Democracy 2 adverts December 6, 2008 cliffski I still occasionally pay for ad clicks for democracy 2. It’s an older game now (just over a year old) but it still sells, and has had a bit of a welcome boost thanks to the US elections and the resulting increase in interest in all things political. I figure that if people are more interested in politics than usual, that the same ad spend as usual should have better results. It’s true that the credit crunch means people have less money, but that also means people spend less on ads so ad space should have less competition and be cheaper :D Right now I’m only using google adwords to place some democracy 2 leaderboards. I’ve also been reading a book about brain structure and advertising, which covers the whole topic of how advertising works (in real low-level neuroscience style), which also has me thinking about ads a lot. According to the book, almost all of our sensory input gets channelled first through an area of the brain called the ‘amygdala’ which is in charge of our fear response, before being passed on to other areas for detailed contextual analysis. This is so that the brain can recognize danger (a snake, a hand grenade etc) as quickly as possible. It’s also why we jump back instinctively if someone throws a fake spider or snake at you, even when it’s an obvious fake. The higher level pattern-recognition parts of your brain that say “its clearly a toy” haven’t even received the data yet, let alone come to conclusions. I find this interesting because it explains US political TV ads. Most of the successful ones are based on fear. Fear of terrorists. Fear of immigrants. Fear of crime. Fear of poverty. The fear response takes over before the higher level rational bit even gets a look-in. Which is interesting, but doesn’t help me sell games :(. I’ve tried a few different banner ad styles and wordings and will let the wonder of A/B testing evolve the one that sells the most copies.