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BizReport : Advertising archives : May 26, 2010

Massive study demonstrates power of in-game advertising

Today's gamers come in all shapes and sizes and their ranks aren't limited to withdrawn teens in darkened bedrooms. Instead, gaming has become a mainstream activity and with the number of gamers growing, and the time spent gaming increasing, advertisers are honing in on the environment.

by Helen Leggatt

Advertisers are now gunning for the attention of gamers and, as in-game advertising becomes more accepted amongst gamers and the gaming demographic expands, they have them in their sights.

New data released by Microsoft-owned video game network Massive Inc. and comScore has found that in-game advertising really does work. Massive's in-game advertising for Bing demonstrated it had a direct effect on gamers' behavior - raising site traffic and query searches to the search engine.

After exposure to Bing's in-game ads shown in console games DJ Hero and NBA 2K10, the percentage of gamers visiting and searching on rose by up to 108%, two-thirds of whom were first-time users.

In addition, nearly three-quarters of gamers recalled seeing a Bing ad in the game and 60% claimed to have a more positive view of the search engine after seeing the brand advertising in their games. Bing's ads also made the game "more realistic", according to 67% of those gamers surveyed.

"The gaming community embraced the in-game ads and interacted with the brand," said Kirsten Ward, director of digital advertising for Bing and MSN at Microsoft. "The campaign exceeded our expectations across the board."

Last year a study by gamematrix and the University of Offenburg found that even though gamers are absorbed in their gaming environment, advertising can get through. It is even accepted by gamers, as long as a few design and placement rules are observed.

Tags: advertising, brand marketing, consumer behavior, in-game advertising

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