Advertising Video Games and In-Game Ads
There's a new trend in video game advertising that's taking hold and another that's just beginning.
No longer do video game commercials feature kids glued avidly to flickering screens with occasional cuts of game play footage, now we have 3D commercials of video game plot lines packaged into 30-second slots, backgrounded with some popular music or a symphonic score.
Coca-Cola is even running an ad that spoofs the popular Grand Theft Auto game where the main character walks around spreading cheer, in contrast to his usual blood-soaked antics.
Perhaps game developers can reduce the cost of the increasing demands of current software standards if they are getting advertising dollars from in-game sponsors. Some gamer blogs discussing the topic seem to indicate that gamers wouldn't gripe much if the "placements" were appropriate, and some even comment on the potential increased realism with in-game ads. But it remains to be seen how this would work for some fantasy adventure role-playing games. The Wizard Thwok did up his mighty +3 Wrigley's Scepter of Gum and smote the goblins. Hmmm... Game Over.
Now video games are being looked at as advertising "real estate." Will they take the form of intro spots, like you've grudgingly seen before a movie at a theater, or will they be as annoying for gamers as pop-up ads are on the internet? More likely this new vista in advertising will take the form of virtual product placement, such as a racing game with billboards and sponsorships along the track, or a software giant being worked into the plot line of a spy game.