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BizReport : Advertising archives : September 15, 2010

Gatorade sales refreshed by in-game ad campaign

Looking for proof that in-game advertising works? Look no further than the results of a recent in-game campaign for Gatorade.

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.

But do in-game ads really have an impact on the bottom line? Apparently so.

By comparing the purchasing habits of around 100,000 households in the U.S. before and after being exposed to in-game ads for Gatorade, Nielsen was able to establish that the campaign boosted sales by an impressive 24%.

And if that wasn't impressive enough, Gatorade's campaign also achieved a return on investment of $3.11.

Elizabeth Harz, senior VP of global media sales at Electronics Arts, who commissioned the research, says the study is "a milestone for interactive entertainment", adding, "For the first time, advertisers are able to link the value of their in-game marketing or sponsorship to actual sales. Now brands can feel confident adding gaming as a core media channel for their advertising."

Research carried out earlier this year by Microsoft-owned video game network Massive Inc. and comScore also found in-game advertising to be effective. 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.

Tags: advertising, in-game ads, return on investment, sales

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