Advergames: Theme of Game is Secret to Success

Oct 01, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- It’s all fun and games when it comes to the current trend in online advertising. Advergames, online video games used to advertise a product or brand, increasingly are being used by advertisers to attract and engage consumers. In a new study, University of Missouri researchers examined the impact of advergame themes on consumers’ attitudes toward advergames and brands. The study revealed that consumers expressed strong positive relationships toward brands when they played advergames with strong thematic connections to the brands.

In the study, participants played two advergames, both with either high or low thematic connection to the brand. Thematic connection refers to the degree that the object of the advergame relates to the brand’s product or services. For example, the travel company Orbitz designed a game, “Find Your Hotel,” that has a theme related to the company’s travel services. Another Orbitz game, “Paper Football,” does not have a thematic connection to the company’s services.

“While games that related to the brand were not inherently more enjoyable than unrelated games, the transfer of enjoyment from the game to a positive attitude toward the brand was stronger when the game and brand were thematically related,” said Kevin Wise, assistant professor of strategic communication in the MU School of Journalism. “Game enjoyment led to positive attitude toward the brand when a high thematic connection existed between the game and the brand. This was not the case when the participants played games with a low thematic connection.”

According to Wise, previous research has focused on content analysis, effects on children and social policy implications. This is one of only a few studies that examined the effectiveness of specific features of advergames in producing desired results with consumers.

“A great deal of previous research has been devoted to the relationship between attitude towards an ad and attitude towards the brand in traditional media. In this study, we tried to extend that research to the world of online games,” Wise said. “We found that brand-related advergames facilitated the transfer of enjoyment to the brand, compared to unrelated games. Brand-related advergames are not inherently more expensive to produce, so these findings suggest that they might be more effective as a way of developing positive consumer attitudes towards a particular brand.”

The study, “Enjoyment of Advergames and Brand Attitudes: The Impact of Thematic Relevance,” was published in the fall 2008 issue of the Journal of Interactive Advertising. The study was funded by a grant from MU Center for the Digital Globe (CDiG)

Provided by MU

Explore further: Interactivity tools can boost persuasiveness of websites

Related Stories

India's TCS yearly profits muted on FX volatility

50 minutes ago

India's biggest outsourcing firm Tata Consultancy Services Thursday reported only a marginal rise in its earnings for the just-ended financial year citing volatile currency markets and a sluggish global economy.

Men donate competitively on women's fundraising webpages

58 minutes ago

Men give more money through fundraising websites after seeing that other men have donated large amounts and when the fundraiser is an attractive woman, according to new UCL and University of Bristol research.

Important study of how climate affects biodiversity

58 minutes ago

How does climate change affect the occurrence and distribution of species? This is a key question in the climate debate, and one that is hard to answer without information about natural variation in species abundance. Now ...

Recommended for you

Music: Will climate change give us the blues?

Apr 14, 2015

Climate change is predicted to intrude into almost every area of life—from where we live, to what we eat and whom we war with. Now music can be added to the list.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.