Is this the real life. Is this just fantasy.
What is the difference between in-game advertising, or IGA, and advergaming? We thought you’d never ask!
IGA refers to ads placed in video games, which the player experiences in much the same way they would experience a billboard or other ad in real life. Whereas advergaming refers to the creation of playable branded content for the sole purpose of having people interact with the brand. In other words, a game designed to market a particular brand or product.
With IGA, the ad may not have a whole lot to do with the actual video game.
Diesel doesn’t really have much to do with running from cops in Burnout 3, but we admit…the demographic is appropriate for the brand.
In Forza 3, players can blow past a billboard for shoe company Puma, who just so happens to make shoes for pro drivers, but that’s about the extent of their business in a car racing video game.
A screen shot from a first-person-shooter where the player is exposed to an ad for the Blu-Ray release of the film I AM LEGEND.
In other cases, the in game material might be geared specifically towards the game/gamer, as discussed here:
In any case, some will argue that this type of emerged advertising doesn’t work (despite the fact that the revenue generated from IGA is expected to reach $1 billion by 2014!) As the below article ponders, could a person driving 200 mph down the final stretch of a track with the current number two car tapping their bumper even look at the McDonald’s billboard just off the left side of the track? If they did, would they care??
As the author points out, players are more likely to remember brands which actually have a role in the gameplay or the experience, such as specific automobile manufacturers. Which brings us to the advantage of advergaming over in game advertising.
It’s much easier to make an engaging game than an engaging ad. Collecting points, advancing levels, accomplishing goals, and developing skills are simply rewarding experiences for the human mind. Give a consumer enough positive interaction with a brand (or branded content), and seeds of loyalty will inevitably begin to take root.