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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  News  |  Topic: To Boldly Logo: In-Game Advertising in MMOs 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: To Boldly Logo: In-Game Advertising in MMOs  (Read 25417 times)
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Reply #35 on: July 26, 2008, 11:15:36 PM

Key difference between TV and mmorpgs is demographics. TV largely appeals to Joe 6pack aka Oprah watcher, mmorpgs at this point appeal younger and better educated demographic that will tolerate a lot less, having a lot more choices in leisure activities.

As Haemish has said, the difference is that MMOs attract a target audience that has been increasingly harder to get through traditional channels - the 16 - 30 yo male (generally). On top of this, in-game advertising in MMOs has the advantage of being directly measurable: X characters passed by this spot, staying an average of Y seconds. You can't do that with TV to the same extent.

That MMO players are a better educated demographic (let's ignore how we usually view MMO players for a second and run with this, hey?  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?) that accept less, then advertising will adapt to provide that.

Yeah, I'm using generalities because the specifics aren't there - real world data is kept a tightly guarded secret at this point. But CoH/V introduced opt-out in-game advertising and there didn't appear to be a lot of fallout from it. B2142 still sold very well. HG:L also didn't appear to catch too much flak from having in-game ads. And then there are all the single player games that already have in-game advertising of some sort, of which product placement appears to have been the most favoured - Splinter Cell used real Sony Ericsson phones and tech while for some racing / driving games NOT having real world cars is seen as a turn off (to the extent it can give the car manufacturers unwarranted levels of control over development, I know).

I found another article - I think the numbers are optimistic, but even if in-game advertising supports 5% of development costs, that's going to make it hard for a mid-level studio to say no to, or to scratch that clause from a contract with a big publisher who wants it in.

At the end of the day, the lesson appears to be in-game advertising shouldn't adversely impact on the in-game experience. I'm sure something will happen at some point where it does for some game, but like Haemish says, it's the implementation, not the intent, that is going to be the make-or-break on a case-by-case basis.

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Reply #36 on: July 27, 2008, 06:10:15 AM

Sinji, what TV shows are you talking about? They don't all appeal to the certain demographics you are thinking of.

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Reply #37 on: July 28, 2008, 07:59:46 AM

And Sky? Those labels you read? Advertising. From the size of the font to their placement on the product, some designer at an advertising or marketing firm likely got paid to make those things readable.
Eh, not at all the same thing. The nutritional panel and ingredients list are pretty standard fare. Picking a font doesn't make it advertising.

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Reply #38 on: July 28, 2008, 12:56:01 PM

I often wonder what kind of 'brand awareness' companies like Coca-Cola or Nike get from advertising. Are there really people who can be reached via ads who aren't aware of those brands already? I see a Coke ad and the first thing that pops into my head is certainly not 'Hmm that sounds like an interesting take on carbonated beverages. Coca-cola you say? I'll be sure to look out for that next time I'm in a store.'

Children and pop culture. Also, money flexing. if you see a coke add 20 times in a day, you know they have money, AKA not "save-a-lot" brand.

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Reply #39 on: July 28, 2008, 01:56:09 PM

And Sky? Those labels you read? Advertising. From the size of the font to their placement on the product, some designer at an advertising or marketing firm likely got paid to make those things readable.
Eh, not at all the same thing. The nutritional panel and ingredients list are pretty standard fare. Picking a font doesn't make it advertising.

But it isn't just picking a font. It's placement on the label, it's order of ingredients, it's even down to the way they state the necessary things like total carbs. When the whole low-carb diet became a big trend, labels were changed to make that information more prominent. Same with fat from calories. If you don't think you are being marketed to in a very subtle way, you are incorrect.

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Reply #40 on: July 28, 2008, 02:43:19 PM

Order of ingredients? Really?

Prominence of info doesn't mean shit. You're saying marketers are changing nutritional info?

