Washington, Oct 3 : A new study by researchers at the University of Missouri has suggested that advergames are more effective as a way of developing positive consumer attitudes towards a particular product.
During the study, researchers found that consumers expressed a strong positive relationship towards brands when they played advergames with strong thematic connections to the products advertised.
In the study, participants played two advergames, both with either high or low thematic connection to the brand.
Thematic connection refers to the degree that the object of the advergame relates to the brand's product or services.
For example, the travel company Orbitz designed a game, "Find Your Hotel," that has a theme related to the company's travel services. Another Orbitz game, "Paper Football," does not have a thematic connection to the company's services.
"While games that related to the brand were not inherently more enjoyable than unrelated games, the transfer of enjoyment from the game to a positive attitude toward the brand was stronger when the game and brand were thematically related," said Kevin Wise, assistant professor of strategic communication in the MU School of Journalism.
"Game enjoyment led to positive attitude toward the brand when a high thematic connection existed between the game and the brand. This was not the case when the participants played games with a low thematic connection," he added.
Wise said that previous research has focused on content analysis, effects on children and social policy implications.
This is one of only a few studies that examined the effectiveness of specific features of advergames in producing desired results with consumers, he added.
"A great deal of previous research has been devoted to the relationship between attitude towards an ad and attitude towards the brand in traditional media. In this study, we tried to extend that research to the world of online games," Wise said.
"We found that brand-related advergames facilitated the transfer of enjoyment to the brand, compared to unrelated games. Brand-related advergames are not inherently more expensive to produce, so these findings suggest that they might be more effective as a way of developing positive consumer attitudes towards a particular brand," he added.