Effects of In-Game Virtual Direct Experience (VDE) on Reactions to Real-World Brands

Frank E. Dardis, Mike Schmierbach, Lee Ahern, Julia Fraustino, Saraswathi Bellur, Sean Brooks, Jared Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


As brand placement into video games becomes an increasingly popular marketing strategy, little research has examined the role that in-game virtual direct experience (VDE) with branded products plays in affecting recall of and attitudes toward the real-world brands. The current experiment employed the manipulation of performance features of the integral brand needed to play an auto-racing game (a Volkswagen car) to determine if players' VDE would translate into differences in real-world, brand-related outcomes. Results indicate that players who had an easier VDE exhibited greater recall of and attitudes toward the brand than did players who had a more difficult VDE. Effects generally were unique to the integral brand; peripheral brands were unaffected. Results are interpreted via the LC4MP model of memory, VDE and affect-transfer theory, and brand-placement prominence. Practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-334
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Promotion Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing


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