Some bad news for casual gamers - it appears that advergames (games with an overt commercial message) do work.

University of Missouri researchers found that consumers expressed "strong positive relationships toward brands" when they played advergames with connections to the products advertised.

In the study, participants played two advergames, one with a connection to the brand advertised, the other without. The two games don't sound particularly interesting: 'Find Your Hotel' and 'Paper Football', but linking the first to a travel company boosted player's feeling towards it.

Enjoyment transferral

"The transfer of enjoyment from the game to a positive attitude toward the brand was stronger when the game and brand were thematically related," said Kevin Wise, Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication at Missouri University.

Wise went on to suggest: "Brand-related advergames are not inherently more expensive to produce, so our findings suggest that they might be more effective as a way of developing positive consumer attitudes towards a particular brand."

Just what the world needs, more junk advertising...