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BizReport : Advertising archives : January 25, 2007

Playing The Online Ad Game

Marketers are eyeing casual games sites as the next big advertising arena.

by Helen Leggatt

According to comScore research, approximately 65.9 million people played online games in December, 2006. That statistic, which is 13 percent up on the same period in 2005, includes those who played “casual” games such as puzzles and word games.

DFC Intelligence recently reported that in 2006 advertisers spent approximately $150 million buying ad space on casual game sites.

The players of online casual games frequent sites such as Pogo, MSN Games and Big Fish Games, where hundreds of games are available to play. While they aren’t as “cool” as the action-packed World of Warcraft or Quake, they are addictive, easy and cheap to make. Casual gaming site environments are much more community-based. Over a third of players on MSN Games are female.

BigFishGames users pay to download some games and these paid for products remain ad free. However, many of their games are free downloads, and these contain ads and users are able to pick the type of ads they receive using AWS Convergence Technologies’ Sponsor Select.

Sponsor Select will help gamers have more control over their ad experience by enabling them to select which advertisers they will receive messages from, whilst enabling advertisers to target online game consumers.

"AWS is in the right place with the right kind of product that gamers view as unobtrusive to their experience," says Nick Pahade, president of Denuo. "Having them pick their own advertisers builds a connection and loyalty from the start."

Windows Live, Hoover, Western Union, Senseo and Walt Disney are also partners of AWS on this program.

Tags: Disney, females target group, in-game advertising, online advertising, online games, Windows Live

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