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BizReport : Advertising archives : August 12, 2010

Advertising to swell social game's coffers

Until recently it was sales of virtual goods and currency that brought in revenue for social games. However, their rising popularity is now attracting advertisers and eMarketer predicts over $200 billion will be invested this year.

by Helen Leggatt

Social games players are a sought-after crowd for advertisers. While many sell virtual goods and currency, some have begun embedding themselves into social games such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars.

eMarketer forecasts that marketers will spend $220 million on ads in social network games this year, a figure they predict will rise 20% to $293 million in 2011. These figures do not include revenue generated by ads in social mobile applications or games running on mobile social networks.

social games ad spending graphic.gif

According to eMarketer's Clark Fredricksen, "eMarketer's estimates may end up being conservative as the social game business increases its footprint."

As with many social media channels traditional ads aren't the way to engage social gamers. Instead, more innovative ways to engage with the players and add value to the gaming experience are needed.

Brands that have already come up with unique ways in which to engage social gamers include Green Giant with their "Fresh Farm Cash Promotion" and organic food brand Cascadian Farm who sponsored a Farmville crop.

Tags: advertising, Facebook, social gaming, social network

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