For the first time ever, advertisers will now be able to see the direct impact that in-game advertisements have on consumer online behavior, thanks to a new research collaboration between Massive Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., and comScore Inc. Through an innovative methodology developed by the two companies, advertisers will get an inside look at the degree to which in-game ads motivate gamers to visit Web sites, conduct brand-related search queries and engage in other online actions, something that previously had gone unmeasured.
“We know from 85-plus independently verified post-campaign studies that in-game advertising increases brand engagement,” said JJ Richards, general manager of Massive, the creator of a leading network for dynamic video game advertising. “But what we didn’t know was the correlation between in-game ads and consumer action. Through this collaboration with comScore, we will also now be able to measure those consumer actions that result from in-game ads. We think this has the potential to literally ‘change the game’ for both advertisers and publishers who want to improve the effectiveness of their in-game ad efforts.”
AdEffx Action Lift for Gaming matches in-game console ad serving data from Massive with comScore’s third-party, post-campaign panel data to track and measure in-game advertising effectiveness. By combining Microsoft’s proprietary, non-personally identifying Anonymous ID data, which is common across Xbox LIVE and Microsoft Web properties (known as Windows Live ID), with user data from comScore’s panel of 2 million Internet users worldwide, comScore can determine if panelists who saw in-game advertising subsequently visited a brand’s Web site, searched brand-related terms or engaged in other online behaviors important to advertisers.
The methodology is similar to the ad tracking and measurement standards currently accepted for other forms of digital advertising, and strictly maintains consumers’ anonymity in the process.
Preliminary research conducted by comScore using the new methodology on a number of recent Massive in-game campaigns showed that people exposed to in-game ads demonstrated the following behaviors when compared with a control group of people who were not exposed to the ads:
- 280 percent increase in visits to a TV channel’s Web site
- 125 percent increase in search queries for a movie rental brand and 57 percent spike in visits to its Web site
- 17 percent increase in visits to entertainment sites after seeing ads for a particular movie
“We believe AdEffx Action Lift for Gaming puts in-game advertising campaign measurement on a level playing field with comparable digital media,” said Mike Hurt, senior vice president, comScore. “With this kind of methodology, we are addressing the need for better standards of ad effectiveness measurement across all forms of digital media. Advertisers can now track post-campaign online activity, including direct Web site visits, search queries and other consumer behaviors among people who have been exposed to in-game ads.”
comScore and Massive have submitted this new methodology to the Advertising Research Foundation for validation.The announcement coincides with the second annual Microsoft Advertising Gaming Upfront event in New York City the only event of its kind that showcases new video game titles from leading game publishers available for brands to connect and engage audiences on the Massive in-game advertising network.