DETERMINANTS OF EFFECTIVE PRODUCT PLACEMENT IN COMPUTER GAMES – LITERATURE REVIEW
Product placement is a common tool in promotional campaign. Marketers feature products in the plot of movies or TV programs to improve brand image and influence purchase decisions. Companies more often decide to embed products or brand identifiers inside computer games. Product placement attracts attention of managers as well as scholars. Vast parts of research focused on determinants of effective product placement in a game environment. The present paper aims to represent the main determinants that influence the effectiveness of product placement and is based on literature review.
INTRODUCTION: Recently, we have witnessed the evolution of product placement in computer games. This new medium attracted many well-known companies such as IBM, Adidas or Coca-Cola. According to the growing popularity of placing product in games, an increase in scientists' interest in the effectiveness of this phenomenon can be observed. Research focuses on evaluating players' brand memory, attitudes toward to the game, product or brand, and purchasing intentions. It is important to note that brands placed in games affect the audience in different degrees because the brand can be featured in various ways. Some of the scholars investigated the factors that can exert influence on the effectiveness of product placement in computer games.
OBJECTIVES: The present paper is aimed to investigate the main determinants of effective product placement in computer games.
METHODS: The article is based on polish and foreign literature review.
RESULTS: The growing ranks of scholars has been observed to have interest in the effectiveness of product placement in computer games. According to the literature, it can be said that an effectiveness of product (or brand) placement in a game environment is determined by: the degree of product/brand visibility in the game (prominence as well as proximity), game-product congruity, customer engagement in a game, persuasive knowledge, and strategy of product or brand integration with the game. There is also research that explores how these determinants influence product placement effectiveness in a game environment.
CONCLUSION: Despite the progress made, there are still important limitations of the conducted research, e.g. results can be moderate by various circumstances such as using fictitious or real brands. In addition, the same factor can have positive as well as negative effects. For instance, product placement proximity on the one hand enhances brand recall, but on the other can cause negative attitudes toward the brand. There are also determinants with limited research such as influence of product or brand integration with the game on product (or brand) effectiveness.
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