Research: In-Game Ads for Action Games a Bad Idea

August 31, 2011 -

New research from the University of Texas notes that players have trouble remembering brands advertised in action games with violent content. According to the new study, ads that appear in violent games actually may have a negative effect on the brand being sold with those playing the violent games they are being advertised in.

The study, authored by doctoral candidate Seung-Chul Yoo and assistant professor Jorge Pena, will appear in the July/August issue of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. The study's main claim to fame is that it is the first to link "increased video game violence and impaired in-game ad effectiveness." Fair enough.

Researchers divided participants into two groups: the first group explored a number of rooms that included blood spots on the floor, while being attacked by computer-controlled characters wielding weapons. The second group was presented with a nonviolent take of the same setting, with players walking through rooms with water spots and encountering empty-handed AI-controlled NPCs. In the violent version of the scenario, participants were wielding weapons and being shot at.

After the demo ended, participants were asked to recall the brands advertised within the test world and offer their perceptions of those brands in that context. Those who participated in the violent scenario had a significantly lower score when it came to brand recollection and perception. Women had a more negative response to the violent content than men. Researchers believe the reason for this is because women have less experience with violent games than men who play them more frequently.

Yoo and Pena came to the conclusion that violent content distracts attention away from ads, and creates a subconscious association between the negative imagery and the brand being advertised. They said that a similar effect has been documented with television.

"Advertising campaign planners would do better to spend their budget on ads embedded in nonviolent video games than in ads placed within violent video games; particularly if they are trying to reach women," said Yoo.

Or maybe advertisers should be smart in the way they place ads in games where there is a lot of action, violence and gore.

Source: GameSpot


Comments

Re: Research: In-Game Ads for Action Games a Bad Idea

as staded before in most action games or fast paced games one does not have time and intrest to look at ads the only place ads in such games would have any real effect is if they put them upp when loading

Antisthenes - Observe your enemies, for they first find out your faults.

Re: Research: In-Game Ads for Action Games a Bad Idea

"Or maybe advertisers should be smart in the way they place ads in games where there is a lot of action, violence and gore."

What about flashing an ad every time you get 50 xp for a kill in Call of Duty? That would certainly work from a Pavlovian conditioning perspective...

Re: Research: In-Game Ads for Action Games a Bad Idea

Surprise, surprise.  I'm way too busy shooting peoples' heads off to pay attention to this.

Re: Research: In-Game Ads for Action Games a Bad Idea

Yet another study showing the bleeding obvious. I'll bet if they had players frenziedly dodging cuddly panda toys, they would find that cuddly panda toys make people hate ads too. The fact is, if you're wandering aimlessly through otherwise boring rooms, you're going to want to look at the ads.

But I guess at least this study will tend to make gullible game developers put fewer ads in their action games. You gotta love that.

Re: Research: In-Game Ads for Action Games a Bad Idea

All you need to do to reverse the study is to say something like "Get your revenge with Mountain Dew" during the death screen.  Bad ads are bad ads.  Good ads are good ads and that means well targeted and done at the right time.

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Research: In-Game Ads for Action Games a Bad Idea

I very much doubt it was the violence; my money's on the frenetic action being the culprit.  $20 says you'd find the same result in any fast-paced game (violent or not) where success is dependent on the player paying attention to the action.

Tell you what.  Have a group play Tetris on high difficulty and see if they notice an ad on the border.

Or here's another: have a group play Rock Band or Guitar Hero and see if they notice any ads in the background.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Research: In-Game Ads for Action Games a Bad Idea

Seems to me like this is a pretty weak study because even in most non-violent games, you're not just strolling casually through a room full of puddles. The need to not get shot explains why the players don't remember the adds and the fact they might be distracting could explain the antipathy toward the brands after the fact.

If you go crazy then I will still call you Superman.

Re: Research: In-Game Ads for Action Games a Bad Idea

I remember playing Battlefield: 2142, and the hullaballoo surrounding its in-game programming that checked to see what ads you were looking at while in-game.

