Toyota launches Yaris Advergame

Toyota published an Xbox advergame, says an article on the NY Times:

The shooting car is the central character of a new Xbox game called Yaris that Toyota will introduce today. The game will be offered free to all Xbox 360 console owners in the United States and Canada, who can download it from Xbox Live’s service. It is also the first Xbox game created by an advertiser to be distributed over Xbox Live.

They were not the first to launch such a game, but again, this is a good example of a growing trend:

Advertisers in the United States will spend $502 million on video game advertising this year, up from $346 million last year, according to eMarketer, a research firm. Just over half of that is in the form of ads placed within games, and the rest is for marketers to create their own games, known in the industry as advergames.

That this can bei highly successful is proven by Burger King for example, who sold an advergame for the Xbox for $3.5 which despite the price showed a considerable amount of time spent with the game:

Using Xbox data on game use, the Burger King game equates in time spent to more than 1.4 billion 30-second commercials, the fast-food company says.

Imagine that. 1.4 billion voluntary 30 second long contacts – It will be hard for „classical“ advertising to beat that! Both in terms of quantity, as well as quality:

Interacting with our characters in the games is actually more engaging than just sitting back in your chair and watching a Super Bowl commercial,” said Russ Klein, president for global marketing for Burger King.

(On a side note: how does Microsoft track that, anyway? This is scary, once again…)

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