Ads in games

 Justin playing his PS3 Pictures, Images and Photos

We all know that product placement is prevalent in movies and starting to be popular in TV shows as well. Some people don’t like it, but I actually feel that it adds a lot to the viewing experience. I would much rather a person in a movie or show walk in to an actual Wal-Mart versus a “Save-Mart” or something that is obviously imitating a Wal-Mart but being fake about it.

This trend has recently started to spill over in to video games. I recently played Madden NFL 11 by EA Sports and I noticed two ads in the game. Now this is different from product placements that we see in movies and is more like the sponsored segment or ads that we are used to seeing during sports telecasts. However, it struck me that not only were the logos of the products and companies in the game, the play-by-play commentators in the video game even mentioned them and sang their jingles briefly.

The two brands in this particular game were Doritos during instant replays and Old Spice throughout the game. For Old Spice, the commentators mentioned the name and whistled their little jingle that is well known to most people. I thought this added a very realistic feel to the game as they do the exact same things in real life. It would be better if there were more brands on it so that it doesn’t get repetitive but in general, I thought it was a great idea for the game.

In addition, I realized that this was a very powerful form of advertising for the brands. When these brands are being promoted on a video game, there is no going to the bathroom or changing the channel. Also the level of attention paid to the game is higher than if he/she is just watching it on TV, which means there is a better chance it will have a lasting effect. It will also replay itself as much as the person plays the game which can be a lot and for a long period of time. I don’t know how much these brands paid to be in this game but I am sure they will get a great return on investment from it.