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.

 
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Matthew Wilson@mech no just she, nor her co workers have not. she never said it is not real.04/24/2015 - 8:58pm
MechaCrashWas she saying "I haven't experienced it," or "I haven't experienced it therefore it does not exist"?04/24/2015 - 8:31pm
ZippyDSMleeoy the skyrim paid mod thing is going over well. My 2 lints, I would not mind if Skyrim had a full SDK and not a crappy lil editor....04/24/2015 - 6:46pm
Andrew EisenWell, that is indeed crappy and nonsensical.04/24/2015 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonshe got attacked for saying that she personaly has not experienced the harassment some other female devs have, and she got acused of defending GG and ignoring harassment. she ended up getting dog piled because of it.04/24/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenFine but do you recall ANY details at all?04/24/2015 - 3:38pm
Matthew Wilsonit was several weeks ago now, and I will admit to not saving it.04/24/2015 - 3:36pm
Andrew EisenAttacked HOW and by WHOM for not writing off WHO as evil? Do you have a link or anything?04/24/2015 - 3:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthat is the whole point she was not attacked for saying anything. she was attacked for being willing to debate in the first place, and not just write them off as evil.04/24/2015 - 3:28pm
Andrew EisenI know there's not a lot of room in the Shout box but goodness you're being vague.04/24/2015 - 3:26pm
Andrew EisenGreat, but that STILL doesn't tell me what she said, why she was attacked (or what the attack was) or what "standard line" she's following. Details, man. Details!04/24/2015 - 3:25pm
Andrew EisenOr what the heck Nina White (someone else I've never heard of) is actually referring to.04/24/2015 - 3:24pm
Matthew Wilson@AE she is a game dev. she used to do stuff with hormanix and now works with https://outact.net/#!/?page_id=2 she will often engage and debate both side.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew Eisen...following.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew EisenYou mean focus on stopping the bad behavior of those who are doing it rather than condemning all the people that associate with them? Great. But I still don't know who Emma Clarkson is, what she said, why she was attacked or what "standard line" she's04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Matthew WilsonI think people are coming around to the idea that divide and conqueror might be a more effective method than scorched earth. scorched earth has been tried for 8 months with almost no progress, so its time try something new.04/24/2015 - 3:20pm
Andrew EisenCan you elaborate? I don't know who that is.04/24/2015 - 3:17pm
Matthew Wilsonas I understand just general difference of opinion. for example I have seen Emma Clarkson get attacked becouse she chooses to engage and debate, instead of just fallow the standard line.04/24/2015 - 3:13pm
Andrew Eisen'Cause if it's the latter, that kind of stuff should be shamed.04/24/2015 - 2:47pm
Andrew EisenAnd shaming women for being women or having an opinion or shaming specific women for exhibiting particularly repugnant attitudes or behaviors?04/24/2015 - 2:47pm
 

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