Real-Time Ads in Video Games

AdAge has an interesting piece this weekend on Massive’s first real-time ads being served into video games. Say what you will about its desirability, or lack thereof, this is inevitable stuff:

Massive Inc., whose ad serving network for computer games began operating earlier this year, has begun serving its first video ads into the PC game Anarchy Online, according to the company.
The dynamic serving technology places full action video ads into the gamescape — or digital architecture — in real time. “Dynamic” means the ad units can be served on the fly and updated or switched at any time. The advertisers for this initial video rollout are Panasonic and Britain’s Channel 4.
…Panasonic has placed a 15- and 30-second ad for its DVD video camera in Anarchy Online. The ads, produced by Grey Worldwide and Renegade Marketing, begin rolling as the character the gamer is controlling starts to approach a billboard or a screen that’s part of the scenery on a street. As the character gets closer to the ad, the audio gets louder. The gamer can stop and “watch” the ad or pass by it. If he passes by, the next time the ad appears, it picks up right where the gamer stopped watching. The viewer has to watch the full 15- or 30-second ad in its entirety in one session, said Nicholas Longano, chief marketing officer of Massive. “We bill when we have a full impression from beginning to end,” he said.
The ads are sold on a cost-per-thousand-viewers basis that is competitive with cable TV advertising, Mr. Longano said.


  1. I’m not a gamer, but I have to note that it’s somewhat ironic for the hi-tech world to incorporate such a low-tech ad model of advetising into its reality–the street bill board; it’s so retro!