Research Group Questions Effectiveness of In-Game Advertising

Studies done on the general effectiveness of in-game advertising have generally shown that they are successful, but a recent investigation done by the behavioral research firm Bunnyfoot has gathered figures contradicting the widespread notion that in-game ads work.

Bunnyfoot conducted experiments in which the "sponsor fixation index" (SFI) was measured. SFI ratings indicate the level of involvement and acceptance of in-game events and actions during gameplay; in the case of this study, the effectiveness and influence of in-game ads on gamers.

Initial data for the study indicated that while games such as NBA Live and Smackdown vs. Raw had high SFI scores, other games such as Project Gotham Racing 3 posted remarkably low numbers–zero percent in each of the SFI parameters. According to Bunnyfoot, the results are proof that there is a "significantly poor level of engagement with consumers," and that the ads were "failing to influence the consumer in any significant way".

Alison Walton of Bunnyfoot concluded that, "These results reflect the industry’s concern relating to brand value and return on investment. Understanding consumer interaction at a deeper level of analysis allows us to measure the value of advertising investment."

Bunnyfoot’s research contradicts studies conducted by Nielson Media Research and others earlier this year. The investigation done by Nielson polled 900 gamers for responses on playing the game London Taxi. After the figures were tallied, an impressive 60% of the participants reported that they were more aware of a certain product that was featured from within the game.

If further studies by other firms substantiate the initial findings of the Bunnyfoot studies, this could cause a serious deficit of cash flow for game publishers counting on additional revenue from in-game ads.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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