Advergaming – The big topic at MGC 2006

The second Annual Mobile Gaming Conference held recently at the ITC Grand Maratha Sheraton covered pertinent topics such as strategizing a game plan; mobile gaming from a handset manufacturer’s perspective; masterminding finances by professing interplay; developing and publishing in an overcrowded market; Capitalizing on ventures; Brand promotion and the legal aspects. Amongst the interesting sessions was one on advergaming which is fast catching up as a buzzword amongst both marketing and game developing circles. Speakers on the panel included Ninad Chhaya (Executive VP-Operations and Production, Paradox Studios), Troy Lobo (Associate Dir, Wireless and Emerging Technologies, Turner International), Rajiv Hiranandani (Country Head India, India, M2W) and Dippak Khurana (Regional Head- India and Far East, Mauj Telecom). Ninad kick started the session by sharing his view on advergaming which is advertising a brand through interactive gaming where it is part of the game itself. Elaborating more on the topic of branding, Rajiv Hiranandani was of the opinion that advergaming is advantageous to both the consumer as well as the corporate house. The aim behind advergaming is to integrate still and interactive features into a mobile game making the branding subtle at the same time effective. The keyword here is â€?subtle.’ Dippak Khurana, Regional Head India and Far East spoke about the internet saying that it has opened minds to niche interactive marketing and receptiveness to this is helping advergaming. The advantage with advertising on mobile games is that there is tangible data available to the advertiser in terms of the number of downloads and the like. According to him advergaming would be defined as in-game placements for advertisers. To draw a parallel it would be similar to in-film advertising, or even similar to the on-ground advertising which happens in a cricket stadium. In his opinion advergaming is emerging as a new medium of advertising for marketers. Given the surge in mobile consumers in India, it is becoming an interesting media vehicle for advertisers. So far Mauj has developed games with advergaming for Lays, Mahindra Scorpio, McDonalds & Lee and the response to them has been favourable.

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