Advertising world adjusts to new technology
Media advertising used to be so simple. There was television, radio and print. As the Internet takes over as the main source of entertainment and information, advertisers are adopting ever-changing strategies to keep up.
Also, as new technological devices, ways to use them and what people are using them for continues to change, advertisers are finding ways to take advantage of new products. PC World reports that Microsoft has released free games for use on the Zune, a small, portable audio and video storage device, much like the iPod. Where there’s audio and video, there’s the potential for all kinds of interactive applications and games, which is exactly what people want.
Where the advertising comes in
So, advertisers have realized that the gaming world is exploding right now. People are spending more time playing games and less time looking at their televisions, magazines and other ancient forms of entertainment. So why not move their ads to where the demand is? Well, now they have.
Zune users will no doubt be delighted by the possibility of playing free games. They might be less delighted by the ad that pops up to fill the screen while the free games load. But, hey, that’s the world we live in now. Now that product placement is rampant and taking on all types of different forms, pretty soon people will likely not be able to tell the difference between what’s advertising and what isn’t.
Love/hate relationship with change
The relationship between media, advertising and consumers has always been tumultuous, and I am sure there will be plenty of people out there who hate the idea of ads popping up on their Zunes while their games are loading.
However, you’re going to be sitting there waiting for the game to load whether you’re looking at an ad or not. Yes, probably some of the video ads will last longer than the load time. Yes, it will probably annoy people. However, television commercials have been annoying people for decades, and they’re accepted as a normal part of life.
While people are very exited about changes in technology and media that give them access to games and keep them entertained, they inevitably get irritated when advertising figures out a way to take advantage of the same new technology they are taking advantage of. I’m not saying I agree with either side. I am just saying, get used to it.
The future of advertising
I am interested to see where this relationship between gaming and advertising goes. More and more games that are hosted online are becoming available to consumers, and that means they’re not static like a disk you buy at Game Stop and then stick in your Xbox. It wouldn’t make sense to put ads in static games like that, nor would it make much sense for video game companies to try to sell it.
But with a dynamic medium like the Internet, the possibilities for advertising grow. First, we’ve got ads filling Zune screens while free games load. The technology is there, why not put ads at the beginning of games people buy? In fact, why not put ads in the middle of games? Of course, there will never be ads interrupting gameplay, but perhaps between rounds or levels. Like I said before, get used to the idea.