£165m marketing bonanza to cheer up Christmas

The UK games industry is digging deep in a bid to turn around a difficult year for boxed sales.

Publishers, retailers, developers and platform holders are splashing 165m on advertising over the next three months, MCV research has found.

That amount will fund a deluge of TV ads, mall tours, and celebrity endorsements.It is down on the 181m spent last year, but is still an astonishing figure.Publishers on the whole are devoting as much money this year as they did in 2010, and in some cases are spending more.

But retail is cutting back to cope with falling sales.Platform holders are spending the most, with Kinect, Uncharted 3 and 3DS getting the lion’s share of marketing support.Advertising costs this year are also roughly in line with 2010.

One mainstream ad agency told MCV that TV and radio ad costs have risen only slightly – between one and three per cent.

Meanwhile, other forms of marketing such as cinema have dipped by around five per cent year-on-year.

UK marketers hope this will guarantee a blockbuster Christmas for retail following a challenging year. Gfk Chart-Track data shows that for the first nine months of 2011, retailers have sold 4.7m fewer games than they did the year before – a drop of 15 per cent year-on-year.

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