Gatorade ads in EA Sports games have seen the beverage company receive a $3.11 (£2.00) return on investment, with households who purchased one of the EA Sports titles in which Gatorade featured spending 24 per cent more on the company's products.
The Nielsen study, based on a sample of over 100,000 US households, compared the buying habits of families which owned at least one of the titles which feature Gatorade with those who didn't, asking respondents to scan the barcodes of the products they purchased. It's the first study of its kind to be done on in-game advertising.
"Nielsen's study is a milestone for interactive entertainment, for the first time, advertisers are able to link the value of their in-game marketing or sponsorship to actual sales," said Elizabeth Harz, EA's senior vice president of global media sales.
"Now brands can feel confident adding gaming as a core media channel for their advertising."
Earlier this year, EA decided to ditch in-game ad specialists IGA and sell its advertising space directly to customers.
Gatorade was featured in various forms in NHL 09, NHL 10, NBA Live 07, NBA Live 08, NBA Live 09 and NBA Street Homecourt.