The Do’s and Don’t’s of In-Game Advertising

Not too long ago the Sony and Microsoft introduced the next generation of consoles to the world. These are to be the new market leaders for the next 5 years, may be more. Those of us who are unaware, I’m referring to Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4. These consoles are basically super-computers with the sole intent of bringing entertainment into your living room, through either gaming or video streaming from services like YouTube and Vimeo.

With these two super-computers come new software, new games and new features built to be more immersive, more interactive and more social than ever; these consoles offer a new platform for marketers. However, it’s not entirely welcome. History proves advertising in games is a tricky business.

In Fight Night Round 3, American fast food restaurant Burger King pranced their mascot and branding throughout the entire game. Unapologetically unrelated to the theme of the game. Staples, A stationary outlet also made an appearance in the game as well.


Burger King Mascot in Fight Night Round 3

Burger King Mascot in Fight Night Round 3 (Staples in the Background)

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Burger King Wall Hanging in Fight Night Round 3

In 2006, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory advertised Axe, AMD and Nokia all pushed their brands into the game, however this example is a little more tasteful as it may have actually been an environment that your character could have been in.


Axe Logo in the Background of Splinter Cell's Chaos Theory

Axe Logo in the Background of Splinter Cell’s Chaos Theory

So far we’ve had a look at the advertising in gaming; however there is a widely acceptable form of marketing in the gaming industry. Product placements. Hitman took a shot at it with Sony Ericsson and this is what it looked like.

Sony Ericsson Cell Phone in Hitman

Sony Ericsson Cell Phone in Hitman



This works mostly because it’s not in your face and adds a degree of realism to the game thus creating it more immersive, Sony Ericsson hit the nail on the head with this.