Product Placement in Video Games is Getting RIDICULOUS

Marketing companies are always trying to sneak advertising into our daily lives--you know this. But most of the time, many of us aren't even aware of the vast amount of product placement that is laid before our very eyes: TV infomercials, Public transportation, sky writing, radio plugs, and even female derriere are all popular methods companies use to convince you to buy their product.

It comes as no surprise that marketing companies use video games as a vessel for advertising. If young people with disposable income are spending hours and hours in front of a video game, why not use this as an opportunity to add a little bit of product placement? Although in-game advertising has been common since the 1970s, only recently have these ads gone a bit out of hand. Seriously, political ads in racing games? Below are the silliest cases of advertising within video games.

10. The Secret of Monkey Island (PC)

Product Placement Includes:
  • LucasArt's Loom (PC)

Cobb, aka "The Loom Guy," is a sickly looking pirate found in LucasArt's The Secret of Monkey Island. His name can be verified by looking at his hat, which clearly says "Cobb" on it. When asked about anything, he simply responds "aye." Ask him about Loom, however, and he'll go on a long tangent about how great the game is, that we should "beat the rush" and "go out and buy Loom today." What an obvious sales pitch!

9. Zool (Amiga)


Product Placement Includes:
  • Chupa Chups
Zool was originally developed for the Amiga as a rival to the Sonic the Hedgehog games. Publisher Gremlin Graphics at the time developed a partnership with Chupa Chups, which lead to images of the product and logo throughout the game, especially in the Sweet Zone levels. Following the decline of the Amiga however, Zool's popularity faded away. Hopefully, they made enough money from their Chupa Chups endorsement.

8. Pikmin (Gamecube)


Product Placement Includes:
  • Duracell Batteries
  • 7-Up Bottle caps
The concept of Nintendo's Pikmin series derives from Shigeru Miyamoto's time spent tending his garden. During the course of the game, protagonist Captain Olimar must find a way off of the planet that he crashes on by manipulating its local inhabitants, the Pikmin. Along his journey, he'll come across strange objects, including dangerous insects... and Duracell batteries, and 7-Up bottle caps. If this game is any indication of what Mr. Miyamoto's garden is like, then perhaps he should consider cleaning up his garden.

7. SWAT 4 (PC)

SWAT4 AD.jpg

Product Placement Includes:
  • Upcoming U.S. Television Shows
As an example of dynamic in-game advertising, SWAT 4 contains constantly-changing posters that developers can continue to update. Typically, these posters contain advertisements for upcoming U.S. television shows. In the example above, a poster for Tripping the Rift can be spotted.

6. PAIN (PS3)


Product Placement Includes:
  • Movie Posters
  • Video Game Posters
  • Axe Deodorant
PAIN is another example of dynamic in-game advertising. Many believe that this game was designed to be a advertising machine for players to interact with. In the game, players are exposed to frequently updated billboard ads for the latest movies and games. You can also toss around mascots, as well, such as Daxter from the Jak and Daxter game series, or some random guy holding a can of Axe body spray.

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