Automotive Industry in Need for Speed
According to Robin Ritchie, from Carleton University and Kyle Murray, University of Alberta School of Business, the road to salvation might pass through your computers or gaming consoles. Together they devised a series of tests that led them to the conclusion that advertising a car in the virtual world of computer games can increase sales. The test was simple. People were separated into two groups and given different tasks. While one person played Project Gotham Racing on a Xbox360, another one had to watch him/her play. And what a torture it must have been!
Test results showed that people that played the game enjoyed more the experience than the ones who watched... Oh really? Did we need a test to prove that? Anyways, the two “scientists” were told by those who played the game that they were 50 percent more likely to buy a car that is present in the game.
Let's look at some facts. According to theesa.com, statistics show the average gamer is 35 years of age and has been playing for at least 13 years. Out of these, twenty six percent are above the age of 50 and the percentage is expected to grow because of nursing homes and senior centers across the nation now incorporating video games into their activities. Adult women represent 33 percent of gaming population, while 18 percent are boys under 17. In 2008, the genre with the greatest growth was "Family Entertainment," which grew 110 percent over the previous year.
We agree in-game advertising helps, but we also think this does not apply to the automotive industry. I know of no-one who bought a car after taking it for an in-game spin. I never heard of someone buying a Humvee because of how well it splashes pedestrians all over the place in Grand Theft Auto. And even if they exist, their numbers are to small to matter. Most gamers are either too old or too young to decide to buy a car after they've raced it with no regards to the law in Need for Speed. “50 percent more likely to buy a car that is present in the game” is not "I will buy a car because it is the game”.
Advertise in-game! Create life-like cars for us to race! It helps to add realism. But remember, advertising a car is not the same as advertising a Coke. We all feel thirsty and most will go buy a drink because an avatar was wearing an add on its shirt. Try and do that with a Mustang...