In game advertising getting serious – Part One

Posted on: October 12, 2006

With the recent hype Second Life, I wonder what’s going on at ingame advertising world. After doing a little research, there are some interesting results;


The new “NBA Live 07” has some interesting features ; if you buy the game for Xbox 360 or PS3 ( when its become avalaible, anyway ) you will be able to unlock new items and features in the game from Adidas Basketball. Moreover, you can use the codes that can be found at retail & online NBA places , to unlock more items, events that will increase the game experience. Adidas is working with EA for expanding its new marketing slogan “It takes 5IVE”

Gamers can have extra players who are “Adidas 5IVE ” powered, that can take other 5 game character into an arena and play matches ( which is even supporting more the Adidas concept ) This way, they created an unique gaming experience for player and also for the brand. (But the game is getting really bad comments and got 6.5 rating from Gamespot, so , Bad luck for Adidas! )
Another very good example is Burger King. With their innovative, successfull advergame projects like “Subservient Chicken”, Burger King started to move into more gaming area in order to create unique experiences. One of this movement’s result is “Fight Night Round 3 “. The game featured extensive Burger King in-game ads, including The King as a trainer/sparring partner. ( which get really bad comments, saying that “its too much ads” ) And now, they are releasing three Xbox games based upon those commercial properties. Pocketbike Racer, Big Bumpin’ and Sneak King cover a variety of casual game categories and will all retail for less than $5. Again, I must say, I didnt like the idea much , because its too obvious, its kind of pushing the limit for advertising’s sake. ( bad!)

I really like the approach of Adidas, which incorporated itself into game, not pushing itself. This way, it feels right for me. Marketers trying to find new ideas, new approaches and mediums to explore and gaming will the next hype for marketers. Marketers spent $56 million last year on in-game advertising and product placement, according to research firm Yankee Group. Yankee expects that number, which includes ads placed in both online and console games, to reach $730 million by 2010.
Furthermore, Acclaim is working on a multiplayer online game which will be free with the help of in game advertising.
This is a “win-win” scenario for both customer and brands. Players will get free items “courtesy of brands” ( like, you want this sword ? Ok, its free from Coca-cola for you! ) and will have positive experiences about brands through games. The only problem that can occur is the “Burger King problem” ( pushing it too hard!) But I am sure that Acclaim wont fall into this trap.

According to recent Game Metrix research, ( heavy gamers are more receptive to ingame advertising than medium gamers. They are stating that, ” it give more realistic feeling to game”. Looking from marketing side, its a very good development that customers perception changed to this way, which helps the game industry develop even more…

Second Life is another case, and I will write about it in ” Part Two” … Stay tuned, and thanks for your comments

9 Responses to "In game advertising getting serious – Part One"

[…] Yazının ingilizce versiyonu için / For the english version   […]


What a great subject ! When we talk about games, we always think that is totally create convensional(cd’s, dvd’s) or internet/online models.

However please tell me what about 40 million people who wants to see them in their mobiles ?

Looking forward for your secınd part ;)


[…] Ozgur Alaz has a nice post on in-game advertising. […]

[…] Un post cam neterminat despre publicitatea in jocuri. Daca se trezeau si altii decat Adidas (branduri gen AND1, Iverson si Spalding sau altii) sa isi bage reclame prin NBA poate merita, sa iti poti customiza personajul ar putea fi 2nd best thing pentru cei care joaca NBA games si nu jocul in sine, aproape imposibil de controlat (imo) pe consola […]

Wow, this is my first time at your blog and I’m hooked. +bookmarked :-)

I also enjoyed your “digg” article below.

some people rally get turned off by in game advertising, but i think when done right it really becomes a win-win situation.

If it means for cheaper games but better quality then maybe a good idea. But whats the betting the price of games will remain the same.

Wii – 24.45 million inits sold
Xbox – 19 million
PS3 – 13 million

These are the total figures for each respective game console. With this in mind, it would make sense to penetrate “in game advertising”. With massive blockbuster games like Grand Theft Auto, Halo 3 and upcoming titles such as Gears of War 2, in game advertising can reach millions of highly impressionable youths.

Yea, I appreciate the subtlety in which these advertisements continue to be featured in video games.

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