Select a page

Advertising through Video Games and Ad Space in Virtual Worlds: Case Studies


Pew, Pew, Pew, go my laser guns. Bling, Bling, Bling, goes my advertising.

When you mix laser guns and advertising, well, to be clear, video games and advertising, what do you get? One particular form is in-game advertising.

In-game advertising has been around for quite some time, and there’s no better way to demonstrate this than providing some actual case studies. Let’s take a look:

Obama advertises in Burnout Paradise in 2008

Running a presidential campaign can be costly, especially the cost of advertising during a campaign (we actually covered that topic in The Convo Blog in the past). In the presidential election of 2008, President Obama’s campaign was actively disseminating messaging to win the young vote in the nation. Obama was on social media, but he was also in video games, like Burnout Paradise. Praise to Obama and his campaign organizers for experimenting with new (to the political world) platforms.


A study conducted by the Nielsen Company showed that “in-game advertising increased household dollars spent on Gatorade by 24%.” The games that Gatorade had advertised in were NHL 09, NHL 10, NBA LIVE 07, NBA LIVE 08, NBA LIVE 09, and NBA Street Homecourt. Within the games, Gatorade had product placements in various locations, including “arena signs, players’ water bottles, score updates and other cutouts.”

More Studies: In-game advertising more effective than TV advertising?

TechCrunch reported that a casual gaming advertising network, NeoEdge Networks was commissioned to perform a study on the effectiveness of in-game advertising in comparison to TV advertising. “The preliminary results show a 5x increase in unaided brand awareness over TV advertising where a game included a ad. Other key findings according to the release: over 80% correctly linked as the advertiser who ‘allowed them to play the game for free’.”

In sum, while the case studies point to the effectiveness of in-game advertising, there are still major caution points provided from gamers. One point made was that once the advertising becomes too prevalent in a game, it ruins the experience, and makes the gamer think “sell-out.” However, sometimes advertisements in video games actually add to the realism of the experience. But in a world where escapism is one of the main goals, sometimes it’s not always best to replicate every piece of reality.




Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *