An Idea for MMO Advertising
Instead of figuring out someway to sneak an advertisement for a product into a game where players will see said advertisement somewhere in that virtual world, how about they take the example from the movie industry. Most MMO's require a login to be completed at what is known as the "launchpad". Here is where I think would be the best way to do it. The player has to come here to get in the game and any advertisements here would be exposed to the player. Now, if the ad is inticing enough, the player may forego logging in and click on that ad to see the offer. If not, then the player logs in and plays. However, the player was already expposed to the ad and the marketing is finished in that sense, until the player logs back in to the game at a later date. This way, the ad company gets their advertising in a MMO and the player's game play isn't at risk. Until the advertising in MMO's becomes a mainstream media with the rest of the traditional methods, this will be the best way to "test the waters".
Another way I was thinking about would be a little more challenging on the game developer's part. Every game out there has opening credits with the involved companies' logo. What about a quick advertisement to be mixed in their as well? It would be difficult in the way that the developers would be constantly changing the code to game and players would have to wait for an update everytime they login. However, it still exposes the ads to the players without interupting the player's gameplay.
But those are my ideas. I think the first one is the best and one that I wouldn't mind dealing with when I play my games. The second is more difficult but again, I wouldn't mind dealing with that. Bottom line is that the developers and marketing companies have to remember: Don't screw around with a gamer's gameplay. Wars have been started for less.