Automakers such as Audi and Nissan are using driving-oriented console games for Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation to introduce young gamers early on to a brand and help establish a car preference for when it is time to pick out a real car. But the games are "not just about reaching the youth -- an Audi in a video game also reaches our core target group," said Kai Mensing, head of International Product Placement at Volkswagen's Audi. Globally, in-game ads are expected to hit $2.8 billion this year, per PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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