The Secret (and Science) to Advergaming

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Researchers at the University of Missouri's PRIME Lab examined the impact of advergame themes on consumer attitudes toward advergames and brands. The study revealed that consumers expressed strong positive relationships toward brands when they played advergames with strong thematic connections to the brands. It's nice to see some validation in this area. WM discussed an educational advergame from VISI last week (see how I remembered that - nice, right?) and I've been on a kick all week about advergaming.

In the study, participants played two advergames, both with either high or low thematic connection to the brand. Thematic connection refers to the degree that the object of the advergame relates to the brand’s product or services. 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.

While games that related to the brand were not inherently more enjoyable than unrelated games, the transfer of enjoyment from the game to a positive attitude toward the brand was stronger when the game and brand were thematically related,” said Kevin Wise, assistant professor of strategic communication in the MU School of Journalism. “Game enjoyment led to positive attitude toward the brand when a high thematic connection existed between the game and the brand. This was not the case when the participants played games with a low thematic connection.

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caddyalan 10-07-2008 4:08 PM

From my experience, only a certain segment of video game fans don't mind "advergames." I get the impression that people who take the time to search the name of a game, and then look through the first 10-20 results, are relatively critical. They're more interested in a complex experience than a quick bit of entertainment.

John Fitzsimmons 10-08-2008 7:34 AM

From a gamers perspective it's all about an advert being appropriate and not conflicting with the 'game world'. For example, a T-Mobile ad in a D&D type game would break the continuity of the game.

So I think what you will see is an increasing number of game worlds designed with more modern settings to fit current products.

It will be funny years from now to play old games where there are products that no one uses any more. It'll be retro. ;P

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