Game On: Explicit & Implicit Impact of Advertising in Mobile Games
We theorized that gaming leads to a highly energized state, a state that may enhance ad receptivity and impact. We could not simply rely on gamers’ stated claims of ad effectiveness, because consumers are largely not attuned to how they are influenced by ads, have poor recall of their ad experiences, and/or are simply biased towards thinking unfavorably about ads.
Drawing heavily on tools, techniques and thinking from our Pragmatic Brain Science Institute®, we developed an approach that assessed implicit and explicit responses to the ad. Specifically, our solution gauged respondents’ emotional and motivational states immediately after playing a mobile game during which they had been exposed to in-game advertising.
To supplement our findings, we measured less conscious perceptions of the ads using reaction-time measures and linguistic analyses based on a pitch for the advertised product. As a point of comparison, we evaluated a separate group of respondents who watched a television program in which they were exposed to the same ad, and who answered the same questions.
The study produced a few key outcomes:
- Support for our hypothesis that gaming leads to a highly energized state, a state that may enhance ad receptivity and impact
- At an explicit level, gamers said they were more annoyed by the ads, but at a less conscious level, gamers’ perceptions of the ad were more positive than television watchers
- A linguistic analysis of gamers’ product pitch revealed that gamers took away more information about the product from the ads