A study by Nielsen found that in-game advertising can be very effective. The company tracked sales of Gatorade and claims that in-game advertising increased household dollars spent on the drink by 24 percent, offering a return of investment of $3.11 per dollar spent.
Nielsen's study followed at least one of the six EA Sports titles in a given household, including NHL 09, NHL 10, NBA Live 07, NBA Live 08, NBA Live 09 and NBA Street Homecourt. All of the games had Gatorade product placements within them, such as arena signs, water bottles, score updates and other strategic mentions.
The research firm found the results through its barcode-scanning U.S. Homescan panel, which includes 100,000 households.
Nielsen followed a sample of that panel that scanned relevant EA Sports games -- both before and after integration of the Gatorade ads -- and then compared Gatorade buying behavior with households that didn't purchase the games.