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Real brands in imaginary worlds: investigating players' experiences of brand placement in digital games

Real brands in imaginary worlds: investigating players' experiences of brand placement in digital games
Real brands in imaginary worlds: investigating players' experiences of brand placement in digital games
This paper explores the development of brand placement in digital games using focus groups with game-players. Growth in in-game brand placement is explained by game developers' financial and creative priorities and experimentation in marketerss' use of media. The external context of game-play is then examined based on explanations of the non-material aspects of consumer behaviour. Internal game processes are also reviewed, including psychological processes that are likely to be of interest to marketers. The reported experiences of players are then considered in terms of these processes. Findings seem to support the use of brand placement in games. Players easily recall encounters with brands during game-play and are generally positive about these experiences, suggesting that brands increase realism because it allows individuals to create and explore consumption-based daydreams. However, some players reject brand placement, preferring in-game fantasies that are independent of mundane commodities. The findings also raise issues related to the ways in which individuals may use digital games to reflect on our consumer society and this raises a question of the degree to which digital games may support or oppose existing consumer cultures. Other problems for managers wishing to use this technique were revealed by the repetitive nature of games which may cause message wear-out, and by playerss' frustration with aspects of a game which may lead to negative evaluations of in-game brands
1472-0817
355-366
Molesworth, Mike
48a49a79-1d99-4120-b0aa-578e42541724
Molesworth, Mike
48a49a79-1d99-4120-b0aa-578e42541724

Molesworth, Mike (2006) Real brands in imaginary worlds: investigating players' experiences of brand placement in digital games. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 5 (4), 355-366. (doi:10.1002/cb.186).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper explores the development of brand placement in digital games using focus groups with game-players. Growth in in-game brand placement is explained by game developers' financial and creative priorities and experimentation in marketerss' use of media. The external context of game-play is then examined based on explanations of the non-material aspects of consumer behaviour. Internal game processes are also reviewed, including psychological processes that are likely to be of interest to marketers. The reported experiences of players are then considered in terms of these processes. Findings seem to support the use of brand placement in games. Players easily recall encounters with brands during game-play and are generally positive about these experiences, suggesting that brands increase realism because it allows individuals to create and explore consumption-based daydreams. However, some players reject brand placement, preferring in-game fantasies that are independent of mundane commodities. The findings also raise issues related to the ways in which individuals may use digital games to reflect on our consumer society and this raises a question of the degree to which digital games may support or oppose existing consumer cultures. Other problems for managers wishing to use this technique were revealed by the repetitive nature of games which may cause message wear-out, and by playerss' frustration with aspects of a game which may lead to negative evaluations of in-game brands

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More information

Published date: July 2006
Organisations: Centre for Relational Leadership & Change

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 362331
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/362331
ISSN: 1472-0817
PURE UUID: 8fe036fb-d924-4f72-824c-bf62e650a5d2

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Date deposited: 21 Feb 2014 10:26
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 02:53

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