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Good Design for In-Game Advertising

Good Design for In-Game Advertising

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Good Design for In-Game Advertising

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  1. Good Design for In-Game Advertising

  2. Who am I? Ian Bogost Persuasive Games Georgia Tech Advertising - Game Development - Research

  3. Good Design for Whom? • Brands? • Advertisers? • Game Developers? • Players? • Game Publishers? • Someone else?

  4. Good Design for Whom? • Brands • Advertisers • Game Developers • Players • Game Publishers • Someone else

  5. Flavors of Advertising + Games • Licensing & Sponsorship • Product Placement • In-Game Ads • Advergames • Weird Edge-Case Things

  6. Licensing & Sponsorship

  7. Licensing & Sponsorship

  8. Product Placement

  9. In-Game Ads

  10. Advergames - “Adverworlds”

  11. Weird Edge-Case Things

  12. How Advertisers Work • Strategic development of a campaign • “Creative” to support the campaign • Media Buys to execute the campaign

  13. How Advertisers Work • Strategic development of a campaign • “Creative” to support the campaign • Media Buys to execute the campaign

  14. How Advertisers Work • Budget for a multiyear media plan • Pitch that new/renewal plan • Create the “creative” • Buy the media

  15. How Advertisers Work • Budget for a multiyear media plan • Pitch that new/renewal plan • Create the “creative” • Buy the media

  16. Media Buying • The majority of the budget! • The profit center! • 15% markup • Maximize produced “creative” across media

  17. How Game Developers Work • Pitch a game or find funding • Make the game • Cut some kind of publisher deal • Wait for royalties / rev share

  18. Problem • Advertisers want to • Reasonably minimize creative (cost center) • Maximize media buys (profit center) • Perception of large, desirable populations • So we get…

  19. Problem • Games seen as a target medium for existing media buys • By and large, advertisers aren’t looking at the unique properties of the videogame medium • Publishers aren’t helping

  20. This may seem strange… • Advertisers are voracious for new advertising • They take advantage of media in novel and sophisticated ways

  21. Maybe not so strange… • All these examples rely on • visual representation • generic processes for imprinting surfaces • massive, cheap, anonymous distribution

  22. We need to rethink advertising for games • Take into account • history and approaches to advertising • unique properties of videogames

  23. Absurdly brief notes on kinds of advertising • Demonstrative • Illustrative • Associative

  24. Demonstrative • Direct information • Communicates tangibles • Reveals the use of a product or service

  25. Illustrative • Passive information • Can communicates tangibles and intangibles • Illustrates the existence of products and services

  26. Associative • Indirect information • Communicates intangibles • Correlates products or services with activities and lifestyles

  27. Currently • Lots of illustrative games

  28. Currently • Lots of associative games

  29. Even though • Demonstrative advertising most naturally dovetails with the properties of games: • Games create procedural representations of things • For ads, procedural representations of products and services

  30. Not National Geographic • Demonsrative approaches that use the world-building and fictional properties of games to provide lifestyle context • Somewhere between demonstrative and associative advertising • Breeds critical evaluate the product or service on the part of the player

  31. Examples!

  32. Good Design for Developers • Visual representations of products and services • Ambiguous relationship with gameplay • Integrate products through anonymous media buys • Little to no customization

  33. Good Design for Advertisers • Fixed, one-off • That enhance or found general gameplay • Craft subtle and unique programmatic integration of products into gameplay

  34. What does this mean? • In-game advertising represents a conflict between game developers and advertisers • Advertisers don’t have literacy in the medium • Is there a precedent for this?

  35. Product Placement in Film • Carefully, individually designed integration • One-off development • Brands, studio, and filmmakers work hand in hand

  36. Issues • Exposure, cost, benefit much higher in film • Studios :: Publishers • Are publishers going to do this? • Will they share the financial benefit? • The in-game ad network model is simpler

  37. Some Options • Use sponsorship / licensing as a road to funding and unique design ops • Build an in-house team for smart in-game placements in traditional commercial games • Architect in-game network placement into an appropriate design