Using games to sell stuff has been around almost as long as there have been games. What are movie tie-in games if not adverts for the movie in question? There is also the question of product placement in games, it happens just as often as it does in movies. Advertising in games is beginning to become something which we all recognize as advertising.
Xbox Live Achievements are to get their own sponsorship, with EA (surprise surprise) leading the way. Their upcoming NCAA 08 Football lists as some of its achievements the “Old Spice Red Zone Perfection” and “Pontiac 4th Quarter Comeback”. The achievement’s graphic, which will appear next to it in your XBL profile, is basically the logo of the company sponsoring it, every time someone sees your profile with that achievement on it the sponsor gets free exposure. OK its not free, but you can be certain that you aren’t getting paid for it.
Sony has announced a partnership with Nielsen, the company that produces TV show ratings in the US, to measure the effectiveness of in game advertising on PSN.
“SCEA will provide Nielsen with access to its game network traffic and other data from the PS3 and PlayStation Network, including the upcoming PlayStation Home. Using this information, Nielsen will analyze and benchmark the data to create new measurements for calculating the reach, frequency and effectiveness of game network advertising “for the benefit of the entire industry.”