In-game advertising Shifts(trends)

On december 13, i made a presentation on in-game advertising, very hot topic, i remember being “booed” during a presentation to some “experts” when i said it would be the most effective medium for the 18-34 demographic (that was  back in early 2002 ( i guess i was very young back then, thus not looked at seriously, why is age so important when it comes to insights and ideas?) Anyway, the presentation is summarized here for you.

Presentation Summary

Why video games? (Video Gaming shifts (trends)

In the recent years there’s been a shift in behavior towards video gaming. It is a more accepted hobby that the non-nerdy type doesn’t feel ashamed of engaging in anymore.

The fastest growing category of video gamer is the casual gamer. This rapid ascension is mostly related to the emergence of mainstream titles such as Guitar Hero, SingStar, Wii sports and Rock Band.  Casual gamers constitute a group of video gamers that     most often don’t consider themselves as gamers, but put in the right context or given the opportunity, they will partake in the activity.

The success of the Wii comes from the brilliant decision from Nintendo to only target the casual gamer. That position explains why the console didn’t put an emphasis on the quality of the graphics but rather the playability, and the interactivity between the games and the gamers.  Most of the games in the Wii’s line up facilitate social gaming, (also known as party games) where video gamers can play together in numbers.

Another recent trend is the expanding array of video gaming platforms.  Games can now be enjoyed anywhere and anytime. The original portable video game system were created by SEGA and Nintendo, who where the early innovators. Now, the portable gaming segment includes: Cell phones, PDAs, Laptops, iPods and more.

The new iPod touch and iPhone are emerging as serious competition for the other portable consoles. One can argue that Apple’s success was modeled after the Sony PSP that successfully combined portable media (music, movies, pictures) with video games. But the key element that Apple products have is pricing: $.99–$7.99 for a game. Another advantage is the touch-screen, and motion sensor compatibility with some of the games. Interaction with certain games (bowling, racing games) mimics the Wii’s popular and unique gameplay.

It is also important to note that user generated content is the latest video gaming frenzy. When Halo 3 came out, there was 30% more uploads of user generated content (machinima, maps, etc) than YouTube videos in the first month. Then there’s little big planet, where you can create your own levels, share them online, and now monetize them.

As a result of all those shifts in the video gaming segment, the gender demographic and the age demographic is quickly changing.  Today the average age of a video gamer is 32 yrs old. Video gaming is not a male dominated market anymore, with 40% of the population being female gamers.

Why In-game advertising? (Tips, steps and potential)

In-game advertising is a very promising medium that a lot of people are sleeping on. The potential of this particular medium is “endless” as provides room for unique and groundbreaking campaigns.  Here’s a selection of tips and steps to observe for a successful campaign:
•    Know your brand: that includes understanding who you target audience is and what medium are they receptive the most. Very important step, as it will determine what genre of game you should advertise in.
•    Set clear goals for you brand. In-game advertising much more like online advertising is highly measurable.  By setting goals you can then easily track them and see what’s working or not working in your campaign.
•    Produce in-game creative instead of trying to use preexisting creative from other medium.
•    Create campaigns which tie-in other media. That will allow more interaction between your product and the audience. (Transmedia branding). For example you could start a campaign within a game, then complete it with an online registration (email) and text messaging updates (innovative sweepstake scheme).
•    User generated content: gift and curse. It will give the opportunity to observe what the audience creates based on your brand. Unfortunately no control can be exercise over the light in which it would be displayed. One thing for certain, it will generated a lot of buzz around your product as more content is generated.

Overall, the opportunity made within the video gaming in recent years has greatly improved and facilitated the implementation of coherent advertising campaigns. It is true that video gamers have been complaining about the “clutter” it creates, but in the end they’re willing to cope with it, as long as it keeps the cost of games down. Creativity, and interactivity are key factors to a successful campaign. With a well thought of plan, there’s no reason not to get in the game.

By the way,I’m still looking for an effective way of putting my slides up (i don’t believe in slides or ppt or whatever, i think they kill the flow of a presentation, but some people still like it, so i have them) any ideas, suggestions let me know.


4 responses to “In-game advertising Shifts(trends)

    • I don’t think the issue would be for it to be intrusive, but for it to be appropriate to the specific game. If the product is not related to the genre of game, it might appear misplaced. I guess that’s when it could seem intrusive : )

  1. The only real intrusive part of IGA is the spyware certain forms of it uses to find out your I.P and other such information so the advertisers can send ads relevant to the gamer and their geographical location.

    I personally welcome IGA as it will allow game producers to keep the cost of games at a reasonable price.without it the producers would get a smaller budget for the game they were making which in turn would mean a worse game being produced or the same good game at twice the price.

    • I totally agree with you as far as cutting down the cost goes. Video games are really mainstream now. As the Generation game continues to grow i feel that video games, and gaming in general are going to play an important part in our everyday lives. It influences already the way we communicate and interact with each other within social media, but it’s going to go further and influence how we eat, dress and shop in general.
      When we reach that level (or while we’re trying to get there) it’s inevitable that spyware are going to grow at the same pace, and marketers are going to find smarter ways to get inside our lives through it.

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