sly : marketing

Creative Advertising Using Online Games

I have realized that I’m getting older. I’m not using the word old about myself, hopefully I never will. But I’m getting older, and I’m not familiar with all the stuff that I used to know a lot about.

Games.

I used to love playing games. I probably still do, but I hardly ever play.

This is probably why I was really surprised when I read the following post at a discussion forum:

“Hey guys, I am here to offer my services as an advertiser. I am going to start something new, which is advertising websites on Xbox Live. This consists of me playing games like Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare and Halo 3, both games where I am able to play with/against up to 11 other people. I will play 100 games per day with a gamertag (the username I go by in these games) that relates to your website (i.e. DigitalPointDotCom or something), then filling my profile with information like your URL and company information.

This strategy will reach a totally new audience, and I am a huge gaming guru. I have a reputation to dominate in these shooting games, so this also adds a lot of value to this strategy.”

To me, this is a new and creative marketing strategy. A strategy I hadn’t thought of, must be because I’m getting older and I’m not at my peak when it comes to playing games.

I’ve played a lot of computer games, especially Civilization 1-3, but that’s a long time ago. When I was playing close to 24 hours a day, I didn’t have access to the Internet at home and just a few computers had access at my high school and a few more when I attended the University. Very few, close to nobody, played games online.

Times are changing.

I’m sure that you can reach a new audience by using online games to advertise, either by playing games yourself and adding your company name or url as your gamertag, or by outsourcing the playing to someone playing all day and night.

But, what you need to think about before you involve yoruself in advertising using online gaming is this:

– is it the right audience?
– should your company/products be related to online gaming?

I’m 37 years old, and it’s been a while since I have played any game, well except for Super Mario Galaxy on our Nintendo WII. I’m playing with our kids whenever we get the chance. My question is this, who are playing online games these days? Am I that different, or are 37 years old fathers playing, and what about moms? The first thought that comes to mind is that it’s mostly teenagers, because when I was a teenager, only teenagers played computer games.

But, like I said, times are changing.

I’ve found a few sites with information about the demographics of online gaming, and it seems that close to everyone are playing: kids, teenagers, adults, couples, lonely men and women, etc.

Here are some of the resources you should take a closer look at:

Shifting demographics in online game play

The demographics of video game players

ESA releases gaming demographic facts and figures

Once you understand that close to all types of people are playing online games, you should understand that there are a lot of different games. If you look at the advertisement above, the guy is playing Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare and Halo 3. I believe both games are fairly violent and are mostly played by teenagers or men, but I could be wrong.

You need to take a closer look at the demographics about online gaming, and the specific games before you start advertising. If you’re targeting couples, you might want to try GuitarHero, RockBand, Little Big Planet or Singstar. If you’re looking for teenagers, but not just boys, you might want to try the various The Sims games. That’s just on top of my head, there are probably many games that you should take a closer look at.

The last question you should answer is; should your company/product be related to online gaming?

I can’t really think of any reasons why not? When I was a teenager, playing games was something boys did, and it was a nerdy thing to do. At that time, you might not want to be related to games, but this has changed. Now, I think the question is more; what types of games do you want to be related to?

For instance, violent games like Heavy Rain, Halo 3, and Call of Duty might not be a place to advertise for all sorts of businesses. On the other hand, it might be the perfect place to advertise.



7 responses to “Creative Advertising Using Online Games”

  1. Mike Smith says:

    viddler is really good and from what I can tell, is only growing to become more popular. From what I’ve seen, I don’t remember it ever having down time. I’d go with viddler. Plus, their video player is much much cooler looking 🙂

  2. Michael Midnight says:

    I, too, was thinking about uploading videos between Viddler and YouTube until I decided to go with Viddler. I love how it has nearly no limits in regards to file sizes and length (only 500MB max per video, no length restrictions, and no restrictions on amount of vidoes). What’s interesting, which YouTube recently implemented, are embedded/timed video & text commenting. But recently, their “branding” feature is something that looks to be very interesting.

  3. Rob Sandie says:

    Hi Jens,

    I work at Viddler and thank you for writing such a great blog post going through your thoughts. This helps us do a better job of building out a better product.

    Touching on the two questions you had with Viddler.

    Downtime – we are currently operating at 99.5% uptime.

    Backups – well now you have CEO’s email, so you can contact me anytime if you would like a backup of files given back to you 😉

    Thanks again for checking out Viddler. When you get on make sure to friend me up at Viddler.com/sandieman.

    Cheers!

    Rob

  4. Jens says:

    Hi Rob,

    Thank you for your comments. I have one question for you, and I hope you’ll be able to answer it.

    I am representing a college, and if we’ll start using Viddler for our videos, can we use our logo, and custom colors for the player?

    If we can, is it free or do we have to pay?

    I just realized that I had seen a price tag of $399, but there are also a monthly fee isn’t it?

    And finally, what about the limit of 500 mb per video, how much is the limit for a business account?

    Thanks,

    Jens

  5. Brandice says:

    Great write-up… I’m glad you’re thinking Viddler, and for good reasons. 🙂

  6. Colin Devroe says:

    There is another down side to using Viddler – you might have all of its employees reading your blog!

    🙂 Thanks for considering Viddler as your choice for online video. We’ll try to do our best to keep your videos stable, secure, and available the way you want them.

  7. Jens says:

    I have decided to test Viddler, and I am creating my account as I am writing this 🙂

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