3D Video Game Insertions Raise the Bar on Recall

In-game advertising generated a 60 percent lift in awareness for new products in a study conducted by Nielsen Interactive Entertainment for in-game ad agency Double Fusion.

The study, expected to be released today, is part of the nascent in-game advertising industry’s effort to achieve legitimacy through commissioned research.

In conducting a pre- and post-exposure study, researchers found ad placements drove a 60 percent increase in awareness for a new cleaning product, Procter & Gamble’s Flash Car Wash. The study also found that animated 3D ads were twice as effective at creating recall as compared to static billboards within the games. Additionally, the ads drove increases in positive brand attributes, such as it being “easy to use” and “time saving.”

“By offering gamers the chance to play with the brand–sometimes even to act out the brand proposition–in-game advertising offers a truly unique benefit,” said Henry Piney, managing director Europe, Nielsen Interactive Entertainment. “In turn this enhances the medium’s inherent strengths in delivering valuable demographics–and consumers that are really concentrating on the screen.”

Several dynamic ad formats including commercial breaks, billboards and posters, video billboards, animation billboards, background music, and 3D placements are offered by Double Fusion. However the agency claims to be the only in-game advertising agency to offer 3D placement.

“They are definitely more complex than just showing a graphic or billboard. This is something we support in our infrastructure, ” Guy Bendov, co-founder and executive vice president for business development at Double Fusion, told ClickZ News.

The research was conducted using a downloadable version of “London Taxi” published by Metro3D. This was the first game title supported by Double Fusion’s ad network. The agency plans to commission research and analysis with each title in which its ads appear.

“We are commissioning research for pretty much every game we are doing to establish in more detail how effective advertising is, and how a billboard performs versus a 3D advertisement,” said Bendov.

Findings from the research will be useful for both advertisers and video game publishers. Bendov said game publishers are looking for alternative revenue sources, and are watching the impact of in-game advertising on their sales and the responses they get from users.

“So far both advertisers and publishers have been very prudent to how advertisements were inserted into games,” said Bendov.

A recent marketing and advertising spending forecast for 2006 said in-game advertising only accounts for less than one percent of the total ad spend, though it is expected to grow by 40 percent in the next year. The expected increase leaves a question of available inventory.

“There is enough inventory even today to show that dynamic inventory works,” commented Bendov.

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