PlanetCrap 6.0!
Front Page (ATOM) • Submission Bin (1) • ArchivesUsersLoginCreate Account
You are currently not logged in.
T O P I C
Product Placement in Games?
March 20th 2001, 16:46 CET by Martin Edelius

As most of you probably know there has been product placements in movies for
a long time. It's not a coincidence that Bond drives a BMW and uses an
Ericsson. From time to time these placements is glaringly obvious but most
of the time we don't notice it.

There are limitations to this kind of advertising though. If there'd been an
Adidas logo on the Stoorm Trooper uniforms most of us would probably shake
our heads in disbelief. A majority of comercially viable films takes place
in present time and on earth or close enough to allow for product placements
though. If there'd been a Coke bottle in Lost In Space, would anyone be
surprised? Most likely not.

Now, on to the actual topic; When do we see this kind of advertisements in
games? My guess is that in games like Max Payne or Duke Nukem Forever there
are tons of opportunities to place a product. Walking up to a vending
machine in DNF to get a soda? You get a Coke and nothing but a Coke. Mags
found in the sleazy hotel in Max Payne? Playboy and nothing but Playboy.

Again, not all games, just like with movies, aren't suitable for product
placements. Tribes 2 and Halo might not work with current earth trademarks
unless they put some sort of spin to it.

Would product placements in games bother you as a gaming public? How 'in
your face' can they get without becoming distracting? Is the money gained
from this worth the trouble (George? Scott? 8)? Would gamers accept this if
it made games cheaper and if so, how 'in your face' can it get then and how
much cheaper would the game need to be?
C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: Product Placement in Games?

|«« - Previous Page - Next Page - »»|
#1 by "Morn"
2001-03-20 16:47:46
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Another reader submission - thanks Martin for sending it in!

- Morn
#2 by "Crusader"
2001-03-20 16:50:40
crusader@linuxgames.com http://www.linuxgames.com/
I've seen advertising in the "stadiums" for sports games, which (perversely enough), looks natural and isn't distracting....

Similarly, I wouldn't terribly mind ads in games set in the present day if they're used sparingly and in places that make sense in the context of the game (a coke machine in an office break room, etc.)...

Anywhere else and I'd probably balk.
#3 by "asspennies"
2001-03-20 16:51:00
asspennies@asspennies.org http://www.asspennies.org/
With advertising rates as low as they are right now, I doubt product placement would net developers much cash.
#4 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-03-20 16:52:32
Sgt_Hulka@Hulka.com http://www.Hulka.com
I think they already do it.  In Tony Hawk there are Mountain Dew billboards all over the place.  It's a smart move IMHO.  Advertisments in game can help finance the development of the game. The only drawback that comes to mind is advertisers love numbers, and there's not an accurate way to track how many times a game is being played, and which games are being played by what age group.  The only real data being collected for advertisers is sales data, which isn't accurate enough for them to seriously advertise this way.
#5 by "Flamethrower"
2001-03-20 16:57:46
patch@evilemail.com http://www.portalofevil.com
My guess is Duke 4's gameplay will consist entirely of SHOCK THE MONKEY.
#6 by "PHroot"
2001-03-20 16:58:23
phroot@ntlworld.com
There was a jeans ad in Kingpin, I can't remember what company.
#7 by "Dr Bob"
2001-03-20 17:06:01
drbob@nomates.org
Hasn't this been going on for years? What about the Red Bull adverts in the Wipeout games on the PSX?
#8 by "PHroot"
2001-03-20 17:06:10
phroot@ntlworld.com
Thinking about it I'm pretty sure it was diesel.  There was an ad on the box too.
#9 by "Karl Palutke"
2001-03-20 17:09:53
karl@digitalsavagery.com
Crusader (#2):
I've seen advertising in the "stadiums" for sports games, which (perversely enough), looks natural and isn't distracting....


