Yankee Group survey showed that an average American spends 69 minutes a day playing computer games. It is much more then what they spend on reading (38 minutes a day) and even on web-surfing (63 minutes a day). Besides, most of gamers are adult men. In terms of advertising, it is a very promising audience.
People usually dislike and even hate advertising. They detest TV ad blocks that interrupt their favorite programs. They hate billboards that make their favorite landscapes ugly. It is normal; that is who people have always felt. Would they really like virtual advertising in games? Nielsen Entertainment says it is really so because ad posters and billboards make the game more real and lifelike.
One of their main advantages of using games for advertising is the consistency of the exposure. The traditional advertising block lasts less than 60 seconds whereas games are played for hours, weeks and months. For advertisers it means that potential customers look at their ad messages for hours, weeks and months!
It happens sometimes that interesting computer games turn into strong brands. Quake, Warcraft, Grand Theft Auto are the icons of new generations. To have your ad message included in such projects means to associate your product with a strong brand respected and valued by gamers.
In-game advertising is becoming popular. Coca-Cola, AXE, Best Buy, Pringles, Jeep, LG are already inside famous games. They were the pioneers of unusual product placement. Intel and McDonald's became champions. Intel Inside was placed inside The Sims Online for more then 1 million dollars and McDonald's paid 500,000 for virtual food. Even politicians began to think about using games. Thus, UNO finances the creation of ideological games. French government supports national game developers. It means the beginning of the new advertising era.
Massive Video Game Advertising Network has come up with a new solution for in-game advertising which looks very promising. The idea is a 3D game with a special technology. When a user starts a game, it defines his or her location and other characteristics on the basis of the registration form and displays billboards and company logos of this user's native city or country. The first customizable game for everybody is ready (Tony Hawk's Underground 2).
In-game advertising has its pros and cons but still, it is effective enough to be considered as a serious advertising channel.