After its debut in June 2009, the Bing decision engine was promoted through a wide spread of traditional and online advertising. To reach the lucrative, yet elusive gaming audience, a new strategy was needed that would show conclusive evidence of improved site visitation and increased search queries.
Massive ran a campaign within several blockbuster Xbox 360 video games with humorous, title-specific in-game ads developed by the Razorfish creative team.
Gamers playing Activision’s "DJ Hero" saw ads featuring Bing’s search box with a keyword for noise ordinances, while those playing 2K Sports’ "NBA 2K10" saw ads searching for slam dunk videos. The campaign was designed to enhance the gameplay experience and be relevant to the medium, title, and gamer.
To measure results in the same manner as other digital media, Massive leveraged comScore’s AdEffx Action Lift for Gaming research methodology, which matches ad serving data from Massive with third-party panel data from comScore to track and measure in-game advertising effectiveness via online activity before and after ad exposure.
The comScore research looked at three different consistent pre/post timeframes: one week, two weeks, and four weeks before and after ad exposure:
- After first exposure to the Bing in-game ads, the percentage of gamers visiting and searching Bing increased significantly, demonstrating that the in-game ads were successful in driving traffic to Bing and influencing search behavior.
- Two-thirds of gamers visiting and searching on Bing during the post-ad period were visiting the site for the first time, confirming that in-game ads drove new users to Bing.
Interpret Research ran a large sample response-based research study, and confirmed similarly positive results: 71 percent of gamers recalled seeing the ads
in the game, and the ads elicited an overwhelmingly positive effect on key brand and engagement metrics such as brand rating, search consideration, and site visitation frequency.
Furthermore, gamers agreed that the in-game ads improved their game experience
by adding realism and looking good in the game, and 60 percent had a more positive opinion of Bing after seeing the brand advertised in the game.
The findings of comScore and Interpret confirmed that the Bing in-game campaign was successful in driving the hard-to-reach gaming audience to Bing, while enhancing the game experience and dramatically improving gamers’ opinion of Bing.
“We’ve always known that our broad network of in-game advertising increases brand engagement, and now we are able to see the substantial effect in-game ads have on consumer action in a standard, repeatable, and comparable way to other digital media” said JJ Richards, general manager of Massive.
With Massive, Bing verified that dynamic in-game advertising effectively and efficiently delivers measureable ROI, and has evolved from an experimental medium to an invaluable digital advertising component.
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