Advergames for brands winning over consumers

LONDON - Research conducted by Yahoo!, OMD Insight and interactive design agency Skive has revealed that online games developed specifically to promote products, or 'advergames', are becoming increasingly effective at delivering positive brand recognition.

The study, named 'Game On' questioned 6,500 UK adults online. Users were asked to evaluate one of nine online games, branded or unbranded, and complete a questionnaire covering topics including brand awareness and gaming behaviour.

Laura Bellamy, OMD planner, said: "Increasingly, consumers are looking for content to be drawn into rather than be targeted to directly and advergames will provide us with that opportunity."

Cranberry juice brand Ocean Spray and a fictitious brand Juice Boost were used in the study.

Of those who enjoyed playing an advergame featuring the bogus brand, 45% said that they would buy the brand in the future, compared with just 12% of non-players.

Advergames are clearly gaining popularity. The study also found that a third of adults online have played an advergame before, with 31% directly influenced to either register with the brand or make a purchase.

The research also found that young people think a brand gains credibility if it promotes itself through an advergame.

Ben Palmer, commercial director at Skive, said: "If you give people content through a game that's entertaining and enjoyable you've got their attention, they are fully engaged."

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