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.”