As consumers turn to video games for entertainment, marketers have shifted some of their ad budgets to this format. Doing so reaches more consumer eyeballs, especially the hard-to-reach demographic of younger men. This increased exposure to brands and product names via video games is translating to higher sales for marketers according to a Nielsen Company study on this topic.
The focus of the study was limited to Electronic Arts and Gatorade but the findings could well apply to other product categories. As a result of being exposed to Gatorade products while playing games such as NHL 10 and NBA Homecourt, consumers spent 24% more on Gatorade. Elizabeth Harz, Senior Vice President of Global Media Sales at EA says “For the first time, advertisers are able to link the value of their in-game marketing or sponsorship to actual sales. Now brands can feel confident adding gaming as a core media channel for their advertising.” Based on the study results, analysts said that the return on investment for in-game advertising was $3.11.
Nielsen based its study on its US Homescan panel of over 100,000 households. The analysts used a statistically reliable sample of households to study Gatorade and game purchase behavior and isolated and compared households that had and had not seen in-game advertising.
Gerardo Guzman, Director, Media Product Leadership for The Nielsen Company, says the result will help marketers “optimize the impact of and derive a return on media investments. In this case the story is simple – dollars put into video game product placement result in more retail dollars.” The results also speak to the importance of placing ads where specific demographic groups are most likely to see them.[Source: In-Game Advertising in EA Games Lifts Brand Sales. ElectronicArts.com. 14 Sept. 2010. Web. 21 Sept. 2010]