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First Thing's First... What is In Game Advertising?
This might seem like some strange new idea to you but we can assure you that it's not something we just imagined up. Its starting to become a trend really: In-Game Advertising (or IGA for short). Much like the advertisements in movies and soaps - we are starting to see a new wave of marketing ideas. This time, product placement is not just in the shows you watch, it's in the game you play too!
From posters in the streets of CounterStrike to the hands of Snake in Metal Gear Solid 4, the product placement just never seems to stop! But lo and behold! MGS4 has taken the IGA product placement to a whole new level by actually incorporating the products in game and making them relevant to you, yes you! the player!
So are you curious as to what products have surreptitiously scattered around the world of MGS 4? Then wait no more and let's scan through the items together!
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During cutscenes and those valuable mission orders given to you before the start of each level, you get to see other MGS4 NPCs be productive. Some of the following scenes hereafter will be pretty familiar to you, but have you noticed that the items used are actually real items you can purchase?
Otacon is out in the mobile, speaking to you via the Mk II, Sunny is in front of her Mac, creating ciphers faster than you can say "Liquid!" From time to time, you can even see Naomi (when she's not making Otacon blush!) holding her Sony Erickson mobile phone and placing some call. And you, dear player handling Snake - you are hiding from the Gekko's with your iPod stuck snugly in your ear.
You said what now?
Yup, you heard it right! IGA in MGS4 has become interactive. At least for the most part.
The iMacs of course you can't really touch as Snake isn't that techy. But you can play with the iPod! Pick a playlist and have something playing in the background while you take out Gekkos. Cool huh? That's not all the ads in the game!
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Other In Game Adverts
Aside from the Mac ads that you can see in game, there are certain items that are sure to catch your eye as well.
Maybe you've seen them around the game, a Sony Erickson phone toted by one of the main characters (yup its Naomi), a ReGain energy drink amusingly drunk by Snake and of course the ever-wonderful Playboy magazine.
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I've already mentioned the iPods of course, as they're one of the many obvious IG adverts that you can use, but did you know that there's also another one (aside from the drink)?
Now you might be wondering, what are the uses of the iPod and the Playboy (aside from the music and the lol factor of seeing Snake crouched in some corner thumbing through a sensual magazine)?. Well here's the rub, the iPod and the Playboy magazine actually help calm Snake down and even boost his Psyche - a feature essential to make sure that Snake performs at its best! As per the Playboy, try dropping them around where the enemies are to distract them while you make a clean get away. This just goes to show the IG adverts aren't as useless as we may well believe it to be.
So be on the look for other IGA sprouting in other games out there player, stranger things have happened, you never know - you might be seeing more than just product placements in games.
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Want More MGS?
Need more Metal Gear Solid 4 - or any of them for that matter? We've got you covered here on Bright Hub and here are some of the great articles that you'll find: