Nielsen Proves Complaining About In-Game Ads Doesn't Matter

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Nielsen conducted a study concerning in-game advertising on behalf of IGA Worldwide, an in-game advertising network, into the effectiveness of in-game advertising. As described in the results below, the survey found that in-game advertising can be effective. But unlike the statement of an EA executive, the study did not find that gamers like it.
The study surveyed 1,300 PC gamers by linking IGA's software with research software embedded within the game disc of games from Electronic Arts and Activision. Some of the advertisers used in the test were Taco Bell, Jeep and Wrigley.


Nielsen found that:

  • After playing, there was a 44% increase in brand recall
  • "Positive brand attribute association increased 33% across all brands."
  • Whether consumers liked or disliked the ads, 70% improved their perception of the advertised brand.
  • 60% of consumers "feel the ads catch their attention, make games more realistic, do not interrupt the game experience, and are promoting relevant products"
  • In-game ads seen for more than two seconds were dramatically more effective than ads seen only for one second.
Unquestionably, the study described that gamers responded to ads in that their awareness of advertised brands increased, and became more positive. However, Elizabeth Harz said "This study solidifies what many in the industry have known for a long time: in-game ads are effective and well-received by the gaming community." That's not true. As described in the results, many gamers reacted poorly to the presence of in-game advertising. When exposed, though, the advertising served its purpose – improving their perception of the brand.


Gamers, the answer is simple. If you don't want advertising in your games, don't purchase or play games with advertising. If you play such games, the amount of in-game advertising will only increase. Playing the games and complaining serves no purpose whatsoever. The Nielsen study documents that.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on June 17, 2008 5:51 AM.

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