The concept of product placement is nothing new. As early as the 1980s, companies placed their consumer goods in video games or TV commercials in order to draw as many pairs of eyes as possible to their product.
Product placement was primarily used on television, in shows or blockbusters. In the age of the Internet, YouTube was also added as a valuable player. The video games are still a little unknown for some companies. But that doesn’t mean that various logos and products haven’t already made their way into the virtual gaming world.
What exactly is product placement?
Product placement is actually exactly that advertisers place their product in a film, a TV show, a YouTube video or even a video game. The advertiser pays for the medium and hopes for new customers through product placement and brand awareness. In the world of video games, a distinction can be made between four different forms of product placement.
Product appears in game
The simplest method of product placement in video games is this. Your product or logo is displayed in the game world. Maybe it’s a poster with your logo, a vending machine with your drink on it, or your product’s packaging on a table. So the game player can see your product, but may or may not interact with it. Your product is not part of the actual gameplay and does not contribute to the storyline.
Product is used in game
Here you go one step further. Instead of just showing your product, players use it too. There are different levels here. The player needs your product once to progress in the story or the product is used repeatedly.
Companies can also reach more customers through players in other video games. This way, they can offer their boosting services to league of legends players who wants to progress in their games.
Product and gameplay are united
In this form of product placement, the product or brand is an integral part of the gameplay. This is particularly popular in racing games. This is also the case in the extremely popular game Mario Kart 8. There the players could choose a Mercedes Benz as their car and compete in their races with it.
The whole game is a product placement
In this last category, businesses push the boundaries of product placement and have a complete game created that reflects their product or brand.