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This blog follows the future of media and ad technologies, bridging the gap between geekdom and advertising since 2004.
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Scratchpad: Ways to Advertise In and Around Games

MediaPost comes out with an article that discusses the changing demographics of game playing and suggests alternatives to billboard placements. "1. Miller Lite, for instance, wasn't a good fit for in-game placement because of limits on the drinking age. And other brands had league-licensed titles locked up. So SMG Play and Skyworks created a gaming version of the popular "Beer Run" TV spot, starting with the ad itself, then dropping users into a race against halftime. It was less an advergame than an interactive extension of a TV spot. 2. "Around-the-game" media planning can fulfill marketing goals for advertisers that traditionally sponsor sports, from telecommunications and male grooming product brands to beverage and fast food brands. 3. Starting at $100,000, sponsors skin the Xfire [chat] client, which hits about half of the 2.5 million people who have already downloaded the application. 4. "Affinity channels" for broadband. Online and offline media platforms will combine game, music, and movie properties, celebrity hosts, blogging, and streaming video around affinities in music and entertainment. The first rules of play for around-the-game marketing are to enhance and facilitate the activity users enjoy most -- and stay out of their way."

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Idea: Google API for Virtual World Maps

Someone tweaked Google Maps' API to create a map of World of Warcraft. Another case of interaction with game from outside.

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Sketchpad: Considering Emotional Context for In-Game Ads

Dave Edery's article in Gamasutra "Enhancing the Effectiveness of In-Game Advertising". Dave writes: "Consumer marketing research suggests a better way to harness the power of in-game advertising. For example, studies have shown that an advertisement is more effective when the person watching it is smiling, nodding, dancing, etc. Our brains are hard-wired to positively interpret anything we experience during these states of being. Given that, building the MTV brand into DDR would probably be much more effective than slapping the MTV logo onto a billboard in Burnout 3. Imagine an MTV VJ playing the music and acting as announcer between dance rounds; if done right, it would definitely enhance the gameplay experience and represent tremendous value for the advertiser."

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News: Game Magazine Bans Ads from Gold Farmers

"PC Gamer, the country's largest magazine of its kind, will stop taking ads from companies involved in the trade of virtual objects and characters from online role-playing games. In the February issue, editor Greg Vederman said the magazine was responding to readers unhappy with "gold farmers," who play to accumulate items such as gold coins for resale." -- AP

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News: Ads for Subway in Counter Strike by Engage

Engage is the newest addition to the handful of intermediaries that help advertisers place their stuff into games. Their site features the first case-study involving Subway, and Gamecloud has confirmed that the ads for the sandwich maker were placed in Counter Strike (image from Joystiq). Update: Here's a long feature from Ars Technica about how the ads were placed.

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Thesis on in-game advertising

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