Study Shows EA Sports In-Game Advertising Is Effective

by Matt Helgeson on Sep 14, 2010 at 07:02 AM

Love it or hate it, in-game advertising is here to stay. A new study by the Nielsen Company suggests that it's becoming a very effective way to reach consumers.

The study centered around in-game advertising for Gatorade in the EA titles NHL 09, NHL 10, NBA Live 07, NBA Live 08, NBA Live 09, and NBA Street Homecourt. The research was conducted in more than 100,000 households who are part of Nielsen's Homescan service, a program where consumers scan in the barcodes of products they buy into a special reader that reports back to Nielsen.

The study compared Gatorade buying habits of the households that bought at least one of those games as compared to households that did not. The results showed a 24 percent on average increase in Gatorade purchases after the purchase of one of the EA titles in question. This provided Gatorade with a return on investment of $3.11 per dollar spent on EA in-game advertising.

As expected, EA is pleased. "Nielsen’s study is a milestone for interactive entertainment,” said Elizabeth Harz, senior vice president of global media sales at EA. “For the first time, advertisers are able to link the value of their in-game marketing or sponsorship to actual sales. Now brands can feel confident adding gaming as a core media channel for their advertising.”

It should be noted that EA commissioned this study on behalf of Gatorade. Either way, it does suggest that in-game advertising a powerful tool for marketers.