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BizReport : Advertising archives : December 02, 2008

Xbox could offer branded experience

In-game advertising could become a little bit sweeter for marketers. Microsoft Xbox's new platform would allow consumers to choose the brands in which their avatars dress. The new offering allows users to dress their game avatars in Nike, Puma or Adidas branded clothing, for example, from head to toe.

by Kristina Knight

Gamers currently create an avatar when they log in to the platform, select a template and then customize it. Players can contact other avatars as they play games. The addition, which is still in the works, would allow gamers to choose everything from sunglasses to T-shirts for their characters. As of now the Xbox Experience, launched in November, is still working on these capabilities.

For now, Microsoft is increasing the system's advertising capabilities within the game by monitoring how consumers are interacting with games and tweaking their ad offering accordingly. Brands can research how consumers are interacting with games and can choose to advertise according to daypart, much like television advertising is purchased. Traditional banner and video ads are also available.

The future offerings are important for marketers because of the growing base of online gamers. As more gamers log on, marketers have a new demographic to reach; in research gamers have been found to be very open to in-game marketing efforts. By engaging consumers with branded gaming experiences, marketers have an even better chance of converting sales.

Tags: in-game advertising, Microsoft, online gaming, Xbox

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