Gamers respond well to in-game advertising
LONDON - Gamers have trouble distinguishing in-game advertising from branding that is placed to make a scene more realistic, research has found.
The same research found that a vast majority of gamers, 86%, said that they were happy to see ads placed within games if it brought down the prices they had to pay.
The findings are part of a study into the in-game advertising sector, conducted by CNET Networks for the IAB.
It aimed to uncover how effective in-game advertising is, because it is one of the fastest-growing forms of digital marketing and is appealing to a wide array of marketers from Red Bull and Pepsi to Axe, which featured in the 2005 game 'Splinter Cell Chaos Theory'.
Of the 3,575 UK-based gamers surveyed, 52% said they had seen an in-game ad during the past 12 months. Of these, 33% said they would be either quite likely or very likely to buy a product they had seen advertised while playing, and 64% said that they felt positively towards the brand.
It also revealed that the majority of gamers do not see in-game ads as intrusive, although 14% said that ads ruined the gaming experience.
Jill Orr, managing director at CNET Networks UK, said: "We got a clear message from gamers, if in-game advertising is realistic, contextual and non-intrusive, there is great potential for advertisers, especially given that gaming is increasing at the expense of other leisure activities."
Forty per cent said that ads in games made them more realistic while 27% said that interacting with a brand during the game, such as gaining more energy by drinking a can of Red Bull, did not constitute advertising.
The findings will be of interest to advertisers looking to target young men, who are switching off their televisions and reading less print media.
Kieron Mathews, head of marketing at the IAB, said: "In-game advertising offers marketers a compelling route to distinct target audiences with real time ad placement and consumer engagement."
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