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In-game Advertising

Examples of BTL marketing in video games include recruitment tools, edutainment, and traditional in-game advertising.

Another video game advertising technique consists of advertising within a game itself. Since the intent of in-game advertising is typically commercial rather than political, some consider such advertisements to make up a category of their own. In-game advertising is similar to subtle advertising in films, where the advertising content is within the "world" of the movie. Thus billboards, fliers, sponsored product placement, and the interplay between the player and these elements in the game allow for a great degree of virtual advertisement. Examples include billboards advertising for (and product placement of) Bawls energy drink in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, and billboards for Adidas sportswear in FIFA International Soccer.

EA sports games in particular frequently have advertisements on in game billboards, stadiums and other areas. However, some will argue that this helps to add realism to sports titles, mimicking the extremely prescient product placement in modern sports broadcasting.

In-game advertisements can be a way to combat costs that the game makers encounter and reduce the cost of the game to the consumer (especially games with monthly fees) while providing an outlet to advertise products. It also currently helps many people sustain free online games. This method of advertising in offline games is somewhat controversial, however, as players may feel the advertisements cast an unsavory commercial/avaricious pall over gameplay without substantial reduction in game price.

A very interesting and promising promotional opportunity is the product placement of specific brands in popular game environments. This may take the form of deep integration of advertised products, services and brands into the gameplay. Produce placement in-game-advertising is most commonly found in sports titles and simulation games. It has more recently been used in first-person shooters and action titles. The principal advantage of product placement in in-games advertising is visibility and notoriety. For advertisers an ad may be displayed multiple times and a game may provide an opportunity to ally a product's brand image with the image of the game. Such examples include the use Sobe drink in Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent. For some players, digital games are one of their primary forms of media consumption. Game playing is considered active media consumption, providing for unique opportunities for advertisers. While product placement in film and television is fairly common, this type of in-game advertising has only recently become common in games. The effectiveness of such advertising is debated by several scholars. Yang et al. found some types of recognition were low among college students, although players did retain word fragments in sports games. Grace and Coyle found that 35% of players could recall advertised brands in a controlled study of car racing games.

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Famous quotes containing the word advertising:

    The susceptibility of the average modern to pictorial suggestion enables advertising to exploit his lessened power of judgment.
    Johan Huizinga (1872–1945)