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20 October 2011

Custom Interactive Options Give Brands More Bang

Keywords: computer, games, kids, marketing, media, Eastern Asia, advergames, advertising, brand placement, experiment, gaming, interactive media, unconscious effects,

How do you make a successful advertisement in a kids’ video game? Give kids interactive options, according to a Journal of Consumer Psychology study. Children who played interactive versions of a Nike-branded FIFA soccer video game picked the Nike brand more often than those who played a non-interactive version. In other words, custom interaction with a brand expands its placement power.

Take aways

  • Interactivity greatly enhances effectiveness of brand placement, especially in situations where children have to rely on their memory to make their choice.
  • Interactivity is especially important for consumer behavior outside the retail environment, for example when making wish lists.
  • Children were being influenced without being aware of the brand placement.
  • Awareness and understanding of such marketing techniques could be improved, for example with forewarnings and media education.

Study information

  • The question?

    Does interactivity in a branded video game influence brand placement effectiveness?

  • Who?

    207 9- to 10-year-olds

  • Where?

    Shanghai, China

  • How?

    In the school computer lab, children played different versions of a FIFA soccer game: an interactive version, where children could choose the shirt for their team and a non-interactive one where they could not. Nike logos were present in half of both the interactive and non-interactive games. After playing the game, half of the kids were asked to spontaneously write down the brand they would pick. The other half picked from a list of brands

Facts and findings

  • The children who played the interactive game with Nike logos picked Nike most often.
  • The kids who played the interactive version of the game were the most likely to write down Nike spontaneously.
  • When kids were given a list of brands to choose from, playing an interactive version did not affect the brands they picked..
  • Only 10 to 24% of the children remembered seeing the Nike logo in the game. So most of the kids didn’t even realize the advertisements.
  • Fun Fact: after playing the game, 97% of the children said they were in a good mood and 90% said they were very excited.