Impact of Digital Gaming & Gamification


On Advertising & Branding, Special issue of Journal of Interactive Advertising; Deadline 31 Dec 2018

Impact of Digital Gaming & Gamification on Advertising & Branding


Special Issue: Journal of Interactive Advertising


Deadline: 31 December 2018


Special Issue Editor: Dr. Vincent Cicchirillo, Saint Xavier University, USA


Manuscripts are currently being solicited for an upcoming special issue of the Journal of Interactive Advertising (JIAD) dedicated to understanding how digital gaming and gamification have effected advertising and branding. This includes in-game advertising, advergaming, mobile app games, and brands using gamification techniques to promote their products and/or services.




Video games have come a long way from the early 80’s and console-based systems to online gaming and mobile applications. The vernacular has also changed as industry and academic professionals have opted for the term ‘digital games’ over ‘video games’ in favor of more modern applications of the technology. According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a large percentage of households are home to at least one video game player (65%) and the gaming industry contributes billions in value to the economy. Games are also no longer played by just adolescent males, as gamers have gotten older (the average gamer is 35 years old) and more diverse (females represent 31% of the gaming population) (ESA, 2017). Brands and advertisers are now embracing digital gaming and are incorporating their products and services in and around games. For instance, Yang, Asaad, Dwivedi (2017) noted that gamification has become a popular way to promote brand engagement even though many businesses lack the understanding of whether or not gamification is the right communication tool. Furthermore, many brands have chosen to promote their brands within digital games (Cicchirillo & Mabry, 2016). The research is somewhat mixed as aspects of congruity and incongruity of the brand to game content has shown various effects on attitudes and memory (see Kinard & Hartman, 2013; Peters & Leshner, 2013). Thus, there is particular need to extend the current literature and examine how in-game advertising can be an effective brand communication strategy. Furthermore, we need new examinations related to the effectiveness of gamification strategies as well as for corporations creating their own branded digital games (i.e., advergames) that can either be played online or as mobile apps.


The Journal of Interactive Advertising, since its debut in 2000, has offered a venue for exploring new forms of digitally enabled advertising. This special issue of JIAD will provide a space for examining broad issues of how brands use digital games and gamification strategies to improve advertising outcomes. Are newer formats more effective than past ones? How are brands using digital games to promote their brands? What gamification strategies are currently being employed and what strategies might be most effective? The primary goal is to further extend current directions, but also understand newer ones. As such, exploratory methods such a content analyses are certainly welcome as well as theoretical perspectives. Scholars are also encouraged to submit empirical studies that test and extend current directions within digital gaming research involving marketing communications broadly. Finally, as with any new form of advertising, researchers must also consider the ethical implications of these practices.




Potential research topics may include, but are not limited to, examinations of digital gaming and gamification involving:


Advertising Effectiveness


Consumer Behavior

Ethical Considerations

Theoretical Perspectives

Brand Recall and Recognition


Brand & Game Attitudes

Consumer Engagement

Mobile App Effectiveness

Prominence and Media Use

Media Technology (e.g., social media, augmented reality, virtual reality, etc.)




All manuscripts for the special issue should follow JIAD Instructions for submissions and be submitted via the JIAD ScholarOne online system.


The deadline to receive manuscripts is December 31, 2018. Authors should select “SPECIAL ISSUE: Digital Gaming & Gamification” as manuscript type. Please note in the cover letter that the submission is for the special issue.


All articles will undergo blind peer review with first round editorial decisions by April.  The anticipated date for publication of the special issue is 2019.


For questions or additional information regarding the special issue, please contact the guest editor: Dr. Vincent Cicchirillo via email or telephone (+1.312.362.7702).


Visit the Journal of Interactive Advertising for more information.




Cicchirillo, V., Mabry, A. (2016). Advergaming and healthy eating involvement: How healthy eating inclinations impact processing of advergame content. Internet Research, 26(3), 587-603.


Entertainment Software Association (2017). Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry,


Kinard, B. R., & Hartman, K. B. (2013). Are you entertained? The impact of brand integration and brand experience in television-related advergames. Journal of Advertising, 42, 196- 203.


Peters, S., & Leshner, G. (2013). Get in the game: The effects of game-product congruity and product placement proximity on game players’ processing of brands embedded in advergames. Journal of Advertising, 42, 113-130.


Yang, Y., Asaad, Y., & Dwivedi, Y. (2017). Examining the impact of gamification on intention of engagement and brand attitude in the marketing context. Computers in Human Behavior, 73, 459-469.