Advergaming

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Introduction to Advergaming 
Advergaming, the combination of advertising and gaming, is the use of interactive gaming technology to deliver embedded advertising messages to consumers. Brands and advertisements are embedded into digital games allowing brands to connect with users for a longer period of time. There are three types of advergaming and each type interacts with the user in different ways :

1. Associative: This type of advergaming drives brand awareness by associating the product with the lifestyle or activity featured in the game. For example, Jack Daniels created a game for user to play pool with others. On the walls behind the pool table are advertisements of Jack Daniels drinks. This associates the brand with the activity being featured.

2. Illustrative: This type of advergaming features the product prominently in the game.
 

3. Demonstrative: This type of advergaming is fully interactive and allows the consumer to experience the product within the virtual confines of the gaming world. One example is Nike's basketball advergame, Nike Shox. In this game, users perform in a slam dunk contest and have the ability to customize his/her nike shoes.

-Vanessa

The Implementation of Advergaming: Chipotle
Around this time last year, Chipotle launched “The Scarecrow,” an arcade-style adventure game for smartphones and tablet devices such as the iPhone and iPad. An animated short film also premiered alongside the game. Both the game and the film raise awareness on the domination of processed food around the world as it follows the scarecrow’s journey to bring wholesome food back to the people. The film and game were designed to educate people about industrial food production that supplies much of what they eat today. The film/game is set in a dystopian fantasy world where food production is controlled by industrial giant Crow Foods. Crow Foods employs scarecrows who have been displaced from their traditional farmer jobs and are relegated to working for the crows. The scarecrows are forced to help maintain the company’s unsustainable processed food system. The game allows players to visit the dystopian world and correct the wrongs committed by Crow Foods. - Ashley


Sources: YouTube & Chipotle


The Implementation of Advergaming: Burger King’s King Games series


An Xbox game for $3.99? You’re kidding, right?

Think again. In 2006, Burger King partnered with England-based Blitz Games and Xbox in creating a series of advergames known as King Games. Originally crafted as downloadable games for Xbox Live, the games were considered to be of such high quality that they modified them into “box products” that were directly distributed at Burger King outlets. Available for $3.99 each with a value meal, the series consisted of Sneak King, PocketBike Racer, and Big Bumpin’. The promotion was a smashing success – with more than 3.2 million copies sold in Northern America alone, King Games was attributed as the driving force behind the company’s 40% quarterly sales increase during that holiday period.

Considered to be the pioneer of modern advergaming, the King Games series is an ingenious mode of advertising. The games take place within the Burger King universe - famous company characters such as The King and the Subservient Chicken are playable characters within Burger King-themed levels. While distinctly low budget and relatively shallow in scope, the games are fun, humorous, and appealing to consumers of all ages. The in-game advertising wasn’t overly pushy or annoying; in fact, the developers were able to create a seamless integration between the game’s dynamics and the company’s marketing agenda. The thrust of the promotion was clearly defined: fun first, sales pitch second.


 Let’s have a peek into the King Games series:

·         Sneak King – A stealth food-delivery game where players take control of The King. The objective of the game is to sneak up on hungry strangers and surprise them with Burger King products. The best game of the series.

  
·         PocketBike Racer – A multiplayer pocketbike racing game with customizable bikes/drivers (including celebrity endorser Brooke Burke) and Burger King-themed levels.

·         Big Bumpin’ – A multiplayer bumper car game featuring Burger King characters; also features a battle royale mode with an array of weapons, obstacles, and levels.


 The untapped potential of advergaming is immense; the successful integration of advertising in video games has become one of the most powerful marketing tools today. As with other forms of advertising, advergaming subconsciously creates feelings, connotations, and linkages between the consumer and the product. For instance, players of these games may subconsciously connect the concept of fun to Burger King, making them want to purchase more Burger King products. However, consumers tend to develop negative feelings towards good or services that are overtly advertised to them in-game. The solution is to eliminate recognition – develop seamless advertising experiences that gamers won’t notice, such as those featured in the King Games series. 

References:


Combating Advergaming with the Use of Anti-Advergaming 


La Mollenindustria released The McDonald’s Video Game in the year 2006 as an “anti-advergaming” campaign where certain companies are satires to their own specific business tactics. Since there are many aspects of the game that can be domineering and demolishing the image of McDonald’s, McDonald’s released a statement saying the game “has no association with McDonald’s, and is therefore a complete misinterpretation of our people and our values”.


The game has four sectors users must manage: agriculture, feedlot, fast food, and headquarters.

            The agriculture sector deals with conquering foreign land to creature pasture, soy cultures, and breed cattle. The video game alludes to McDonald’s destroying villages in order to complete these tasks.


The feedlot sector manages the health, weight, and “slaughtering” of cows, as they put it. There are a few satirical hints throughout this section pertaining to the fodder, industrial waste, the hormones, and the slaughtering of cows.


The fast food sector manages employees and customers. The objective is to serve customers as fast and effectively as possible while being mindful of your employees. You also want to ensure that you have enough supplies. 


The headquarters sector manages marketing, public relations, and the board of directors. They ensure that the overall business is running smoothly. Satirical hints in this sector included: bribing public officials and overcompensating to nutritionists. 

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald's_Videogame

Negative Impact of Advergaming

Advergaming is a new form of advertising that companies are now using to interject their brand into video games and market their products. Advergaming has received a great deal of attention lately, and the effects have generated both positive and negative reviews. The advantage to Advergaming is that unlike Television, there are no restrictions to the amount of advertising that can be shown during the program; therefore there are no limits to the amount of time children spend interacting with advergames. The problem is, these websites encourage repetitive use and entice children to invite their friends to play as well. While Advergaming seems to be a good marketing strategy for brands to sell their products and services, Advergaming has resulted in negatively impacting children and their eating habits. Studies have shown that kids who play games with unhealthy advergames are more likely to eat unhealthy. Thus, having a negative impact on children. Children are completely unaware of the effects of Advergaming and do not suspect a thing, when in reality brands know exactly what they are doing. By Advergaming brands are integrating their brand in a way that enforces brand loyalty. Therefore, if the brand is McDonalds, children become brand loyal, always wanting McDonalds, which subsequently results in unhealthy eating habits. Ways to control children’s Advergaming usage would be for parents to really educate themselves about the content in the games they are letting their children play, monitor all online activity, block certain websites, and educate them about the difference about advergaming. -Chelsea

Negative Impact

Positive Impact










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