That's because real stadiums are covered with ads on just about every available surface . . . The stadiums wouldn't look right without the ads.
#10 by "Topaz"
2001-03-20 17:14:28
Racing games have adds also. Just wait until you're playing something like Maddem 2005 and the game breaks for half-time to show you a real commercial. I'm suprised the multiplayer tournaments don't have special maps with their logos spewed all over the place.
#11 by "Baron_Calamity"
2001-03-20 17:23:11
rcmerritt@home.com
I'd rather see coke or pepsi machines in CS than Popdog.
#12 by "PHroot"
2001-03-20 17:24:40
phroot@ntlworld.com
Is Popdog a real drink?  I thought it was made up.
#13 by "deadlock"
2001-03-20 17:32:11
deadlock@eircom.net
Zool had ads for Chupa Chups. In fact, Zool had entire levels built out of chupa chups.

deadlock
#14 by "Whisp"
2001-03-20 17:48:17
Come on morn, why didn't you post mine? ;-)  

Now, onto the topic.  Topaz mentioned commercial breaks in games.  You ever play a game on Sony's "The Station"?  My roomate has been playing Trivial Pursuit there the last few days.  When you start the game, two banner ads come up.  If you click on one, you get a free turn token to be used at will.  If you click the other it gives you a "return to hub" token that you can use when you've filled your pie.  Since you get a wedge every time you answer a question right, and you only need 4, not 6, the games go really quick and the "cheat" tokens are really popular, I'd say at least 60% of the players use them.  Not only that, but every five turns or so the gameplay actually stops for "a word from out sponsors."  Two banner ads pop up, and play won't start again until the timer expires, even if you close the ad window.  Now, I realize that they have to fund this free service some way, but I just wanted to point out that ads are already pretty intrusive in some games.

-Whisp
#15 by "Jafd"
2001-03-20 18:02:02
JnoAspamFpleaseD@whatthefuck.com http://jafd.isfuckingbrilliant.com
In Deus Ex, the cans of soda say this when you examine them:

"The can is blank except for the phrase 'INSERT PRODUCT PLACEMENT HERE.' It is unclear whether this is a name or an invitation."

Of course I'm not sure why I'm mentioning this, since no doubt everyone who comes to PlanetCrap has played Deus Ex.

Anyway, I think product placement in video games is completely acceptable. Unlike banner ads and television ads and whatnot, PP just replaces what would have been there already with a colossal joke, and puts money in the developers pocket, where it belongs.

Whenever I see a can of soda in a movie, it fills me with amusement to know that just before that scene was filmed, the actor actually had to turn the can around and check to make sure the label was pointing the right way. And if they are drinking out of the can, I always think, "Do they have to get special cans with the opening aligned correctly, or do they just buy a few 12-packs and find one that is close enough?"

I was surprised that there wasn't an actual soda company's product placed in Deus Ex... I knew within ten minutes of playing the demo that it was going to turn a lot of heads. Then again, I'm also not in marketing. Hallelujah.
#16 by "Steve Erhardt"
2001-03-20 18:23:05
And let's not forget what is probably the current KING of ad placements in gaming: Nascar Racing 4.  =)  Outside of cars curiously stripped of beer advertising, that game is loaded with stuff.  But that's the nature of the beast, there, so it's actually expected.  

For something like Duke, I don't think I'd have a problem with it as long as I'm not tripping over Pepsi cans and Pizza Hut boxes every seven feet.
#17 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-03-20 18:30:03
warren@epicgames.com www.epicgames.com
Jafd (#15):
Anyway, I think product placement in video games is completely acceptable. Unlike banner ads and television ads and whatnot, PP just replaces what would have been there already with a colossal joke, and puts money in the developers pocket, where it belongs.

If it's just in the background, fine.  I have no problem with it.  A poster, a coke can on a desk or whatever ... if it turns to commercials that I HAVE to watch, that's when I'll get pissed.  :)
#18 by "Martin"
2001-03-20 18:44:57
martin@theplace.nu
Just to clarify things. Yes, I know that a lot of games has product placements, like in racing games and sports games, but these are the more 'normal' and expected ads, not the kind of product placements that I was thinking of, like in the movies.

-- Martin (who sent in the topic)
#19 by "deadlock"
2001-03-20 18:51:51
deadlock@eircom.net
Yeah, but Martin, the kind of things that we have pointed out are the same as the types you get in the movies. A can of Coke placed conveniently in the line of sight of the camera. A character wearing a t-shirt with a clearly visible Nike logo.

