Another tool used in the digital marketing mix is "Advergaming". Knowing very little about this topic, i did a little bit of research just to find out the basis of what it is, what its about and some different examples to go along with it.
What is it?
Well using theory, a definition given by Baines et al, states:
"The use of video and online games to advertise a product, organisation or an idea, Advergames encourage repeat website traffic and reinforce brand loyalty."
This being a very simply and clear definition, there isn't really much to elaborate on what it is really. its simply a tool that combines gaming with advertising for a company to get a message across, as well as other means stated.
How it can be effective
In the past 10 years or so, gaming has became increasingly more popular throughout both genders and age groups, primarly you could say because of the introduction of the Nintendo Wii, which targeted its product at those who wern't particularly related too the "Hardcore gaming scene", people such as Mum's, small children, even grandparents! It set the mark for family gaming, allowing people of all ages to play games. And obviously adding the introduction of Web 2.0, and the accessibility of Broadband that the majority of the world have access too being a playing factor in advergaming.
So the market has increased incredibly, why is this important? Well for a communications tool such as Advergaming to work, there has to already be a structure in place so that Advergaming can successfully work for a company, thus its recent success.
Types of Advergaming
Embeded in the game (Billboarding)
Advergaming can come in several forms, and can mix with other different digital marketing tools, such as virtual reality (which will be covered in another post....so stay tuned!). Advergaming sometimes can go unnoticed, yet still have an affect on us, as ( QUOTE ABOUT sdsd). An example of this could be a billboard in the latest Grand Theft Auto (GTA) game with a companies new product or their logo, although you may not think that this would not have an affect, the usual gamer (from my experience) would be that you will occasionally when bored, aimlessly drive around/walk around the streets of GTA, and pass these billboards over and over again, meaning that when in real life, you would recognise that product/brand, as it would be very familiar to yourself. These billboards can be static, dramatic or interactive.
Game created by the Brand (Monopolisation Occurs)
Another way that advergaming can be used, is by a company actually creating a game themselves, which would usually include the name of their brand in the game, or relate to it a significant amount. An example of this style of advergaming could be the Arcade game that was available to download from the Xbox 360 dashboard, named "Doritos Crash Course Challenge". This was a very popular game between me and friends when it first came out, as it was free, fun and had a competitive edge to it that just meant playing it repetitively... although I wasn't good at it at all. Anyhow, the game although with the name "Dorito" in, does not relate to the actual brand, but is a sort of spin of the popular TV show "Total Wipe Out" that involves different obstacle courses. Now personally I would not say that this game went out and made me buy Dorito;s, but it obviously did increase the awareness of their product to some degree, as the game was available on a huge scale (Around 30 million Xbox Live members), now this does not mean that everyone who downloaded the game would have went out and bought Doritos, not at all , but brand awareness is very important for any company, especially a large company, and as stated by Baines et al (2011), the main purpose of Advergaming is too encourage repeat website traffic and reinforce brand loyalty.
A final way advergaming can be used is when a product is implemented in the game, and is actually used by the gamer. An example of this could be in a car racing game for instance, if you had to stop for petrol (Gasoline) then the type of petrol would be a certain brand, then when seeing this brand in real life, you would recognise it from when seeing it in the game. This method of Advergaming is very similar too billboarding but personally I think it is a lot more affective as it involves the gamer, rather than just being a part of the background.
At the moment, I don't see Advergaming being utilised to its full potential at the moment, but I definitely think that more and more companies will start incorporating their products/brands into games, as it is a mass market is increasingly going because of the latest influences in different styles of gaming such as the Wii, Xbox kinect etc.
SO if for some reason your a big CEO of a company, and you have read my blog (extremely unlikeley) then by all means Start Advergaming!!! Oh, and if you do, you heard it here first (well probables not but I'd like to think that).
Next Blogging Topics
Although I will continue to cover the digital marketing tools, I will also obviously be talking about other things, such as exam prep for marketing students, or any students for that matter as well as other things in the world of marketing that I find interesting or would like an opinion about.
Feel free to leave feedback, tips for my next blog post or even topics you would like to find out about :)
Hope you enjoyed this post, and found out something you never knew, thanks!!