Activision, Nielsen take alliance to next step

Game publisher, research analysts will use THUG2 to examine how consumers interact with advertisements embedded into video games.

Activision and Nielsen Entertainment announced today that the game publisher and entertainment analysis experts will soon launch a test that would measure how consumers react to advertising in video games. The test will utilize Activision's upcoming Tony Hawk's Underground 2, which features various product placements throughout its in-game world, to determine how long and how often players interact with brand names they encounter within a game.

The first company to take part in the test will be Chrysler. Activision and Nielsen will measure players' interaction with the Jeep brand vehicles that are included in THUG2. The version used will be the PC version of the game. Nielsen and Activision will recruit a representative sample of players from 13 to 35 years of age for the study, and then provide them with copies of the game with special software installed that measures the frequency and length of gamers' use of the branded in-game features. Nielsen Entertainment will collect the data on a daily basis.

The console versions of the title are not part of the test, although the companies have announced that they are in talks with console manufacturers for future studies.

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