Business Week, Feb. 27, 2006, "Rated M For Mad Ave." A few data points and quotes:
Game: Activision's American Wasteland of the skateboarder Tony Hawk series. Brands: Staples Center, Jeep Wranglers, Grand Cherokees, and Liberties.
"Jeep learned that all players were shown the 3-D vehicles an average of 23 times in 20 minutes. And 96% of those who recalled seeing the Jeep felt the vehicles fit well in the game. Feedback even more welcome to Jeep: 51% of American Wasteland players, including some not yet driving, said they would recommend Jeep to a friend, and 65% would consider eventually buying one. "Gaming performs much better than TV" in turning brand awareness into an actual preference, says Bonita Stewart, DaimlerChrysler's (DCX ) director of interactive communications."
"Nielsen forecasts that ad spending on brand placement in games will balloon from $75 million last year to as much as $1 billion by 2010."
"This is a new world of interactivity that puts gaming on the same plane with advertisers as cable TV," says Tim Harris, who heads the gaming unit of media agency Starcom MediaVest Group."
"And far from rebelling against ads in their players, gamers seem to be telling advertisers they want to see more of the brands that help define who they are."