Journal of Interactive Advertising, Volume 5, Number 1, Fall 2004
Advances in interactive technology have helped facilitate a gaming explosion in recent years with personal computers, console systems and handheld devices attracting over 430 million players worldwide (eMarketer 2004). This tremendous growth has lead to a more representative population among gamers and unquestionably caught the attention of advertisers as consumers continue to spend significant time with this medium (Elkin 2004). The convergence of advertising and gaming embodies the movement toward nontraditional vehicles as marketers seek effective alternatives for reaching consumers within a segmented and fragmented media environment. Yet there remains a great deal of uncertainty surrounding recent trends, existing obstacles and how to effectively implement promotion strategies within gaming, which is precisely the justification for this special issue.
The articles in this issue address many of the most pressing matters facing advertisers in this nascent area. For instance, Nelson, Keum and Yaros set out to investigate gamers’ basic beliefs and attitudes toward marketing executions invading the gaming industry. They explore the relationship between traditional effectiveness measures and gaming while affirming the need for relevant advertising executions. Grigorovici and Constantin on the other hand empirically examine the impact of product placement and embedded advertising in highly immersive gaming environments. Their findings suggest important implications as measurable differences are observed between marketing executions within games. Chaney, Lin and Chaney also test the effects of embedded advertising but extend this work by exploring participant playing experience. The results lend support for targeting consumers of all experience levels while emphasizing the importance of message exposure time.
Wan and Youn move away from testing specific tactics to address the broader policy implications associated with gaming, including controversial categories (i.e., gambling) and undesirable effects (i.e. violence). They report that consumers perceive negative gaming associations as having a greater effect on others than on themselves. Considering there are over 1,800 Internet gambling sites worldwide (Grant 2004), Phillips, Tandoh, Noble and Bush investigate the potential segmenting implications for casinos and present strategic recommendations for both online and offline marketers. Lastly, Hernandez, Chapa, Minor, Maldonado and Barranzuela examine the effects of advergames across cultures. Specifically, they identify antecedents that impact consumer attitudes toward advergaming and present international implications accordingly.
While the special issue is the first to focus solely on the relationship between advertising and gaming, the research presented only represents the beginning of this rich area. My hope is that the answers discovered in this issue will lead to more questions investigated by both advertising scholars and managers alike. In addition, I would like to thank the authors who submitted manuscripts for the issue and extend my gratitude to the reviewers for their service. Finally, I thank John Leckenby and Hairong Li for the opportunity to serve the Journal of Interactive Advertising.
Terry Daugherty (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Advertising at The University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on investigating the effects of compelling virtual experiences on consumer behavior and strategic media management, with work appearing in the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Interactive Advertising, Journal of Interactive Marketing, and in the impending books Online Consumer Psychology: Understanding and Influencing Consumer Behavior in the Virtual World and Advances in Electronic Marketing, among others. Prior to joining the Department of Advertising, he held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship with eLab in the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and has worked in advertising media. Email: [email protected]
eMarketer. (2004). Console Wars II: The Battle for Mainstream (January 4). New York, NY: B. Macklin.
Elkin, T. (2004, June 17). Online gaming sites stickier during may than sports and news. MediaPost’s MediaDaily News. Retrieved from http://www.mediapost.com/dtls_dsp_news.cfm?newsID=255763&newsDate=06/17/2004
Grant, P. (2004, June 8). More gamblers flock to the web. The Wall Street Journal. D6.
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