What exact type of placement are you getting at ?

deadlock
#20 by "Houston"
2001-03-20 19:12:12
houston@fatchicksinpartyhats.com http://www.hulka.com
Quanta cola!

It's hip, it's refreshing, and damned I wish I had a copy of Omicron installed so I could remember that catch phrase

Stadium advertising in sports games just adds to the realism.  On-line games with banner ads, well, that just follows the current (breaking down) model of advertisements on content.

As long as I don't see a Pepsi ad in Duke Nukem Forever, I'll be happy.  They've already ruined my image of Einstein, Kasparov, and KISS.  Although, I wouldn't mind if that Pepsi girl were one of the targets ; )

**This post brought to you by Sniff 'n Poop Dairy Sanitizer, buy a can for you, your friends, and your family.. or we'll kill them all!
#21 by "Gunp01nt"
2001-03-20 19:16:57
supersimon33@hotmail.com http://planetp01nt.tmfweb.nl
One multiplayer level in SiN featured an issue of the PC Zone Benelux (and the bulletinboards throughout the game featured several references to staff of that magazine).

Product placement in games could actually improve the realism (you want Marlboro on Schumi's car, not some stupid made-up name, right?) but the advertiser shouldn't be getting too dominant and forcing the devs to make the game so that not a single frame goes without the advertiser's product in it.

BTW isn't the beer from Z an actual product? :)
#22 by "Dr Bob"
2001-03-20 19:17:34
drbob@nomates.org
#12, Popdog isn't a real drink, it's similar to the logo of Barking Dog software, who did some coding for one of the CS betas and made those two maps.

-- Bob
#23 by "asspennies"
2001-03-20 19:23:18
asspennies@asspennies.org http://www.asspennies.org/
Quake 3 had an OMM logo in one of the maps.

The bastards!
#24 by "jason"
2001-03-20 19:41:36
jason@loonygames.com http://www.bluesnews.com/
There's a banner ad for a website in the Counter-Strike map de_dust2 in the 1.1 patch. Anyone know what the deal with that is?

-jason
#25 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-03-20 19:49:27
Sgt_Hulka@Hulka.com http://www.Hulka.com
#15 Jafd "Of course I'm not sure why I'm mentioning this, since no doubt everyone who comes to PlanetCrap has played Deus Ex."


Not this soldier, couldn't get the demo to run on my system.
#26 by "crash"
2001-03-20 19:51:05
crash@planetcrap.com
Sgt Hulka in 4:
The only drawback that comes to mind is advertisers love numbers, and there's not an accurate way to track how many times a game is being played, and which games are being played by what age group.

really?

check this out.

the relevant passage (near the bottom):

The player’s profile defines their age, gender and geographic location of each player. The computer makes sure that any advertising content that appears in the game they are playing is compatible with these parameters. Thus a 14 year old boy living in New York will not be receiving branding messages from a Japanese car manufacturer aimed at 20 year old women working in Northern Europe.

Note: The advertising content will never be steered to a single individual, but to a demographic group. The advertising company will never get hold of any personal information, e-mail or name – we only supply the possibility to aim profile filtered advertising to a group of Clusterball pilots.

The advertising content appears inside the game environment as branded billboards, and will not be transferred to the Internet browser or your desktop.

online games that require demographic information are an advertiser's wet dream... especially when the game (like this one) can select targeted ads on the fly. as this one does. not sure what the reward is though; i thought a saw a contest of some kind on there, but i don't have time right now to check it out.

the game's kind of a hoot, tho--think WipeoutXL Meets Q1 Headhunters, in a way. and ok with bots. i like the way you can tweak the crap out of your ship...

anyway. it can and is being done. yay.
#27 by "Gimper"
2001-03-20 19:51:24
Product placement wouldn't bother me as much is they  passed along the savings to the Consumer.  Pocket a few dollars then lower the price of the game a few dollars.  We have to see the advertisement right?
#28 by "Jafd"
2001-03-20 19:59:33
JnoAspamFpleaseD@whatthefuck.com http://jafd.isfuckingbrilliant.com
Sgt Hulka (#25):
Not this soldier, couldn't get the demo to run on my system.


