New research indicates that in-game advertisement which feature violent elements may be more memorable to players than nonviolent ads.
MIT's Technology Review reports on the study conducted in part at the University of Luxemburg
[Researchers] developed a simple racing game called AdRacer... A player drives around a virtual course and scores points by hitting targets along the way--as she drives, unobtrusive graphical ads are displayed as billboard graphics... while a camera records her eye movements. After playing, each player's ability to recall of brands shown on the side of the road was tested.
Those who played a violent version of the game, where the goal was to run down pedestrians, resulting in a blood-splattered screen, demonstrated significantly better recall of advertised brands than those who played the regular version...
Of course, while violent ads may increase the player's memory of the product, they could also be a public relations disaster in the making. Technology Review notes that University of Luxemburg researchers have also found that ad violence can lessen a gamer's opinion of a brand.
GP: The screenshot at left is from the University of Luxemburg's AdRacer.