Monday, March 17, 2008

11 Reasons to Extend Your Brand with Advergaming

I think there's been too much press about in-game advertising and not enough about custom advergaming. I suspect the reason for all the focus on in-game advertising is that it is easier to understand and measure--sort of like OOH but inside a game.

But with gamers focusing on gameplay and not the advertising, in-game advertising is easy to ignore and, worse yet, may annoy gamers, creating a negative brand impression. Plus, matching the right brand to the right game to the right in-game ad medium is tricky and certainly not for every brand. It probably won't do much good for a family-friend brand to appear in a game where virtual blood splatters off their carefully designed in-game billboard.

A different approach toward gaming marketing is custom gaming, which provides a very interesting way to engage the right consumer with a very involving and positive brand experience. iMedia has an article entitled, "11 Reasons to Extend Your Brand with Games," and while not all eleven reasons are as solid as the others, there are some nuggets of wisdom to be found.

Some highlights:
  • According to PQ Media, advergaming and webisodes are the fastest growing branded entertainment segments, climbing at a 51.7 percent CAGR from 2002 to 2007.

  • According to the National Institute on Media and the Family, 35 percent of Americans rated video and computer games as "the most fun entertainment activity." (TV was a distant second, at only 18 percent.)

  • According to YaYa, an agency that creates custom games, the retention rate for advergames is 10 times higher than for broadcast commercials. Between 16% and 45% of consumers who receive a game via promotional email actually play it -- for an average of 25 minutes. Some 90% of the people who receive an email challenge from a friend play the game and pass it back to the sender with a response. That level of peer-to-peer marketing is virtually unparalleled, especially among today's generation of tuned out, turned off teenagers.
The article too often strays into generic-sounding hype (such as that games permit you to "synchronize your brand vision across all touchpoints"), but while the iMedia piece may not go far enough to make its point, it does provide some interesting concepts to consider about the value of deep consumer engagement via games.

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