The Effect of Product Placement in Computer Games on Brand Attitude and Recall

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The effect of product placement in computer games on brand attitude and recall Thomas Mackay, Michael Ewing, Fiona Newton and Lydia Windisch Department of Marketing, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University Media fragmentation and proliferation, in concert with declining television advertising efficacy, has engendered interest in developing more effective ways to reach consumers – particularly non-users of a brand. This study explores the effect of active product placement in computer games on both brand attitude (Abrand) and recall. Findings suggest that exposure to a particular brand in a computer game can increase Abrand among consumers whose pre-existing attitude towards the brand in question is fairly low. We conclude that product placement within computer games is an effective means of fostering high spontaneous brand recall and even of influencing consumers less positively predisposed towards a brand (analogous to non-users). These findings have promising managerial implications for firms looking to grow their customer base through acquisition and conversion. Introduction American software sales in the computer and video game category reached US$7.4bn in 2006, an increase of 6% (Entertainment Software Association (ESA) 2007a). Overall sales have nearly trebled since 1996 (ESA 2007a). In Australia alone, the predicted value of in-game advertisements has been placed at AU$1.25bn (Manktelow 2005; Schneider & Cornwell 2005). As such, product placement has evolved from the use of products as props supplied freely by organisations to a multi-billion-dollar industry driven by commercial companies seeking new avenues to promote their brands (Delorme & Reid 1999; Nelson et al. 2004; Shea 2004). For instance, Coca‑Cola recently announced its intention to move advertising resources away from television advertising and towards video

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