Changing order of ingredients and altering nutritional info strikes me as a wee bit illegal. I don't care about the games played with serving sizes and shit. I expect that and we're smart enough to work around it. But actually providing incorrect info (which changing the order of ingredients would do) seems a bit much.

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Reply #41 on: July 28, 2008, 02:50:28 PM

Changing the order of the ingredients wouldn't trigger anything illegal, so long as nothing is removed that should be on there. As for the nutritional info, we're not talking about removing things that have to be on there, or even making numbers up. It's just knowing which bits of that info are important to highlight. After all, 10 years ago, the only thing about carbs listed were total carbs. Nowadays, it's total carbs, carbs from sugar and dietary fiber, and that's most likely directly because marketers realized that the low-carb dieters wanted to know that information.

Someone gets paid to think of those kinds of things.

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Reply #42 on: July 29, 2008, 02:06:39 PM

Quote
when major advertisers tell TV to jump, TV generally jumps until it canít jump anymore.

Not quite. If your property is worth advertising on, then you let the advertisers beg for your space. You think Ted Turner is at the whim of Axe body spray? Or the other way around? Admittedly my advertising experiences have all been with newspapers, but if we lost an advertiser, it took us about 2 seconds to find another ad to put in its place. I'll bet TNT is at least as successful.

Now with games, I have two fears. First, that games will lose publisher funding; "What do you need our money for? You got Dell, dude!" Second, that game studios will buckle down as people seem to think other media do...or if they'll have to. It's easy for Ted Turner to turn away Axe body spray. But could EA do the same?

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Reply #43 on: July 29, 2008, 08:24:22 PM

Quote
when major advertisers tell TV to jump, TV generally jumps until it canít jump anymore.

Not quite. If your property is worth advertising on, then you let the advertisers beg for your space. You think Ted Turner is at the whim of Axe body spray? Or the other way around? Admittedly my advertising experiences have all been with newspapers, but if we lost an advertiser, it took us about 2 seconds to find another ad to put in its place. I'll bet TNT is at least as successful.

Now with games, I have two fears. First, that games will lose publisher funding; "What do you need our money for? You got Dell, dude!" Second, that game studios will buckle down as people seem to think other media do...or if they'll have to. It's easy for Ted Turner to turn away Axe body spray. But could EA do the same?

I do agree, which is why I said 'generally'. If the advertiser is big enough / important enough to the network, then TV does what they ask. If a TV show is new and still finding its footing, having advertisers dump it / refuse to advertise during it probably doesn't help its chances of survival.

Ted Turner doesn't care about Axe, but if Unilever came threatening, he'd certainly care.

It depends on how much the ad revenue is required to keep the lights on. The more dependent on ad revenue (such as free-to-air television) the more power the advertisers have to influence content.

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Reply #44 on: July 30, 2008, 12:09:10 PM

Changing the order of the ingredients wouldn't trigger anything illegal, so long as nothing is removed that should be on there.
Actually, ingredients must be ordered from largest to smallest percentage of the food (by weight).
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Reply #45 on: July 30, 2008, 06:30:58 PM

Changing the order of the ingredients wouldn't trigger anything illegal, so long as nothing is removed that should be on there.
Actually, ingredients must be ordered from largest to smallest percentage of the food (by weight).

Yeah. I can't speak for the US, and of course things are going to be entirely different there and someone will no doubt prove me wrong, but:

I work in the food industry in Australia and there are lots of rules and regulations regarding the 'nutritional information' section of a product (there are a lot of regulations regarding labelling generally, but nutritional information is even more strict). They differ around the world but on the whole there are basics that most have.

People will try to fuck with things as much as they can on labeling but at a certain point you are forced to comply with regulations and will get in shit if you do not.

One of the reasons nutritional information panels may not be useful to many people is that they will not be familar with the various additives (which one is MSG?), colours, flavours, perservatives, what the difference between glucose, sugar, etc is, and so the nutritional panels will be incomprehensible in certain areas, but for people who are informed and make sure they stay so (like Sky indicates) then the nutritional information is pretty useful.

