There was a period a few years ago when it was impossible to attend any games industry conference without someone delivering a presentation on the potential of in-game advertising. Not content with selling the game itself, seemingly every asset within the game world appeared to be up for auction. Realistic 3d models of high-level cars were sold in as objects into racing games and curiously, the street environments started to contain more and more billboards…
For an advertiser of course, videogames offer a particularly unique proposition. With the advent of a more ubiquitous and robust online content delivery system, advertising locations within games were able to change and respond to whatever media the buyer might wish to present. Campaign changes? No problem, simply push the new content to the players console via a transparent game update. As well as being an ideal way to reach the generation of young folk who have apparently stopped watching television advertising because they are online or playing games, this dynamic proposition also offers a way in which to serve advertising that is not just relevant to the game, but responsive to the players actions within it.
Quite whether Democratic-leaning voters are drawn toward high-speed road-races is unclear, but the Obama campaign decided to explore their viability as potential supporters anyway.
This week, Electronic Arts has confirmed that Obama ‘08 has purchased a number of advertisements within ten titles, including the Xbox 360 version of ‘Burnout Paradise’, the most recent iteration of the very successful racing/crashing franchise. In a model demonstration of the flexibility of in-game advertising, these ads are only running in Xbox’s being played in ten swing states.
This both is an interesting next-step for an advertising platform previously only really used for selling soft-drinks and lifestyle products, and another reason to watch what your kids are playing really carefully.
Image credit: 360 gamer “Jeffson”