Marketers have long known the hidden business potential in the ever-growing online gaming market. It is known that millions of people around the world play different types of games online. The wide range of games available, from single-player trivia, puzzles, sports, and casino games to classic multiplayer games like backgammon and chess, and massive role-playing and strategy games like World of Warcraft and Lineage, appeals to a wide variety of players.
Recent surveys show that online gaming is not the exclusive territory of 25-35 year old men. More than 50% of women of the same age play online games on a regular basis, plus a decent percentage of older (and of course younger) men and women who are also concerned about the world of Internet gaming. For marketers, these numbers mean a unique opportunity to expose all kinds of products to millions of potential customers.
Marketers use a variety of online marketing techniques to reach out to the massive crowd of online gamers, including traditional advertisements and more creative and advanced types of online marketing tools. From chewing gum to automobiles to anti-depression medications, it seems that everyone is seeking the attention of online gamers.
One of the most common ways to promote a brand is through online games. For example, the Chrysler Group, the owner of the Dodge brand, has an exclusive gaming website dedicated to racing games, in which the player can drive the latest models of the company and, if he plays well, the players are rewarded with a HEMI® Power Bonus. !
Online pool as a test case
Let’s say you want to play pool online. When you click on “online pool” in one of the Internet’s largest search engines, you’ll find two major food manufacturers fighting for the opportunity to promote their brands on your virtual pool table.
The giant chewing gum company Wrigley’s is the sponsor of the popular gaming portal, known mainly for its online pool games. Once you’ve entered the Candystand virtual pool room, you’ll be prompted to customize your game from a choice of three designs, each representing a different brand of gum, whose logo is spread across the entire pool table. Would you consider chewing on an icebreaker later?
You will face the same dilemma if you choose to play Nabisco World. However, if you choose the most popular option today, Yahoo! Pool, you won’t be able to escape the ads either; immediately after registering and before entering the desired game room, Yahoo! Publications of the sponsors of the games.
As you can see, today’s marketers have learned to harness
(not necessarily in a negative sense) of the growing interest in online gaming. From industry tycoons to small local businesses, most have concluded that online gaming marketing is much more effective and profitable than advertising campaigns.