Saturday, December 20, 2008

Speaking of Ethics: Advergaming

It seems as if the world of advertising is now reaching the virtual world of video games. With the increasing popularity of PlayStations, Xboxes, Wiis, Nintendo DS and others, it was bound to happen.

Advergaming is a mixture of advertising and entertainment that takes the form of video games. It's been around since at least the early 1980s when Kool-Aid and Pepsi developed Atari 2600 games that featured their products and distributed the game cartridges as promotions (How Stuff (2008).

When playing these games at home, advertisers are now getting their messages to the players and more of their target market. Some players will see soft drinks advertised on billboards of driving games, brand name clothing designers have storefronts in other games.

But it doesn’t stop with video games. For those who play online poker or other games, advertising messages are there as well. While we really don’t think much about it in this form, marketers know that it can reach its target market with more positive results. For instance, wouldn’t it be advantageous for the Las Vegas Tourism Board to advertise on an online gambling site? With this tactic, they would be reaching its core target market at a fraction of the cost of television or print ads.

What are your thoughts on this new form of advertising?

How Stuff Works (2008). How Advergaming Works. Retrieved on December 20, 2008, from

No comments: