Following up on the previous entry, I spotted the AdAge.com article Video Games: The New Reality Of Youth Marketing while browsing over at Blues News. It’s a more in-depth look at how everyone is trying to cash in on the video game pie:
In fact, judging by the demographics, we’re living in a joystick nation. Video games are a $9.4 billion business in the U.S., bigger than the movie box office. Marketers in the category spent $414.1 million on advertising in the first 11 months of 2003, according to TNS/Competitive Media Reporting.
There are 100 million gaming consoles in households, 60 million hand-held games and growing numbers of game-enabled cellphones. Video gaming is the fastest-growing form of entertainment, and one-third of gamers are women. The average gamer is 29 years old, and young audiences consistently rank the Internet and video games above TV on the importance scale.
“People have started to realize that it’s a major industry, it’s not just some lonely 16-year-old playing in his room because he can’t get a date,” said David Comtois, executive producer of the documentary Video Game Invasion, airing this week on GSN, recently rebranded from Game Show Network. “It’s become part of a language that we all speak.”
It’s an interesting read though I would argue that a lot of the people trying to cash in on this are pretty clueless on how to go about it. Take for example Spike TV’s awful Video Game Awards show they aired last year where the assumption seemed to be that all video gamers were also massive hip-hop fans as that was pretty much the style of show (and music) they put on. I don’t know what kind of ratings that travesty pulled in, but if they do it again this year I hope they manage a better job of making it appeal to all gamers and actually putting some excitement into it.
Anyway, it’s clear that gamers are going to continue to have an impact on the entertainment industry and those folks out there who aren’t gamers are probably going to get a little sick of all the attempts by the marketing people to gain gamers’ attention in more traditional areas such as TV and movies.
Hell, Volvo is already advertising their new S40 in a commercial that uses footage of an actual video game the car appears in (Xbox’s RalliSport Challenge 2). Bet they wish it could flip and roll half a dozen times without so much as a dent like in that video game…