In a world where as many as 5,000 advertisements are seen daily, many marketers have been finding new ways to reach consumers that aren’t intrusive or bothersome, but are still impactful. We’ve already seen this done with product placement in TV shows and in movies, and it looks like the next area to explore is video games. Advergames, as they are called, are online/offline video games in which brands and products are interwoven into the game. The advantage of an advergame over product placement is that users often actually interact with the product in the game.
In an industry such as healthcare, advergames could be used in multiple ways. One example would be to use it with a healthcare insurance company. A primary goal of many healthcare insurance firms is to promote health and wellness to their members – so why not create an advergame that helps the user keep track of their overall health, including things like: what they eat, how often they eat or how often they exercise. To further entice users to play the advergame, an incentive such as a lower health insurance bill could be rewarded if the user shares the game with a certain amount of friends, checks in at healthy restaurants or goes to the gym X number of times per week.
Many advergames have been created because of the relatively low cost to make them, or simply because it’s the trendy thing to do. However, these advergames tend to not be very successful. If done right, such as Barclays Bank’s 56 Sage Street, games can be very impactful and not only increase brand awareness but also have a high ROI.