#15 Jafd "Of course I'm not sure why I'm mentioning this, since no doubt everyone who comes to PlanetCrap has played Deus Ex."


Not this soldier, couldn't get the demo to run on my system.


Oh good glory be to God. I'm getting chills up and down my spine, imagining getting to play Deus Ex for the first time all over again.

Deus Ex is so good that I'd be willing to let someone beat me over the head and give me amnesia, if I could somehow guarantee that I wouldn't remember anything until after I was done with the game, and if my fine motor skills wouldn't be damaged.

I hope no one's spoiled anything in it for you Sarge... Deus Ex is fantabufuckinglistic. Sure hope you can get your computer working, it can't be as hard as fieldstripping a rifle!
#29 by "Chris 'kanaeda' Voss"
2001-03-20 20:09:54
chrisv@sunstorm.net http://freshteam.telefragged.com
speaking of Deus-EX...

I just picked up a copy over the weekend. Was unepmployed and poor at the time of release. Figured that I owe it to myself as a game developer to play such a fine piece of work. After the first couple levels, damn! am i glad i bough this game.
#30 by "asspennies"
2001-03-20 20:10:07
asspennies@asspennies.org http://www.asspennies.org/
#28 "Jafd" wrote...
Deus Ex is so good that I'd be willing to let someone beat me over the head and give me amnesia, if I could somehow guarantee that I wouldn't remember anything until after I was done with the game, and if my fine motor skills wouldn't be damaged.

I hope no one's spoiled anything in it for you Sarge... Deus Ex is fantabufuckinglistic. Sure hope you can get your computer working, it can't be as hard as fieldstripping a rifle!


You must have played a different "Deus Ex" than I did.
#31 by "Foogla"
2001-03-20 20:14:59
Foogla@gmx.de
re #28, Jafd:

True dat! I actually haven't played DE too, and am waiting to put a decent machine together to play it. So far only Warren has spoiled me (how to kill some tough guy etc).
#32 by "Kelster"
2001-03-20 20:15:57
kelster@planetstarsiege.com http://www.planetstarsiege.com/
A Tribes2 ad was featured on The Cell DVD and Tribes2 includes a Cell trailer. Not quite product placement, but getting there. :o

I agree with some of the thoughts above. Product placement would add to the realism, but I hope consumers would see a price decrease or something.

-Kel
#33 by "Gunp01nt"
2001-03-20 20:17:36
supersimon33@hotmail.com http://planetp01nt.tmfweb.nl
#28: I could of course mention that I fuckin hate Deus Ex and start another brawl like in the Max Payne discussion, but then again... why should I?
#34 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-03-20 20:23:17
Sgt_Hulka@Hulka.com http://www.Hulka.com
A good friend of mine plays Dues Ex and can even pronounce the name correctly.  He loves it.  I'll reinstall DirectX sometime on my system and get it running sometime soon, I just hate wiping my system clean and I've been busy working on it lately.


Thanks for the info Crash, online games make it much easier to track that info, and in the future the numbers will be there, but as of now, there isn't much for advertisers to draw from, or is there?  Not that I'm aware of.

Totally OT, but I thought you guys might not know about this proposed \"INSANE\" legislation in the US of A

New Hampshire may tax video games and movies for money to help compensate victims of sexual assault. he proposal is being considered by state lawmakers. upporters say that the tax is fitting, because video games and movies often feature sexual violence or portray woman as objects of sexual gratification.The bill would tax film and game rentals 5 cents each, video game and game players $1 each.
#35 by "Zachack"
2001-03-20 20:26:00
zachrounds@un-named.com
Lionhead missed out on a great chance for product placement in Black and White.  They could have made it so your pet/avatar/whatever gets thirsty, but will only drink pepsi.  If you feed it a competitor's soda the pet turns evil.

Looking waaaaay back, Origin also missed out by not having your group members in Ultima 7 demand commercial foods when they get hungry.  Considering how many times I got pestered with "I need food", a quick change to "I need Doritos Brand Chips, UNLEASH THE FLAVOR" would have brainwashed me.
#36 by "The Joker"
2001-03-20 20:35:07
joker@junkextreme.com http://www.junkextreme.com
I think this is a very great idea, and developers could use this to fund part (or all?) of their gamedevelopment.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behavior.
- All your ass are belong to my wang, JafD! Prepare to are penetration!
#37 by "treblekicker"
2001-03-20 20:38:34
treblekicker@sympatico.ca www.yellow5.com/pokey
re 15 [kinda]://
i think i'm the only person [besides tom chick, before anyone says it] who didn't like deus ex.  i didn't hate it either... i just found it bland.  and i was kinda following it before release too, tho i didn't really have high expectations.  

regards/john
#38 by "treblekicker"
2001-03-20 20:41:38
treblekicker@sympatico.ca www.yellow5.com/pokey
heh, just read gunp0int's post...
#39 by "deadlock"
2001-03-20 20:44:51
deadlock@eircom.net
The Joker (#36):
I think this is a very great idea, and developers could use this to fund part (or all?) of their gamedevelopment.


I mentioned earlier that Zool was 'sponsored' by Chupa Chups; but none of the savings were passed down to the consumer, as far as I remember. The game still cost the same as it would have if the developer hadn't gotten ad money. Which at the time was about £25 for an Amiga game.

deadlock
#40 by "bluishred"
2001-03-20 20:45:33
pranolo@mail.com
As  long as it is not overdone and goes along with the theme of the game I actually like it. I think putting a Coke machine a game can actually add more realism compared to , say, adding a Cock-A-Cold-Uh machine. It also gives me a sense that this game is good enough for a big company to put advertise in.
#41 by "The Joker"
2001-03-20 21:12:50
joker@junkextreme.com http://www.junkextreme.com
deadlock (#39):
The Joker (#36):

I think this is a very great idea, and developers could use this to fund part (or all?) of their gamedevelopment.


I mentioned earlier that Zool was 'sponsored' by Chupa Chups; but none of the savings were passed down to the consumer, as far as I remember. The game still cost the same as it would have if the developer hadn't gotten ad money. Which at the time was about £25 for an Amiga game.

deadlock


I played that game too on a 486 DX PC back then, I thought it was really nice :) I wouldn't expect the savings to have any influence on the final price of the product unless they are a LOT.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behavior.
- All your ass are belong to my wang, JafD! Prepare to are penetration!
#42 by "Theseus"
2001-03-20 21:31:22
theseus@cpgaming.com www.cpgaming.com
Zachack (#35):
Lionhead missed out on a great chance for product placement in Black and White. They could have made it so your pet/avatar/whatever gets thirsty, but will only drink pepsi. If you feed it a competitor's soda the pet turns evil.


My God, I do believe you may be on to something here ;)

I myself have just decided to look through the hype of B&W, since I've just about managed to avoid it for nearly three years, I'm bloody impressed with what the final product seems to be, a game to surprise me in the age of Spoiler Message boards and Apache is a wonder ;).  Become a true fanboy in around a week.

Now, if only I can get over the week early bloody yank thing :P
#43 by "Constrictor"
2001-03-20 21:34:40
constrictor@megapathdsl.net http://ipgamer.net
I can't believe no one has mentioned Crazy Taxi by Sega yet.  You take the passengers to some real world locations such as KFC, FILA, etc.  So yes, it's already being done and as long as it's not obnoxious I'm in favor of it.  It may not bring game prices down, but if it provides the funds needed to get some quality titles out the door, then it's a good thing.
#44 by "Atma"
2001-03-20 21:40:41
#24, jason:

There's a banner ad for a website in the Counter-Strike map de_dust2 in the 1.1 patch. Anyone know what the deal with that is?


The ad is for Gamehelper.com, looks like one of the dudes who works there made de_dust2.

From the blurb:
To create the map we worked alongside THE designer of our time, Dave J, to develop a map that would retain the flavour of the public favourite Dust while not completely ripping off it's predecessor.


craaaazy.
#45 by "Steve"
2001-03-20 21:45:35
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
I can't understand why people are so accepting of advertising in every part of their lives. We're embracing a future where we're under constant siege by marketing dollars. Is this a good thing? Pity all of our children, who will be defenseless against billion dollar marketing budgets in every aspect of their lives, from the schoolyard to the games they play. Pity the parents that have to listen to why their kid NEEDS, not wants but NEEDS, various items. It's already bad; it will get worse.

I got a D in economics, but adding paid ads won't lower the price of games because costs are where they are because consumers are comfortable paying X dollars for a game. If you lower the price it doesn't necessarily lead to more sales. Having ad dollars just increases revenue. Do magazines lower their prices when they get more ads? Do movies cost less with product placements? Savings aren't passed on to consumers; they're used to bolster the wallets of shareholders and CEOs.

Also, don't think that certain content restrictions come with product placements. These guys don't want their products seen in a negative light.

Fight in-game ads, people, don't embrace them. Ugh.
#46 by "Ghost in my Shell"
2001-03-20 21:47:33
Operation Flashpoint is badass.
#47 by "bagofmice"
2001-03-20 21:52:28
rcastle@microsoft.com
Woo! The Redbull ads in Wipeout XL actually got me to first try the stuff. Yum.
#48 by "None-1a"
2001-03-20 22:00:59
none1a@home.com
#16 "Steve Erhardt" wrote...
And let's not forget what is probably the current KING of ad placements in gaming: Nascar Racing 4. =) Outside of cars curiously stripped of beer advertising, that game is loaded with stuff. But that's the nature of the beast, there, so it's actually expected.


Why or why to they have to dumb down NASCAR racing for the kids. How long will it be before we start calling it Cup and Grand National racing in video games just to be kiddie friendly.

#34 "Sgt Hulka" wrote...
New Hampshire may tax video games and movies for money to help compensate victims of sexual assault. he proposal is being considered by state lawmakers. upporters say that the tax is fitting, because video games and movies often feature sexual violence or portray woman as objects of sexual gratification.The bill would tax film and game rentals 5 cents each, video game and game players $1 each.


It you can't ban it, tax it out of existance. Video games and movies whlie they do protray some woman as sex objects how many sexual assault crimes are done by people do dumb or young to find real porn?

Product placement is any game or movie for that matter simply adds to it. If your walking around Duke4 you damn well expect to see a few coke and pepsi machines, and other crap around.
#49 by "grey"
2001-03-20 22:07:03
48 None-1a typed:
If your walking around Duke4 you damn well expect to see a few coke and pepsi machines


But it won't be Coke AND Pepsi, it would be Coke OR Pepsi. It's almost more jarring to see a slightly distorted reality than a completely fictional one.
#50 by "None-1a"
2001-03-20 22:16:44
none1a@home.com
#49 "grey" wrote...
But it won't be Coke AND Pepsi, it would be Coke OR Pepsi. It's almost more jarring to see a slightly distorted reality than a completely fictional one.


Maybe in a few years, Coke has changed policy regarding machines in schools (there going to carry competitors products and more juice options, that is if the local distributers agree to it). I can also see Coke and pepsi ads on the same channel, or even the same show on TV others areas should be the same. O what do I care just put Dr. Pepper cans all over the place that'd be just fine (and fairly relistic for me considering what's sitting all over the place in my house).
C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: Product Placement in Games?

|«« - Previous Page - Next Page - »»|
P O S T   A   C O M M E N T

You need to be logged in to post a comment here. If you don't have an account yet, you can create one here. Registration is free.
C R A P T A G S
Simple formatting: [b]bold[/b], [i]italic[/i], [u]underline[/u]
Web Links: [url=www.mans.de]Cool Site[/url], [url]www.mans.de[/url]
Email Links: [email=some@email.com]Email me[/email], [email]some@email.com[/email]
Simple formatting: Quoted text: [quote]Yadda yadda[/quote]
Front Page (ATOM) • Submission Bin (1) • ArchivesUsersLoginCreate Account
You are currently not logged in.
There are currently 0 people browsing this site. [Details]