Most often, when people refer to “emerging media” we think of social media, mobile marketing, message boards, etc. One of the fastest growing areas of emerging media, however, seems to be one of the most frequently overlooked.
According to BusinessDirectory.com, Advergaming is
“a video game which in some way contains an advertisement for a product, service, or company. Some advergames are created by a company with the sole purpose of promoting the company itself or one of its products, and the game may be distributed freely as a marketing tool. Other times, an advergame can be a regular popular video game, which may be sponsored by a company, and include advertisements within the game for the sponsoring company; for example you might see a character drink a particular brand of soft drink, or a race car might drive past a billboard advertising a certain snack food. Advergames have become more popular with the rise of the internet.”
Not only is the idea growing, statistics are showing that it really does work! Projections for increased revenues could be well justified based on the results from a recently released study conducted by Nielsen Entertainment on behalf of Microsoft-owned in-game advertising specialist Massive Inc.. The research showed that:
Parks Associates predicts it will amount to more than $800 million in spending by 2012, a conservative figure compared to Yankee Group’s prediction that global in-game advertising spending will reach $971 million by 2013. Projections for increased revenues could be well justified based on the results from a recently released study conducted by Nielsen Entertainment on behalf of Microsoft-owned in-game advertising specialist Massive Inc.. The research showed that:
- Average brand rating increased by 37%,
- Average purchase consideration increased by 41%,
- Average ad recall increased by 41% and
- Average ad rating increased by 69%.
As if advergaming in the home wasn’t enough, we’ve recently seen a move onto the mobile market. Chipotle received praise for their “Scarecrow” commercial, which has over seven million views. To support the commercial, Chipotle released a free downloadable video game – starring the Scarecrow seen in the commercial. The game has already received over one million downloads.
Venturebeat commented on the mobile advergame:
Lest that 1-million installs seems small when compared to the accompanying short film that will likely be watched by over 10 million people, consider that the average single player mobile game has a 90-day retention of 45% and average frequency of use of 3.5 times per week. It’s hard to imagine any other form of advertising that can claim to have engagement numbers that high. Unlike web based advergames, the Chipotle Scarecrow icon remains visible in both the App Store and on the mobile devices of all those who downloaded it, acting as a constant reminder of the Chipotle brand.
As successful as the game has been, Chipotle Scarecrow could have been a far larger hit. The game was launched only on iOS, missing out on roughly 62% of the total smartphone market. Furthermore, the game requires a device at least as powerful as the iPhone 4S on iOS 6 and above — leaving out roughly 30% of potential iOS users. And finally, the game has been plagued by bugs that have driven its current App store rating to just 3.5 out of 5 stars.
This is a great way to reach an audience in a frequent basis. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 42% of gamers say they play online games one or more hours per week.
It’s important that marketers stay on top of these. New forms of media and marketing are constantly emerging!