The number of advertisers spending money to place products and other commercial messages in video games is booming. And the amount they are spending is expected to reach new heights in coming years,
thanks to a service from Nielsen Entertainment that measure the impact of their promotional efforts. 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. Marketers especially like using video games as ad vehicles because program producers allow them much more latitude than they receive when trying to place
products in traditional TV programming. "I understand that the TV and film writers in Hollywood see it as an invasion of their space, but with gamers we are treated more like a private equity
investor," says Bonita Stewart, DaimlerChrysler's director of interactive communications. The automaker's Jeep brand and several of its models has a highly visible presence in skateboarder Tony Hawk's
latest videogame, American Wasteland. Other national marketers, like Nike, Coca-Cola, have also placed products in games, and more are following suit.
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