Immersive advertising. Advertainment. Advergaming. Call it what you will but it is becoming ever more prevalent as marketers realize it's potential as a vehicle to reach the growing Internet-savvy group of Tweens (9-14) and Gen-Y (born in 1979 or later). The Internet is embedded in their daily lives. It's not just something they do, it practically defines who they are.
This segment is a very large and growing target group. In North America, tweens control or influence about $750 billion of spending every year. The usual forms of online advertising have failed miserably with this group. Advergaming is the next logical step for marketers to explore..
There is concern, however, over these new forms of immersive marketing and advertising. Some say there are problems. "A commercial will last for 20 seconds or so," says Jeffrey Derevensky, a child psychology professor at McGill University. "An adver-game will last for 20 minutes. The more kids actively engage in something and the more feedback they get, the more likely they'll ask their parents to get something. It's all designed to get them to tell Mommy, 'Look how much fun I'm having'.
There will, no doubt, be pluses and minuses for marketers, parents, and children surrounding these new immersive advertising techniques. There are no hard answers yet but if you are a marketer trying to reach the Tween and Gen-Y target, you can not ignore this new channel.
Macleans: Hey, Kids! Let's Play Adver-games!