Posted October 7, 2008 9:18 am by with 21 comments

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File this in the “science confirms common sense” folder — although this may be a surprise to many ad agencies.

University of Missouri researchers found that advergames that have a thematic connection to the brand work better to create a relationship with the consumer.

In the study, participants played two advergames, both with either high or low thematic connection to the brand. … For example, the travel company Orbitz designed a game, “Find Your Hotel,” that has a theme related to the company’s travel services. Another Orbitz game, “Paper Football,” does not have a thematic connection to the company’s services.

Kevin Wise, assistant professor of strategic communication in the MU School of Journalism, conducted the study. He found that whether the game had a direct connection to the brand attributes had no influence on whether it was fun to play. But the fun of play was only transferred to the brand when that connection was inherent to the game.

Agency folk love to talk about “interaction with the brand” as the key benefit of advergames. This study shows the importance of designing that interaction carefully. Plastering the brand on the interface may not be enough.

  • This is a good study; I wonder if you can relate the results to non-game content, such as an interactive application like jib-jab.

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  • Never call it “advergaming”. That’s like saying “adverviewing”.

    It’s gamevertising: gaming first, advertising second.

    Mike Abundo’s last blog post..The Akamai Globe

  • No matter what it is called, this is brilliant original promotion. Wonder why more is not known about it.

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  • @Mike – it looks like the masses disagree with you: 😉

  • Susan Kuchinskas

    Mike, I agree with you about the strategic position, but Andy is right, for better or worse, it’s long been known as “advergaming.”

    Admaven, I would be this holds true for other kinds of content, but we’ll have to wait for some scientist to prove it.

  • hah. advergames. I’ve never heard them called that before… maybe I’m just behind the times in marketing… but thats an awesome name.

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  • That’s not too surprising.

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  • PS3

    I’d not heard of it before but that is quite a neat concept. Targetting should be fairly easy given that you are likely to know the demographics of the people buying/using the games.

    And I have to say it, Susan, awesome glasses, love them!

  • Susan Kuchinskas

    The glasses make it easy to recognize me at trade shows. Sort of visual branding. It really works!

    Thanks for the props on them!

  • That was an interesting read. Thanks for sharing!

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  • That is very interesting, Im sure it will be a great way to advertise, and plus the person won’t even know hes looking at a brand, he will be having fun playing the game

  • Don’t underestimate gamers’ intelligence, Zurpit. We know. As long as it fits into the game, we won’t care.

    Mike Abundo’s last blog post..The Akamai Globe

  • Great concept, even though I hadn’t heard of it before. I guess more and more advertising platforms are being discovered each day.

    Marketing is a very creative and ever-changing industry, so new concepts are brought up everyday.

  • Marketing is a very creative and ever-changing industry, so new concepts are brought up everyday.

    Gamevertising is hardly “new”. Google just launced AdSense for Games. Google doesn’t extend AdSense onto untested platforms.

    Mike Abundo’s last blog post..AdSense for Games

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  • I would say that this seems commonsense. The fun factor is important, but to link that fun factor to your brand there much be some form of relevance people can relate to.

  • This is very common, in most games their is some sort of sponsor who gets advertising in the game, especially online ones!

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  • PS3

    @Susan – nothing to do with helping you to see better then 🙂

  • @PS3 … oh, yeah, they help with that, too!

  • Then what would be fun enough?

  • I’ve never heard them called that before.