Ever play a game and notice that a couple of familiar brands cross your screen? What you are experiencing there is a thing called advergaming. Advergaming is incorporating advertisements into video games. But there are several ways to do this, one in which being better known as product placement.
What you will notice is in the video game, Grand Theft Auto, there are countless numbers of advertisements seen around the town. The idea is to get as much exposure as possible. Your viewer is constantly distracted but if they seen an advertisement or brand around six times, they finally start to remember it. Someone playing video games is going to spend a great deal of time playing video games so this is a great place to place advertisements. You will notice that in Exhibit 1, there are ads for AT&T, Pepsi, Ikea, Red Bull and a number of other brands. These brands are getting such large exposure that it helps with brand recognition.
Another way to use advergaming creating your own game. Most recently with Chipotle going under fire for health standards, they have focused a lot of their efforts gaining
customers back. In one of their campaigns they decided to release a game called “Guac Hunter”. “Guac Hunter”, as seen in Exhibit 2, makes you go through several rounds to pick out the differences in each photo. Although this can be seen as a grey hat thing to do since it keeps people on a page longer, but their goal was to expose players to the brand. What better way to keep their attention than playing a game that promises that you can get free guacamole and chips. This turned out to be a big hit and it was shared all around Facebook and Twitter, spreading exposure of the brand and getting people to pass through the doors.
Although this is quite different than a lot of traditional marketing, advergaming has proved to be effective in spreading brand awareness and increasing engagement with customers.