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

Will Target Australia sell the next GTA game upon its release?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MattsworknameAndrew: Im not sure Im the one to be explainging this really, Im not sure im articulating it right07/31/2015 - 9:20pm
Big PermI got to around 30 in tera before giving up. I liked my sorc, but I need better motivation to grind07/31/2015 - 9:14pm
Andrew EisenAh TERA. I made a video about TERA censorship. One of my more popular ones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO26h9etTbw07/31/2015 - 8:52pm
Goth_SkunkI've been playing TERA all day. Just took a break to barbecue some chicken. :3 And Andrew: I'm using Cabal to suggest a group of people secretly united in some private views or interests within a community.07/31/2015 - 8:50pm
Andrew EisenI'd love to but I'm at work. But once I get home... I'm going to work out for a while. But after THAT... I'm going to shower. Then eat. Then prep tomorrow's meals. And THEN play video games! YEAH!!!07/31/2015 - 8:38pm
Big Permlol, ya'll are still going back and forth? Take a break and play some video games07/31/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenGoth - Are you using "cabal" to describe a group of writers or to suggest they all worked together in secret to publish those articles?07/31/2015 - 8:30pm
Andrew EisenMatt - That doesn't disprove the general premise of the various articles as that's not what they're about. Unless, again, he's talking about a different batch of articles.07/31/2015 - 8:28pm
Goth_SkunkThe difference between one voice being offensive and a cabal being offensive.07/31/2015 - 8:22pm
MechaCrashFunny how "you're offended, so what" flips into "we're offended, retract everything and apologize."07/31/2015 - 8:18pm
MattsworknameIts not the only argument he points out ,its just one of them07/31/2015 - 8:06pm
Mattsworknameidea that Gamers as the articel puts it, the "White male sterotype are dead, essentially was compltely false07/31/2015 - 8:03pm
MattsworknameThe video actually shows that the shaw study actually disproves the Premise of the artices by showing that the "Gamer" dentity, has no actual meaning to thsoe who use it other then "I play games", its not connected to race, gender, or orientation. So the07/31/2015 - 8:01pm
Andrew EisenWith the exception of a brief mention in Golding's Tumbr post. Even so, he's talking about gamer identity, not desire for diversity in gaming.07/31/2015 - 7:50pm
Andrew EisenI'm not calling his examination of the Shaw study into question. I haven't read the study nor seen his video. All I'm saying is that it has nothing to do with the Gamers Are Dead articles I've been referencing for the last year.07/31/2015 - 7:49pm
MattsworknameSome times sargon just goes off on tangents but in this case he was pretty direct and went through teh research in detail, did the whole first video about the shaw study itself07/31/2015 - 7:45pm
Andrew EisenWell, unless it's disingenuous twaddle but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.07/31/2015 - 7:42pm
Andrew EisenGotta be. The argument you describe makes no sense otherwise.07/31/2015 - 7:40pm
MattsworknameThat is a possibility, they looked like offical articles but its possible they are different from the articles you mentoin07/31/2015 - 7:28pm
Andrew EisenNot unless he's referring to a completely different set of Gamers Are Dead articles.07/31/2015 - 7:19pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician