For the first time, a recent study of EA Games shows proof that advertisers may actually benefit from something many gamers hate: in-game advertising.

According to research by The Nielsen Company on behalf of EA, in-game advertising "increased household dollars spent on Gatorade by 24 percent." The study focused those who bought one of these six games: NHL 09 and 10, NBA Live 07, 08, and 09, and NBA Street Homecourt. These games featured Gatorade ads plastered on such in-game things as arenas, players' water bottles, and score updates.

Senior Vice President for Communications & Industry Affairs Rich Taylor of the Entertainment Software Association says in-game advertising can be good thing - it's not just for-profit corporations that are looking to reach gamers these days.

"From the insights we've gathered, appropriately placed advertisements in games can improve a title's aesthetic, profitability, and overall playing experience. Our core demographic is 18 to 35 year olds - which is the sweet spot for anyone looking to reach a new  base," Taylor says.

"Elected officials, nonprofits, Fortune 500 companies are all looking at in-game advertising as a way to reach the highly connected and influential gamer community."

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