As consumers spend more time at home exploring virtual game worlds, brands need to reconnect and integrate in new digital environments. A study from Singapore’s Nanyang Business School highlights which tactics are most effective.

Writing for WARC, Professor of Marketing Gemma Calvert and PhD student Monin Techawachirakul outline a test they conducted to explore the use of in-game advertising.

This involved the design of a first-person shooting game to examine the effect of plot-brand integration on brand awareness and brand selection by comparing a number of brands presented as products used by the game character (high integration), versus brands presented as static billboards (low integration).

These brands were selected from different product categories, including beverages, fast food, snacks and laptops, and 120 people were recruited to play the game. Participants were subsequently tested on their ability to recognise and recall brands shown in the game amongst a range of foils (equally familiar brands in the same categories but which were not shown in the game).

Pre-and post-brand selection was also measured by asking respondents to choose one brand out of five in each category, two of which appeared in the game.

Among the findings was that brands placed as in-game products were recognised and subsequently recalled 30.8% more often than those placed on billboards. Moreover, brand selection for these high plot-related brands was 27% higher than low plot placement.

“The strategy of integrating brands into online gaming plots and game characters offers an unrivalled opportunity for brands to communicate with the vast global community of gamers in a way that is relevant for their ongoing experience,” the authors conclude.

“Brands have a better chance of building valuable relationships based on shared goals and mutual benefit,” they add.

“In-game brand placement (disguised in the form of in-app purchases, or in-plot achievements) is a tactic that not only benefits brands but also boosts the gaming sector’s revenue.”

For more details, read the full article: The plot thickens: How brands can integrate into in-game environments and build relationships.

You can read a fuller exposition of the potential opportunity in this channel – which is not reflected in current levels of investment – in The WARC Guide to Marketing in the Gaming Ecosystem.

Sourced from WARC