In-game ads work, finds in-game advertiser

You’ve always got to be a little skeptical about self-promoting research. We see a lot of it, and the latest comes from Massive, a Microsoft subsidiary whose specialty is placing branded ads within video games.

Massive teamed with the research firm Interpret to test the effectiveness of the medium and, turns out, they work! The survey evaluated four advertisers who use Massive’s network — Adidas, and three others named only as a quick-service restaurant, a candy-bar and a movie studio.

In response to the survey, healthy percentages of gamers said not only that they remembered the companies’ tag lines, but that the ads actually enhanced the reality of the experience and made it more interactive. More astounding: A full 72 percent of the focus group agreed with the statement that the candy bar is “a great snack to eat while playing video games.” Indeed.

For advertisers looking to build a brand and reach a youthful male demographic, in-game placements seem like a logical ingredient of the marketing mix. Product placement in movies and television extends naturally enough to video games, but I can’t help but wonder if the claims staked around this “rapidly maturing medium” might score some credibility points with a heavier shade of modesty.

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