(more thought provoking insights from Martin Lindstrom. Come hear him speak at Brand ManageCamp 2005. - Len)
A series of thoughts from branding guru and best-selling author Martin Lindstrom:
Everything’s fair game
Television advertising is losing its absolute dominance. It no longer has the power it once has. I explored this phenomenon in another book of mine, BRANDchild. By the ripe old age of 65, the average American consumer has watched two million commercials! This works out to six years of straight viewing: eight hours a day, seven days a week! Pretty scary.
Already in the current market, Hollywood revenues are roughly half that of gaming. Now think of product placement. The newest version of the ever popular Sim City has introduced McDonald’s franchises into their game.
Where can commercials go next?
Over the past few years I’ve been playing around with the concept of Contextual branding. The notion of sending the right message, to the right audience, at the right time. Let’s take the PSP for example. For some reason it doesn’t have a GPS (Global Positioning System) built in.
Imagine if it did.
You’re walking down the street, gaming away, and after you’ve completed first level you come across an ad asking you if you want more energy. And if you do, check out the 7-Eleven you’re just passing which has Red Bull energy drink on special. Type in the bar code and get another 100 points on your game.
Futuristic? Not really. Red Bull already features in PlayStation 1, and contextual messages are being tested in Australia. What’s your take on this?
Can Madison Avenue keep up?
Madison Avenue (which once was packed with high-profile advertising agencies in NYC) hasn't come up with anything new for decades. I find it interesting that no one has mastered the art of product placement in computer game. What does it cost? Who’s measuring the effects? What’s the best way to develop commercial messages for games? Will this threaten the old bastions of the advertising world?
In many countries advertisers are restricted in advertising to kids - but here's a vehicle that in fact plugs straight into their psyche. For some reason the regulators has never addressed this. Should there be any regulations around advertising in games, and what should it look like?