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The Videolamer Guide to In-Game Advertising

posted on April 10th, 2006 by the marketeer

8. Tie into the plotline

The surest way to make your product placement or ad memorable is to tie it directly into the plotline of the game. For example, in the upcoming Mario game it is not the Princess who is kidnapped by Bowser, but the Princess’s Sealy Posturpedic Throne. A second example of this advertising method can be seen here:

Dance, Tom, dance

Armour has not only included it’s product in Shenmue’s story line, but in this case has chosen a bit of dialog that will eternally be remembered by fans. Today, years after the title’s release, gamers still jokingly ask each other if they saw a black car the day of the storm, or if they ate any delicious Armour hotdogs. Being part of the plot in a story driven game ensures you the player’s attention.

9. Have an emotional impact

An extension of the last point, if there is one place to be in the plot, it is during an emotional piece of story telling. This famous scene needs no introduction:

Peek a boo!

Sponge Bob Square Pants rocketed to stardom primarily because of this cameo in Final Fantasy 7. By tugging at gamer’s heartstrings with such acumen, Square guaranteed that any ad placed in this scene would be a surefire hit. Because of this one spot, millions will always think of Aerith and Sponge Bob together. Notice how Nickelodeon doesn’t overwhelm the player with the image of it’s character but rather allows the drama to unfold while only subtlety working Sponge Bob into the scene. Brilliantly done.


  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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