June 14th, 2011
We Interrupt This Video Game For a Word From Our Sponsor
The Wall Street Journal
Now that product placement has become ubiquitous in movies and television, advertising in video games is the next big step in the evolution of advertising.
Not only can current in-game advertisements shift around within a particular title’s landscape, but they can also adapt and change based on how long users look upon them and from what angle. If a player misses seeing a billboard or product entirely, depending on their actions, modern technology can tweak the player’s surroundings so that the missed ad will reappear later in the player’s adventures.
Placement companies can also accurately evaluate and measure engagement with specific ads, making it easier to monetize results.
According to Alex Sood, the chief executive of in-game advertising network Double Fusion, interest in in-game advertising has experienced in uptick in the last year, and the business is on track to earn close to a billion dollars in revenue.
“In-game advertising is increasing becoming a part of [media] buyers’ mix,” he says. “It’s becoming a ‘must consider,’ as opposed to being a secondary thought.”
Sood’s company, in particular, focuses on young adult males aged 18 to 34, an age group particularly attractive to advertisers, particularly in the theatrical, fast food, automotive and quick moving products categories, working to put companies such as Dominoes Pizza and Energizer batteries into games like “MX vs ATV Reflex,” “Mortal Kombat” and “Shaun White Snowboarding,” as well as this summer’s “Deus Ex Human Revolution.”
“It always takes a while for advertisers to get familiar with a new potential buy,” he says. “But now they’re seeing and understanding the reach of placing an ad in a video game.”