Video game marketing - Winning Game
We just need to be brave and follow their lead into digital media. The potential benefits to all advertisers are hard to resist at a time when 24 percent of all adult media consumption is online, 69 percent of all Scots are online and 68 percent of young men aged 12-17 have a games’ console in their home.
December was the first time that Scottish online console gamers were specifically targeted with relevant advertising. Mediacom Edinburgh’s Xbox Live campaign for the Scottish Government’s drink-drive initiative communicated young men’s key fear of losing their licence through drink-driving whilst they gamed. The advertising appeared in games such as EA’s Need for Speed Pro Speed and Need for Speed Carbon and Microsoft Games Studio’s Project Gotham Racing. The campaign is a demonstration of new ways to engage young people through digital channels.
The campaign allowed the Scottish Government to directly reach Xbox Live’s core 18-24 year old Scottish user base (Nielsen, 2007). This was made possible by Microsoft’s massive use of IP (Internet Protocol) targeting. This is the first time in the UK that IP targeting has been used to regionalise an in-game advertising campaign. This has created a potent new digital channel viable to all regional advertisers.
Research has shown that in-game environments are highly involving with players’ virtual lives often dependent on their alertness and awareness of their surroundings. This heightened sense of awareness has been shown to deliver very high scoring in advertising effectiveness studies. The campaign’s effectiveness will be evaluated by a bespoke research programme involving the creation of a Scottish Xbox gamer panel.
An interesting benefit of this type of activity is the PR generated. As recent arrests have sadly shown it’s not just young males who drink-drive.
Beyond the conventional
The PR took the drink-drive message to a much wider audience from the Scottish press to Radio 4’s Today programme and the BBC website – places that could not be reached by paid for media. In a few days there were hundreds of links on Google. Michael McDonnell, director of Road Safety Scotland says: “We need to look beyond the conventional methods of addressing key road safety issues which affect young people. The positioning of the drink-drive message in online console games will serve as an ever-present reminder about the consequences of drink-driving.”
Article by: Iain McNeill, digital associate director of MediaCom Edinburgh