Advergaming a Hot Topic for Online Advertisers
Advergaming options range from developing customized, branded game experiences featuring product-focused content to running ads during or in-between game playing sessions to less costly, more generic games that can be sponsored by any advertiser. These may be engaging to a wide array of online users who have been known to spend hours immersing themselves in sponsored game worlds, but the question is �what�s the value to the brand?� At this point, assesses Jupiter Research analyst, Jay Horwitz, �It�s very difficult to measure impact.�
Advertisers are seeing a tangible return on investment in the form of data captured through online game registrations, though. Information such as email addresses, age, sex, income level and locale can all be gathered in exchange for a free round of roulette or extreme snowboarding (usually accompanied by a chance to win prizes).
Lynne Viera, creative director at marketing agency, BaseSix, finds that advertisers she�s worked with, including HBO, have �a lot of interest in any opportunity to go outside the box and capture data.� Besides the fact that users get free game time and out of it, the opportunity to get friends involved through viral components of advergames is also a plus for consumers. �When asking people for information, you have to be careful you�re giving something in return,� cautions Viera.
Whether or not this approach will work and how it's success will be measured are yet to become mainstream. However, it is refreshing that marketers are challenging themselves to discover new online marketing territory.