Nielsen: Video game ads are unusually effective

As if the television industry didn’t have enough to worry
about with video games stealing eyeballs away from its programming, now it
might have to worry about advertisers jumping ship as well.

A new study from Nielsen of six EA Sports titles found that
in-game ads for Gatorade boosted household dollars spent on the sports drink by
24 percent.

That’s a phenomenal response over a long period (games as
far back as 2007 were included in the study). And it makes a strong case for
games as a strong promotional vehicle for evergreen products.

While some titles rotate in ads for time-sensitive products,
like movie or music releases, in-game isn’t really well-suited to benefit those
advertisers. But more permanent venues, like the Xbox 360 dashboard and
PlayStation Home, offer a viable alternative.

Hollywood’s doing some experimenting with the industry, too.
James Cameron ran a campaign for “Avatar” on the Xbox Live dashboard prior to
the release of last year’s blockbuster. And J.J. Abrams did the same with his
remake of “Star Trek”. Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox and TV’s The
History Channel have also advertised on the service.