Product placements in video games, in the ad format of In-Game Advertising (IGA), is increasingly speeding up the advertising boom in the gaming platform.IGA beats the conventional way of promoting a brand or product. Click To Tweet
Based on the specific needs of the advertiser, IGA could be done in various formats to effectively promote the brand in the forms of static advertising and dynamic advertising in games. It focuses on advertising the product in a more engaging and interesting manner.
Static In-Game Advertising
Any content that is static in a video game involves a huge advertising cost to the advertiser. Despite the cost involved, this particular ad format works really well in promoting the brand as the game would always lead to areas and phases inside the game levels where the brand always enjoys a static promotion.
Many brands tie-up with the game developers right at the development phase to endorse their products in a static method that remains integrated. However, the processing and final output of the static creation can take several weeks to months. Tracking the ad’s effectiveness only depends on the success of the game as the advertisement in integrated into offline games.
1 Final Fantasy
Developer: Square Enix
Advertiser: Nissin Cup Noodle
Final Fantasy was the front-runner of PlayStation video games that was a great hit among the hardcore gamers. Needless to say that cup noodle brand Nissin smartly invested in the game to advertise their product amongst all the Final Fantasy lovers
2 Enter the Matrix
Developer: Shiny Entertainment
Enter the Matrix teamed up with the leading sports drink brand, Powerade to develop an integrated gaming phase that leads the players to walk into a Powerade drink vending machine to cleverly boost up the health of the player.
3 Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Developer: Kojima Productions
Advertiser: Axe Body Spray
Critically best-reviewed game of all times, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker collaborated with Axe deodorant body spray to create an outfit that endorses the body spray brand to the players across the world.
4 Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
Subway wanted the players to love their subs just as much as they loved the best selling game, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The lead character of the game, Nathan Drake is seen wearing an outfit overdosed with Subway endorsement in one of the animation sets. Not to forget, the game saw a record-breaking sale of 3.8 million copies making it a great deal for Subway.
5 London Taxi Rush Hour
Developer: Data Design Interactive
Starbucks found a very interesting way to promote its brand in a static game environment by placing itself in the fast-paced cab pickup video game. The players are ought to pick up passengers from their favourite coffee house, Starbucks!
Dynamic In-Game Advertising
Unlike static advertising, dynamic in-game advertising offers more flexibility to the advertisers in promoting their products and brand. Dynamic advertising strategically places in-game advertisements at important phases of the game to enable the players not to miss a glance of the product displayed on the screen.
Dynamic in-game advertising packs the advertising content in a very engaging and entertaining manner to enable effective promotion of the product endorsed. This type of in-game advertising enjoys faster implementation and easy tracking as it happens in online mode gaming environment. The only drawback could be that of limited customization of the ad placed as compared to static in-game advertising.
1 Angry Birds
Developer: Rovio Entertainment
Communication application software product Skype is seen enjoying a very attractive dynamic advertising in the hit online video game Angry Birds. The placement of the advertisement is very flexible in the levels of games. Also, the players cannot miss this attractive endorsement at any cost at all!
2 The Sims Mobile
Developer: Maxis, The Sims Studio
Leading British online apparel retailer, Asos made an entertaining collaboration with the life simulation game, The Sims Mobile as the bottom line of the online game is creating distinct appearances and personalities for virtual profiles. Asos dynamically promoted its brand in the special level of the game where players were seen competing with each other in creating the best-dressed profiles for the Asos Fashion Event in the game.
3 Need for Speed
Developer: Ghost Games
Advertiser: Democratic Party of the USA
Who could forget the speedy election campaign of Barack Obama when he chose to race his campaign on Need for Speed? Democratic Party sure did know how to grab the attention of hardcore gamers who did not have time for traditional voting campaigns.
4 Half-Life – 2
Developer: Valve Corporation
Nike chose to subtly place its product in the famous first-person shooter game, Half-Life – 2. The quick dynamic in-game advertising won great deals for the brand as it pushed its brand recognition in a subtle way rather than overwhelming the players with flashy ad placements.
5 Bionic Commando
Developer: Capcom, Grin
The action-adventure genre video game swiftly caught the eyes of the soft drink mega brand, Pepsi to place its product into the gaming screens. The players could see themselves walking into halls arranged with Pepsi refrigerators. The product had heavy dynamic in-game advertisements.
Advergaming involves combining advertising and gaming to make an interesting component serving as a user interactive way of promoting a brand or its products. This type of in-game advertising is completely custom-built and majorly caters to the needs of the advertiser.
Apart from being classified as static or dynamic, advergaming is unique on its own as the entire game is developed with an aim of promoting the brand in a very entertaining way.
1 Sneak King
Developer: Blitz Arcade
Advertiser: Burger King
There could not be a better endorsement done for the leading food chain Burger King other than the advergame the brand created for itself to promote its products to a wider range of target audience. Gripping graphics elements and smooth theme of storyline heavily attracted not just players, but also customers to Burger King!
2 The Hard Way
Developer: W+K Lodge
KFC released a gripping virtual reality gaming content, The Hard Way that challenges the players to make finger-lickin’ good fried chicken, just as how KFC Colonel Sanders would make them. The game was welcomed by many, which also implies that KFC welcomed a lot many customers after the release of the VR game!
m&m created an addictive advertising campaign that requires the players to compete with each other by juggling the M-Ball to the greatest height possible. This fun game was enjoyed by many around the world. Indeed a sweet advergame that won the hearts of many!
Developer: Gremlin Graphics
Advertiser: Chupa Chups
There could not be a better advergame collaboration that Zool and Chupa Chups to develop a series of embedded minigames that heavily advertised Chupa Chups lollipops. Every sequence in the play was overloaded with the sweetness of Chupa Chups lollipops, making the game and the lollipop highly irresistible!
5 Fanta Playbox
Fanta created the most vibrant advergame ever that grabbed the eyeballs of every minigame lover. The advergame consisted of an exciting series of levels that served the right amount of tanginess to the game lovers. We believe this minigame series was way better than the actual games itself!
These are some of the few examples (out of the many), which have eventually motivated other publishers to pursue this often overlooked monetisation strategy. You can find a whole lot of other cases by performing a simple Google image search with the search term, “in game advertising”.
In-game advertising is a very effective way of promoting a brand as the players tend to remember the brand or product endorsed even if they engage in the game for a short while. Unlike conventional advertising, in-game advertising is more entertaining and does not fail to catch the attention of the players.
However, the greatest challenge faced by this kind of advertising rises when the advertisers want to target the specific set of audience. Since the video games are usually global, it addresses a heterogeneous set of audience who may or may not be exposed to the brand in their country or region.
Keeping in mind all the advantages and limitations of in-game advertising, the brand could earn widespread recognition if they invest in the right video game platform to promote their products.
So, what are your thoughts on in-game advertising? Leave a comment below.