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Effectiveness of In-game Advertisement


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Computer games are one of the most important entertainment media for modern people. After nearly sixty years’ development, computer games become more and more mature and derived many different genres suited for different user groups. With the widespread availability of the internet makes the number of computer game users increase explosively, and computer games became a very important and powerful medium to place advertisements.

Screenshot of an in-game advertising

Screenshot of an in-game advertising

On the other hand, advertisement is an important bridge between manufacturers and their potential customers. It is the best to reach them through media which are enjoyable, such as entertainment media. In the long course of history, advertisement has also developed a lot of forms on different medium.

While modern people spend more and more time in games (especially video games) instead of consuming traditional media, in-game advertising appeared as an important field for marketing. Compared to traditional forms of advertising, in-game advertising has a lot of advantages. However, even in-game advertising has been greatly grown with the development of gaming industry, it still remains lots of problems, such as a vast lack of experience about its effectiveness.

Screenshot of embedded advertising
Screenshot of embedded advertising

By comparing the history of traditional advertising and in-game advertising we can find that the first group appeared nearly 6.000 years earlier than the first in-game advertising. In contrast to traditional advertising, in-game advertising is a very young field and little is known about its effectiveness. It requires more scientific investigation of this topic. Apart from marketing surveys, rather few experimental studies have been conducted on the effectiveness and perception of in-game advertisements.

Screenshot with BMW product placement and Nokia cellphone billboard

Screenshot with BMW product placement and Nokia cellphone billboard

Some previous experimental studies investigated effects and factors, such as placement type or presence of violence. These studies could have a potential effect on the perception and effectiveness of in-game advertising. One typical variable to measure effectiveness of in-game advertisings is memory retrieval. In most scientific experiments we found, this was the dependent variable measured to score the effectiveness of in-game advertisings.

Le Zhang, Technische Universitat Wien, 2011

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