My Topics

10 November 2011

Brands Fare Better in Non-Violent Videogames

Keywords: experiment, games, North America, advertising, brand placement, gaming, internet, persuasion, resistance, technology, young adults,

Brands placed in a violent videogame are more forgettable, according to a Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking study. Also, women were distressed by brands associated with violent games.

Take aways

  • Brands in non-violent videogames are actually more memorable than the same brands in a violent game.
  • Ads aimed at women should avoid violence—for women, brands in violent games are linked to more distressing, unpleasant feelings.

Study information

  • The question?

    Does a violent context in video games affect the effectiveness of brand placement?

  • Who?

    68 young adults (mean age: 21 years)

  • Where?

    USA, Southwest

  • How?

    A professional game designer created a violent (including guns and blood) and a non-violent version (no guns and blood) of a first person shooter game. Both games had four prominently placed brand logos (Nintendo, EA, Sega, Konami). After playing for 2 minutes, players answered questions about their brand memory, brand attitudes, behavioral intentions and game experience.

Facts and findings

  • Players of the violent video game remembered less about the brands in the game than the players of the non-violent videogame. A possible explanation was that the violence absorbed the players’ attention so much that it overshadowed the brands.
  • Females who played the violent videogame had negative attitudes toward the brands in that game. A possible explanation was that the violence in the game created negative feelings for female players that became linked to the brands shown in the game. 
  • Remarkable fact: There were no differences between experienced and inexperienced gamers.