsport 2 for Xbox360 now features a handful of Ferraris - but everyone still buys the Pagani Zonda. Videogames are definitely where the car markers want to be right now.

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Aug 09, 2007

    #1 Bingo! If they can sell sponsorship in the game and reduce the price for us consumers, down to like $10 or so, that would be awesome. I like seeing ads and billboards in my racing games. It adds a sense of realism to them. But I prefer fake ads. The game 'Simpsons Hit-N'-Run' did it right. They have billboards all over town that are are funny as can be.

  • Chaser Chaser on Aug 09, 2007

    There's a PC game--can't remember which one--that actually checks your internet history and displays ads that it thinks will be more personally appealing. Wonderful. This kind of crap is one of several reasons I don't buy games anymore and I've been a gamer since the 80s. I also gave up TV about two years ago because I can't stand the repetitive, brain-numbing commercials. If I want to watch a new show now, I just download it. My last holdout is NFL football, and the ad time there is getting totally ridiculous as well. Wish I could download the regular season games ad-free like I did the Superbowl...