What makes gamers such an ideal audience for product placement?
Gamers are a loyal audience. Most play video games consistently and frequently. As a favored method of relaxing after a busy or stressful day, game fans spend an average of six to eight hours a week playing.
Gamers are a captive audience. When engaged in a game, gamers are focused intently on what they're doing for extended periods of time. The playing experience is repetitive and predictable in a pleasurable way, and the constant and repeated exposures make it more likely that your ad will make a lasting impression on the player.
Game players are receptive to advertising messages. Gamers are relaxed and having fun while they play, but at the same time, they are alert and intently focused on their actions. This makes them psychologically receptive to your messages, and they will subconsciously associate your product with the good time they're having.
In-game product or brand placement is an effective advertising method. People these days are more and more likely to skip past the ads in newspapers and magazines, download special software to eliminate online pop-ups, and even use technologies like TiVo to skip past TV commercials.
But the gamer, having fun playing, will integrate your ad with the environment of the game and the experience overall. If the ads are placed in the game in a natural way, the gamer doesn't perceive them as a distraction—more likely, he'll look at them as an added touch of realism since products and advertising are a constant part of our everyday landscape anyway. With annual sales of game software and hardware at US$ 10 billion a year in the US, this market is only going to expand.