gas.jpg So we made it back alive from the Game Advertising Summit, and have posted a couple of extra write-ups over at sister site Gamasutra, but here's some random highlights that we're far too tired to write up properly, but you might dig.

- If you ever get a chance to see EA Chicago's Kudo Tsunoda talk, do it! He's a hilarious natural public speaker, and his riffing on how EA got 'The King' from Burger King into Fight Night Round 3 (complete with disparaging comments about hardcore gamer forum weenies who, in his mind, whine overly about the product placement) was pretty darn hilarious. He also mentioned that EA Chicago is working on a next-gen version of the Def Jam wrestling games in which there's lots of licensed clothes and bling, and you can get virtual clothing in-game, and then click a button to order those same exact clothes in real life - whoa.

- Nielsen VP Emily Della Maggiora had some really interesting new stats she's researched on in-game ads per platform - in particular, when asked if they felt games were more realistic with real ads placed in them, 29.7% of Xbox 360 owners strongly agreed, vs. just 14.3% of PS2 owners and just 11.4% of PC owners. Even more so, an insane 50% of Xbox 360 owners said that real ads make them more interested in the game, versus just 29.9% for Xbox and less than that for PS2. This may be down to the amount of hardcore gamers and/or the amount of suitable sports and racing titles on X360 right now, of course, but it's still impressive in showing acceptance for _relevant_ in-game product placement/ads.

- The publishing panel that I moderated (featuring Activision, THQ, and Midway reps) was enlivened by the last-minute addition of Julie Shumaker, EA's in-game ad czar, who had some interesting comments on the current well-integrated 'static' product placement in games. If you go with static ads that are woven into the game, this tends to work much better in terms of authenticity, but of course, you don't know how many copies the game is going to sell when you sign the contract.

Shumaker noted that all EA's product placement deals have minimum shipment amounts, and they've only failed to reach those once in 5 years, but also noted that the minimum ship for last year's Need For Speed was stipulated at 3 million units across all SKUs, but the game actually shipped 11 million - great for the advertisers, but hardly the best financial deal for EA, since they're giving away all those extra eyeballs for 'free'. Woops.