Years ago we were dealing with a panorama of entertainment for children and young enthusiasts, with the birth of the first consoles, arcade rooms and the first computer games.
The technological resources of the time were those who were but it was clear that he had discovered a rough diamond, one very large. Quickly, the game was set up as a new vehicle for storytelling, who play transport to other worlds and with an unprecedented ability to empathize.
Nowadays the video game industry is more consolidated in society, has been completely open in terms of gender, 59% are men and 41% women, and placing the average age of gamers in 35 years. We spend between 6 and 7 hours a week playing videogames and spend a lot of money, leaning tendency to buy more digital and less physical formats. (Data from ESA Annual Report, Entertainment Software Association)
We talk about the main industry of audiovisual leisure and entertainment in most countries (including Spain), generating increased economic activity each year, creating jobs and new businesses.
The videogame has become a cultural product accessible to all, because since the advent of smartphones, anyone can download them to suit your tastes or needs.
A market in 2015 was 90,000 million globally and in Europe accounts figures close to 25,000 million, according to several consultants, sufficiently striking for brands bet on this sector as an effective channel where they can include their advertising.
Advertising in videogames?
Actually it has been doing since the beginning. The use of videogames as an advertising media emerges in the early 80s, limited exclusively to the promotion of films. The idea of a complete videogame based on a product was linked to the technical characteristics of the time.
Over time, graphical enhancements and 16-bit game consoles PCs helped create sharper worlds, more color and more playable; and later with the arrival of the Playstation we began to play more real to our perception 3D worlds, the right place where advertising was particularly visible and recognizable.
Today it is a reality and every year increases investment dedicated to this relatively new medium. In the last decade investment in this medium it has grown to 1,000 million euros.
What kind of ADS can we find in videogames?
We are talking about 4 different types depending on the final goal. We´ll focus in the most interesting.
Videogame used as advertising suport. The inserted elements used are often arranged with logic and common sense to not offend the user. The sponsorship of objects or events is allowed. In general we can designate two types of in-game advertising:
Static: Ads in specific locations without directly affecting history. Decorates and gives realism to the game environment. We usually find traditional advertising media Outdoor advertising (real life), such as bus shelters, billboards, posters, vending machines… You can change from time to time if the device is connected to the internet with small updates.
Dynamic: Authentic product placement. We find all kinds of products that we can use while playing and depending on gender and type of game, they can be consumable items such as soft drinks or food, clothes and accessories, even vehicles. Here brands can coexist with other products own white label video game but their use can benefit and positively affect the gameplay.
Limited time with great rewards or packages of extra content, with objects of a brand sometimes free and other payment (expansion with products of H&M and IKEA to The Sims) sponsored missions.
All these advertising insertions within a game are accompanied by additional product information for greater user awareness.
This videogame is created only with commercial purposes. With corporate presence in the name or game elements, looking affinity and brand awareness by the user. Usually simple, for all public and shallow although there are exceptions. It has major presence in mobile applications.
Above&Below the Game:
On the one hand, mass advertising as banners during the game to get a greater number of impacts and other, more creative advertising content at the beginning of the application, the menus, the screen changes or insertions mission. In any case it is a very intrusive publicity given almost exclusively on mobile platforms, especially in free games. In the case of Lite version games this advertising disappears pay for the Premium version.
Very interesting in an artistic and creative level. When there is no real advertising within a video game is generated around him fictitious brands and products in order to provide an appropriate setting. The fictional advertising has the same characteristics as the In-Game Advertising and usually dominates medieval games, fantastic or futuristic court where logic would not include advertising elements of our reality.
Imitation of actual products is another of its manifestations. For example, in Fallout 3 we saw as a soft drink, Nuka-Cola, within the game, around him a whole branding campaign very similar to the Coca-Cola of the ’40s and’ 50s. Beyond being a coveted object in the game (and by the way, very similar in the way), I have advertising in the environment and have missions associated with the product, is put on sale a product release coinciding with the release of the sequel Fallout 4.
At other times due to content or shielding the environment of the game against the brands you choose to establish an entire parallel universe, is the case of the famous Grand Theft Auto (GTA) where neighborhoods, cities and locations with similar names, very similar to the real life are full of advertising content that evokes real brands and sometimes parodied or criticized. Huge cities to go without the advertising presence would certainly empty.
What advantage and disadvantage of advertising in video games?
Advantage: We have the target audience for hours playing a video game. The impacts will not only longer but also improve the image and knowledge you have of the brand, as long as the advertising is friendly and does not interfere with play session.
Disadvantage: The misuses that can be done advertising in this platform, which is actually a communication channel. Intrusive advertising and introduced uncritically create an opposite effect, to the point of creating rejection of the game.
What will the future of advertising in video games?
We have that and all players have a personal profile within each platform (PS Network, Xbox Live, Steam, Gamer ID Android, iOS Game Center…) Profiles configured to record the games you play, the hours we devote the achievements we get and also in some cases what other applications used within our platform. The consoles have become stations digital leisure and entertainment, not only to play, can also download apps to surf the Internet, watch TV on demand, movies and TV, listen to music and watch videoclips, or get in shape with fitness programs.
If gamers really are so segmented by entertainment tastes and habits, the time when each user to see different in-game advertising within the video game, based on their profile? or media buying support will be possible to arrive within a game through Real Time Bidding? What do you think?