ads in games

Ads in video games set to rise says BBC News. Strike me down. However, what is interesting is the alleged retention rate of adverts by users of video games according to Susan Kretchmer of the Patrnership for Progress on the Digital Divide [is that to further the divide or reduce it?!]:

Studies suggest that 30% of in-game adverts are recalled in the short-term and 15% are recalled after five months, a figure unheard of in advertising.

But much depends on how the advertising is built into the game. Simple billboards act as ‘wallpaper’ [though may have high recall rates like ads people fast forward through in pvr-land?]. Drinking Red Bull to power up or learning to use a particular mobile phone to send messagesare a way of living the product within a game. You are to some extent embodying the product – you’re enaging with it. Which I reckon is great as it leads to more creative and stimulating gaming [and ultimately ways of getting people to buy things]. Now, what if you *could* actually buy things via the game. So you’re in GTA and you’re getting hungry. Nip in to Dominoes and grab a pizza. Hey presto! your real pizza arrives. Perhaps if you could get discounts according to you ‘success’ in the game [zilch for me then]. Why stop at visual advertising, when online gaming becomes more popular you could have samples of songs to buy [be great to create an audioscrobbler profile for your character!]. But in tracking people’s use of games will marketeers be selling to you or your character and how will that play out….?