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Study Shows In-Game Ads Increase Consumer Spending

September 14, 2010   ·   0 Comments

NBA Live 09


In-game advertising is a staple of EA Sports franchises, and new statistics have the company convinced that it’s on the right track. A Nielsen study, commissioned by EA on behalf of Gatorade, suggested that in-game advertising for the product increased household dollars spent by 24%, resulting in a $ 3.11 return on investment. This gives EA statistics to cite when seeking advertising deals for its games.

The study used the 100,000-member Homescan panel, composed of people who have agreed to scan in their purchases using a special barcode reader and transmit that information back to Nielsen. The company isolated households that had scanned at least one EA Sports game with Gatorade advertising: NHL 09, NHL 10 NBA Street Homecourt, NBA Live 07, NBA Live 08, and NBA Live 09 (above, and oddly making us crave a cool, refreshing Sprite). Those numbers were then compared with participants who had scanned Gatorade, versus Homescan members who hadn’t purchased the games as a control group.

The press release doesn’t mention the size of the game-owning sample group, and hearing that a study was commissioned by the same company it benefits always raises a flag. Regardless, Nielsen is a reputable organization, and EA has a reason to continue pursuing in-game advertising for its sports titles. Ads in games like NBA Live titles tend to be the most accepted by gamers, since it imitates the ad-soaked environments of professional sports. Now if only Nielsen can show how more obtrusive, out-of-place advertising impacts sales.

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