Thing was... I was the team dropship pilot. EVERYONE attacks the dropship. NOBODY looks at the in-game ads, least of all me.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Which group is more ethically challenged?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Mattsworknamejob they wanted without the unions getting involved. The problem is, it has some unexpected side effects, like the ones Info mentioned07/07/2015 - 8:49am
MattsworknameThe problem being, right to work states exsist specificly as a counter to Unions, as the last 20 or so years have shown, the unions have been doing this countries economoy NO favors. The right to work states came into being to allow people to work any07/07/2015 - 8:49am
Infophile(cont'd) discriminatory. This can only be done for protected classes which are outlined in law (race, sex, religion, ethnicity everywhere, sexual orientation in some states). So, a gay person could be fired because they're gay and have no recourse there.07/07/2015 - 7:27am
Infophile@Goth: See here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/sexuality/firedforbeinggay.asp for a good discussion on it. Basically, the problem is that in the US, most states allow at will firing, and it's the burden of the fired person to prove the firing was ...07/07/2015 - 7:25am
Goth_SkunkAssuming that's true, then that is a fight worth fighting for.07/07/2015 - 6:58am
Yuuri@ Goth_Skunk, in many states being gay is not a protected status akin to say race or religion. It's also in the "Right to work" states. Those are the states where one can be fired for any reason (provided it isn't a "protected" one.)07/07/2015 - 6:07am
Goth_Skunkregarded as a beacon of liberty and freedom that is the envy of the world, would not have across-the-board Human Rights laws that don't at the very least equal those of my own country.07/07/2015 - 5:47am
Goth_SkunkI find that hard to believe, Infophile. I have difficulty believing employers can *still* fire people for being gay. I would need to see some evidence that this is fact, because as a Canadian, I can't believe that the United States,07/07/2015 - 5:46am
InfophileFor that matter, even women don't yet have full legal equality with men. The US government still places limits on the positions women can serve in the military. And that's just the legal side of things - the "culture wars" are more than just laws.07/07/2015 - 5:43am
InfophileAnd that's just LGB issues. Get ready for an incoming battle on rights for trans* people. And then after that, a battle for poly people.07/07/2015 - 5:41am
InfophileA battle's been won. In many states employers can still fire people for being gay. And in many states, parents can force their children into reparative therapy to try to "fix" being gay. Those battles still need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:40am
Goth_Skunkand now they've switched to battles that don't need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:37am
Goth_SkunkIn my opinion, it was the final legal hurdle denying homosexual couples final and recognized statuses as eligible spouses. But even though this war's been won, some people are still too keen to keep fighting battles,07/07/2015 - 5:28am
Goth_SkunkAnd it's a trend I don't mind seeing continue. Same-sex marriage was at long-last made definitively legal by SCOTUS, and it's about time. I'm glad it's finally happened, as it was desperately needed.07/07/2015 - 5:25am
Infophile(cont'd) It started long before that. Perhaps the American Civil War comes to mind?)07/07/2015 - 3:59am
InfophileOn Goth's linked article: Historically speaking, there may have been cycles, but remember that the left has steadily gained ground. Is there a good reason to expect that to be different this time? (Oh, and no, Culture War 1.0 wasn't with the Baby Boomers.07/07/2015 - 3:59am
Goth_Skunk"THIS VIDEO IS PROBLEMATIC:" About Social Justice Warriors, by J.T. Sexkik. Excellent video. http://ow.ly/PgGnD07/07/2015 - 3:22am
Goth_Skunkand repeats the cycle, over and over. Presently, the far left culture is overreaching, and is about to lose their stranglehold on power.07/06/2015 - 10:01pm
Goth_SkunkAs far back as the 60's, according to the writers. The culture war moves in cycles from one generation to the next. The left rebels against the right, takes over, overreaches to the point where the right rebels right back, takes over, overreaches ->07/06/2015 - 9:58pm
MattsworknameGoth, what "Comming overreach" , the media and goverment have been overreaching for years07/06/2015 - 9:34pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician