Lauren Farmer ENG 300 Creative Advertising may be the only way to advertise. The evolution of advertising has come a long way, going back to the mid 1400s, after Johannes Gutenberg created movable type. This created a brand new exciting way to get the word out. Newspaper print was entertainment, new technology that was sure to be seen and studied by practically everyone. People wanted the paper, and everyone who got a hold of one would read or look at the paper and see the ad. People in the 21st century are surrounded by so much advertising in the paper, on TV, on the internet and bill boards they don‟t even pay attention them. What in the world can advertisers do to make potential consumers want to buy their product and not ignore their ad? Welcome to the new age of advertising, in adver-games! We live in a totally different world now, and there is a lot more to do and see! Advertisers need to keep up with us in our new age of technology. According to Jane Chen and Mathew Ringle, “Advergaming is the use of interactive gaming technology to deliver embedded advertising messages to consumers.” In short, the advertising message is central to game play.” (Can Advergaming be the future of interactive advertising? Par 4) How sneaky do advertisers have to be to reel kids in? “ Marketers are using the Internet to reach young people, but they have to be sly. For most Gen Y kids—those born in North America after 1979—(about 60 million at last count.) technology comes second nature.” Says Michael Snider, author of “HEY KID‟S LETS PLAY ADVER- GAMES!”(Par 2.) The fact that marketers and advertisers are told to be “sly” just sounds so sneaky, but at the same time the idea to advertise to kids through playing games is simply brilliant! Its like candy land for Gen Y kids! To define this slyness, Snider is saying that these kids are being exposed to advertising with out even realizing it. Most kids spend hours on the computer a day, and what do these kids do when they are bored? Well play games of course! It is just ingenious to reel these potential consumers in with fun! “It‟s all designed to get them to tell Mommy, „Look how much fun I am having!” (Par.7) These advergames are so much more effective than other types of advertising because kids, or any one for that matter can be exposed to the product/logo/spokes person for a longer amount of time, and they don‟t have to pay for each time the kid is exposed like a TV commercial or radio advertisement. “ A commercial will last for 20 seconds or so,” says Jeffrey Devensky, a child psychology professor at McGill University. “An adver-game will last for 20 minutes. The more kids actively engage in something and the more feed back they get, the more likely they‟ll ask their parents to get something” says Derevensky (qtd. in Snider para.7) So you may be wondering what companies participate in this brilliant scheme to reel in young consumers? “Practically every kids‟ toy maker, cereal, entertainment outlet and even some clothing stores now offer similar immersive advertising in the form of games or contests. (HEY KIDS! LETS PLAY ADVER- GAMES. (Paragraph 8.) I decided to check out this whole “ADVER-GAMES” thing out, I am still young and admit to loving technology, (especially my lap top which basically it would be hard for me to survive with out) so basically I would be a very easy person to get hooked or at least entertained; I must say that in my search for “ADVER-GAMES” they weren‟t hard to find. Basically any fast food, ice cream, toy had a web site with some kind of online game or activity for kids. I must say that my results were different than I thought they would be. The burger joins that I checked out on the web didn‟t have much kid like fun on the site. (I remember growing up and playing “McKids” which is an original Nintendo game where you are a kid running abound trying to eat fries and cokes for points on basically an obstacle course to get to the next level.) At McDonalds.com they do not have a Kids page or any thing like that, they do have a tab that said “Have‟n Fun” which I clicked thinking it would be the fun Ronald McDonald page, but no… It was a salad. Call me crazy but salads and fun really have no correlation. I really think McDonalds was very wise not to have an advergame due to legal issues. People blame the company for making them fat. (Which is totally irresponsible) With them having no kind of averages or advertisement of people eating burgers it keeps them one step safer from getting into more trouble. Continuing on my search I had to check out Barbie! I could have easily played on Barbie‟s web site for hours. (I am 21 years old and didn‟t even like Barbie that much as a kid.) Barbie was “so glad” that I was there! We are currently standing in her living room, and she just turned on her flat screen and what was on you might ask? Only a commercial for…you guessed it, Barbie! I got to play in her closet, change the room color picks out her clothes, and even a cute pet! (www.Barbie.everythinggirl.com) My favorite site was for Ben and Jerry‟s ice cream. They have a really cool website, in the “FUN STUFF” zone there was lots of cool stuff to do, and not all of the games had to do with ice cream! The logos are cute and colorful, and it came to my attention that after about a half hour I could really go for some Chunky Monkey. (www.BenJerry.com) Adver-gaming is not just for kids though, even Jack Daniels has games on their website! Obviously you have to be 21 to even get in the site, but once you are in you are free to look at every thing, even the “just for fun” page with trivia and games. I played the “bartender challenge” where I was playing and learning how to make some adult beverage. “Advergaming can drive brand awareness by associating the product with the lifestyle or activity featured in the game. This Advergaming format is most effective when the content and theme of the game play logically or emotionally reinforces the brand image. I took this as some thing that you would do in your every day life or some thing that is familiar or interesting to you. “ According to Jane Chen and Matthew Ringel who wrote “Can Advergaming be the Future of Interactive Advertising?” (Par 9.) Americans (and probably most of the world) are surrounded by so much advertising every day, that we are unfazed and completely ignore the ad usually. The best way Advertisers are going to reach potential customers these days without physically having them try the product is through interactive web sites and gaming. The potential consumer is going to have to interact or do some thing they enjoy to actually remember the product and want to buy it. They might even tell their friends, family or even do a little research on it. Bottom line is that advergaming is a new form of advertising that is perfect for Generation Y kids who spend tons of time on the internet/computer. Most websites have to keep up with the technology, or kids will go somewhere else and they will lose their business to another company.
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