ARTICLES | July 23rd, 2007
Double Fusion Releases In-Game Advertising Study

Double Fusion has released a landmark study which offers the first wide-scale positive proof of the efficacy of video game advertising, outlines ad effectiveness measurements and takes a step toward developing an in-game ad rating system. The research, designed with and conducted by new media research firm Interpret LLC, combined both qualitative and quantitative methods and biometric testing to analyze advertising impact across 36 dynamic and integrated in-game and around-game ad placements across 10 top-selling games from a variety of genres.

The information and education gained from this research will help further establish gaming as the most accountable branding medium that reaches the most critical buying demographics, and takes a step towards defining ratings that will allow gaming and its benefits as a medium to be directly compared to other digital and electronic media. The Double Fusion/Interpret study demonstrates the leading video game advertising firm?s commitment to investing in the development of the medium, and to ensuring that advertisers, their agencies and game companies are poised to take best advantage of it.

?Double Fusion?s ad effectiveness research validates what many have assumed but never proven – that gamers not only notice ads in games but are impacted by them positively, increasing their intent to buy,? Jonathan Epstein, president and CEO, Double Fusion said. ?While we?ve demonstrated many times the specific impact of individual ad campaigns, this is the first study which looks at the medium across a wide range of titles and ad formats. By understanding what drives advertising efficacy and engagement, and how to optimize it, we provide meaningful ammunition for advertising executives to justify their investment in the video games medium.?

The research tested and determined the most significant factors which influence how gamers notice ads in games, including the type and depth of the ad placement, the type of the game, ad size, ad placement relative to the game camera, screen clutter, brand relevance to the audience, and other variables.

Key findings included the following learnings:

75% of gamers engage with at least one ad per minute across most, but not all, game types; 81% of gamers engage at least every other minute

Less-cluttered ads are three times as effective at garnering gamer notice than ads that are either cluttered or within cluttered environments

While both contribute positively to ad engagement, placement of the ad in the primary camera plane (eye-level) is more important than large size ads

Not all ads are created equal ? dynamic billboards, around-game interstitials, sponsorships, and interactive product placements all offer different levels of user engagement and pervasiveness in the game

The data obtained from the study forms the basis for a new view on gaming measurement, which will allow gaming media plans to be constructed in a way that is both comparable and additive to other media plans

The information and education gained from this research will help inform the game development and publishing community in the steps they should take to ensure the most effective and noticeable advertising placements within their games, a step that ultimately will provide the greatest potential for revenues in those games. In tandem, the results from Double Fusion?s research will provide guidelines for advertisers when developing their creative.

Another critical finding is the importance of relevance, which can include brand relevance and ad creative to the audience as well as creative relevance to the game, in the case of in-game elements.

?The program we conducted for Double Fusion measures actual viewing and gives precise information on how to plan for ad units, how to design ads, and what to expect in terms of gamer engagement, commented Michael Dowling, CEO, Interpret. ?This research is leading to an industry-standard ad rating, which will allow buyers to guarantee deliveries and in turn ease hesitation advertisers have with all new media. As a result, this should help catapult in-game advertising into a more prioritized and accountable ad medium for marketers.?

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