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Reply #46 on: July 31, 2008, 07:08:38 AM

Changing the order of the ingredients wouldn't trigger anything illegal, so long as nothing is removed that should be on there.
Was at the hospital all day yesterday with my mother, so I couldn't get you this link. Fiancee is a librarian, so I asked her if she knew :)

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Reply #47 on: July 31, 2008, 01:36:40 PM

I think I stand corrected, but can't exactly be arsed to read that much dense text.  Ohhhhh, I see.

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Reply #48 on: July 31, 2008, 09:04:48 PM

On the one hand, I can't be arsed to care if idiot consumer #1 doesn't bother to rotate the label and see their "health drink" contains water followed by high fructose corn syrup, or that the soccer mom who gets juice for their son and neglects to notice that their "fruit punch" only contains 5% juice.

You just can't beat the stupid out of people. If they don't know this stuff by now, they either aren't paying attention or don't care. Or, they are really really dumb. Apparently, some people simply believe the label and ignore the box with the real information.

On the other hand, I do think it's pretty scummy to market your product as being one thing when it is clearly the opposite; health products are the worst examples of these.


This, of course, has nothing to do with advertising in video games. I simply won't buy a game with advertising in it, and I approach an advertisement as if they are shysters blatantly lying to me about their product, which in many cases is not far from the truth. It's served me well so far. Of course, I am not what you would call their "target market", since I never impulse buy, am not materialistic, and generally buy things based on utility over hype.
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Reply #49 on: August 01, 2008, 12:37:57 AM

Of course, I am not what you would call their "target market", since I never impulse buy, am not materialistic, and generally buy things based on utility over hype.

Increasingly that IS a major target market nowadays simply because it's such a difficult group to target. System in crisis, desperate for anyone new to sell stuff too, reaching new markets big buzzwords etc etc. They'll find a way, if they have to drive past your house and throw adverts wrapped round bricks through your living room window!

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Reply #50 on: August 01, 2008, 06:59:19 AM

Here, I'll make it easy. Advertisers, this is what I would buy were it available:

A cell phone plan with around 30 minutes a month and 100 texts a month which is correspondingly cheaper than the $45 a month that I pay. Or, alternately, a realistic pay-as-you-go plan that is actually cheaper than fixed plans with crazy amounts of minutes, in which you can use any phone. Go-phone, I'm looking at you. $30 a month, plus pay as you go at a dollar a minute? No, thanks.

I was going to make a list, but I honestly can't think of anything else that I need or that I'd buy.
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Reply #51 on: August 01, 2008, 12:36:17 PM

The in game adverstising business has grown in the past few years.. I remember when AO first brought in game advertisements to the forefront, and obviously Funcom was able to continue that project as well as develop Funcom's other products after an admittedly rocky road. I have yet to see any other advertising actually impact the consumer price as much either.

The other ad placements or game ads that have come from this revolution haven't really benefited the consumer, and if more games had reduced prices (or were free like AO) because of being sold products, I'm sure there'd be less opposition. The additional money involved with ads may aid in (continued) development but I hardly see the consumer winning from the latest examples of marketing money.


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Reply #52 on: August 01, 2008, 02:05:16 PM

The other ad placements or game ads that have come from this revolution haven't really benefited the consumer, and if more games had reduced prices (or were free like AO) because of being sold products, I'm sure there'd be less opposition. The additional money involved with ads may aid in (continued) development but I hardly see the consumer winning from the latest examples of marketing money.

Then you aren't paying attention. Battlefield Heroes is going to be completely free to play - you can pay for cosmetic upgrades, but otherwise it's ad-supported. The number of F2P ad-supported games in development is growing. Microtransactions for non-game-breaking things add to the potential for games to make money in other ways than just selling a box at retail.

There's more than 1 way to skin a cat, and there's more than 1 business model for videogames, especially when the current 1 business model is so heavily weighted against developers.

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