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In-game ads do actually work

by on15 September 2010

Gatorade sales go up, thanks to EA Sports titles
The debate has been going on for some time as to how effective in-game advertising really is. Apparently, it is much more effective than one might think. In fact, Electronic Arts helped boost the sales of Gatorade though the use of EA’s in-game advertising and product placement.

According to a study commissioned on behalf of the sport drink maker, one of six households owned one of the games that featured Gatorade advertising from the EA Sports product line. The study showed that the in-game advertising increased the dollars spent by these households on Gatorade by 24%; this is not a bad return on its investment.

While Electronic Arts has had little problem adding in-game advertising and product placement in its sports titles, the company has struggled with some of its other titles whose environments are not as ideally suited as are sports titles for advertising.

While a number of publishers have been working on adding more in-game advertising into video games, the actual effectiveness of these ads and product placements have been largely a mystery, as very little research has been done to measure their effectiveness.

This is not surprising, and gamers can expect more advertising, not less, as publishers look for new ways to boost their revenue stream. Additional revenue is especially important for big budget titles that are far riskier to develop and sometimes need all of the revenue that they can generate.

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