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Keeping it real
A new generation of marketers and game developers is transforming advergaming into real-time corporate advocacy.
December 3, 2009 11:45 by Reza Ayati
While advergaming has great potential, many companies are hesitant. The marketing strategy is often confused with in-game advertising, and is viewed as more applicable to certain lines of business such as retail. Companies also point out the lack of a standard definition of advergaming and believe that it will attract curious teenagers instead of a wide range of consumers.
Others limiting factors include the expense and long development period, the difficulty in finding suitable publishers, and the lack of an integrated monitoring or tracking system.
There are also concerns over consumer reaction and an incorrect representation of brands, as well as negative perceptions elicited by poorly created advergames. But the main deterrent is a lack of knowledge about what it really is and how much advertising it can deliver.
In response, a new generation of marketers and game developers are teaming up to promote this new genre of marketing. They are incorporating ad management, audience targeting and monitoring functions into the development mix in addition to engines that use networks to publish advergames and more closely relate game targets to product awareness and purchase.
Some developers offer game templates that make development faster, easier and more customizable. The main thrust is to harmonize the combined expertise of marketing, game designing and programming professionals to create less expensive and swiftly deployable, highly enjoyable advergames that send the corporate message across in a personal manner.
Reza Ayati is the co-creator and business development director of Hyzonia, an advergaming agency.
First seen in Gulf Marketing Review magazine.