London-- Behavioural research consultancy, Bunnyfoot, has conducted an independent study that reveals a lack of engagement between video game players and in-game advertising in sports titles. Using its Sponsor Fixation Index (SFI) metric, Bunnyfoot reports a dramatic fall in consumer engagement ratings among some of the leading sporting games.
Key to the consultancy's approach is its ability to passively observe and capture gamers' visual and emotional response during game play. 120 game players participated in the study, all aged 18 or above. Each person was selected with specific regard to their gaming preference and experience. Players are then assigned to a particular title spread across eight sports. Titles included Gran Turismo 3, NBA Live and Project Gotham Racing 3. The consultancy then used its measurement tool, the SFI, to monitor player behaviour and matched engagement and receptiveness levels with game events and game play dynamics.
Results showed an astonishing variation in consumer engagement. Overall, SFI scores were comparatively low, especially when contrasted with the prevalence of brand placements. Highest SFI scores were found with NBA Live and Smackdown Vs Raw; however, recall and recognition figures were surprisingly low; a pattern evident across all titles. Moreover, PGR3 elicited no consumer engagement at all, resulting in 0% on all scores.
These results demonstrate a significantly poor level of engagement with consumers and exposed an apparent weakness within games to efficiently capture consumer attention. Despite following the model of real world sports advertising, current methods are not optimising consumer engagement and are failing to influence the consumer in any significant way, the key driver for any marketing campaign and its validation.
"These results reflect the industry's concern relating to brand value and return on investment. Understanding consumer interaction at a deeper level of analysis allows us to measure the value of advertising investment" said Alison Walton, Head of Visual Engagement.
Bunnyfoot is now able to offer brands, advertising agencies and publishers a tool, which for the first time, will provide them with an in-depth analysis to determine their return on investment. Rather than relying on CPM rates, reach and frequency data, Bunnyfoot has the ability to deliver individual, accurate measurements on emotive brand engagement.
Bunnyfoot is the UK's premier behavioural research consultancy specialising in eye-tracking technology and consumer engagement.