In-Game Ads Elusive for Trackers

According to a panel at the Digital Marketing Conference, less than 10% of in-game advertising is trackable. Still, ad revenues are growing

The effectiveness of in-game advertising remains hard to gauge, but that's not stopping video game makers from expanding efforts in the area, industry executives said here Friday at the Digital Marketing Conference.

Ashley Swarz, senior director of creative strategy for Double Fusion, an independent provider of in-game ads, detailed a game slated for September that will include billboards for an unspecified "men's brand" within game scenes. An Internet address on the billboards will lead to a microsite for the brand, she said. Ads like this, she said, create a "direct response path" and enable "ongoing conversation between the gamer and the advertise(r)."

Swarz mentioned the "Midnight Club" series by Take-Two Interactive Software's Rockstar Games as an example of a game that utilizes in-game ads on billboards.

The panel estimated that less than 10% of in-game advertising is trackable today. "Measurement is extremely limited," said Brandin Berger, senior strategist at interactive ad agency Ogilvy Interactive Worldwide.

During an earnings presentation Thursday, Take-Two chief financial officer Karl Winters touted the financial promise of in-game advertising. His company already has begun to see "incremental revenue" from it and plans to ramp up its in-game ad sales for sports titles in particular, he said.

"Given the attractive demographics of sports video game players and the amount of time they spend playing video games, we expect advertising within our sports titles to increase significantly," Winters said.

Just how much money advertising can bring to the game-publishing industry remains to be seen. Take-Two, at least, said it will begin to break out revenue from online content and in-game advertising next quarter.

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

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