Gamers: Brand Influencers When It Comes To Autos

According to research from Ziff Davis' 1UP Network, gamers are focused on more than just playing games. They're also avid car enthusiasts who influence each other about brands and features for upcoming purchases.

About 75% of gamers give their peers advice about which brand of vehicle to buy--up from about 63% last year, according to 1Up, which partnered with to poll more than 1,600 U.S. readers of its content (both online and print) in early August.

The stats show that gamers trade automotive advice fairly consistently. On average, respondents said they had made vehicle recommendations to three of their peers in the past six months. Nearly half of the gamers surveyed recommended vehicle features to their friends, while 40% advised their friends about how much a new or used car should cost.

About 30% of gamers who advised their friends also told them where to look for vehicle information online, with and Kelley Blue Book ( tying for the top spot in terms of where gamers in the market for a car searched for that info. and Consumer Reports ( rounded out the top three.

The stats highlight a need for auto advertisers to include around-game campaigns in their overall media mix--not just in-game ads--as brand campaigns help reach the "peer advisors" who are influencing other gamers about their upcoming vehicle purchases.

"In-game advertising is an option, but a compelling campaign that educates on any specific car model is not yet a reality for in-game advertising," said Brent Martyn, Ziff Davis Media's national director of online sales and promotions. "Traditional banner and video advertising is a great way of increasing brand awareness while driving gamers to learn more and equip themselves with the knowledge necessary to properly evangelize the car. Auto manufacturers can also choose to educate gamers within the trusted endemic environments themselves with content-rich microsites detailing out their various car offerings."

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