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The Videolamer Guide to In-Game Advertising

posted on April 10th, 2006 by the marketeer

6. Interrupt gameplay

One of the surest ways to make sure your ad is noticed is to force it into the actual gameplay. Gamers will delight in interacting with your product, especially if it breaks up the flow of the game. A break from the fun will be embraced. According to studies, many play for too long without resting, so a gameplay interrupting ad will make doctors happy, too.

Enjoy Coke

This example is from the blockbuster Resident Evil 4. The player is able to enjoy a refreshing Coca Cola product and is treated with a 15 second scene of Leon drinking an entire bottle of the beverage of his choosing. The ad allows the player to take stock of what he has recently been through and rethink his current strategy, all while jealously watching Leon quench his thirst. Not surprisingly, this ad worked and now there are many gamers, mostly the ones playing on the chainsaw controller, who play through the game with a Coke product at hand and only drink to mimic their characters enjoyment.

7. Match the time and place

One of the biggest dangers in advertising in a fantasy game is running an out of context ad. This will not only fail to make an impact, but will jar the player out of their experience and create bad PR. Take a look at the following ad from the Shadow of the Colossus game:

This Bud's for you

Anachronisms will not sell your product. Budweiser should have realized that a land of sand, trees, salamanders and colossi would not have any gas stations. Once this fact has surfaced, it is obviously foolish to use a truck in an ad. Where did it gas up? Even more questions could be asked, such as where is the nearest on ramp? Fans of the game were very critical of this ad and it is clear why. Contrast this to another ad found in the same game.

Ladies like the Magnum

This is a good ad because beer and women have always existed. Nothing seems out of place in this setting and in fact, it is almost hard to believe the colossi wouldn’t enjoy kicking back a few cold Magnum’s while waiting for some little kid to stab them in the scalp. Those with sharp eyes may question the outfits the women are wearing, but those with sharp minds have already realized leather is made of animals, which is entirely consistent with the world of Shadow of the Colossus. Perhaps they are wearing salamander leather. We can never really know, and this is the appeal of the fantasy game.


  1. Billy said on April 10, 2006:

    Haha this was great. I thought we posted it already though. Anyway good stuff this needs to go spread around.

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