Ziff Davis research provides insights and marketing direction for the struggling car industry.

According to Ziff Davis research, gamers are focused on more than just playing games. They’re also avid car enthusiasts who influence each other about brands and features for upcoming purchases.

About 75% of gamers give their peers advice about which brand of vehicle to buy, up from about 63% last year according to 1Up, which partnered with Surveynetwork.com to poll more than 1,600 U.S. readers of its content (both online and print) in early August.

The results show that gamers trade automotive advice fairly consistently. On average, respondents said they had made vehicle recommendations to three of their peers in the past six months and nearly half of the gamers surveyed recommended vehicle features to their friends, while 40% had advised their friends on how much a new or used car should cost.

As Andrew Cordwell, national sales director, IGN.com, a popular online gaming resource, Australia highlights:

“The research shows us that IGN gamers are powerful influencers in the car sector. This is ideal, as IGN readers are cost effective to reach and educate via the IGN website – a welcome relief for the car industry which faces pressure from every direction.”

Utilising the range of advertising channels on IGN is essential to educate gamers on car brands. These include; display and rich media, microsites, launch centres, offline events such as Black Beta and Taste Test, as well as content integration into editorial.

“The opportunities on IGN have magnified with the recent site redesign, which combines cleaner and less cluttered content pages with cutting-edge design which gives advertisers even greater creative scope, immersion potential and branding opportunities, while continuing to provide millions of users world-wide with the latest in up-to-the-minute videogame and entertainment news, reviews and videos,” Cordwell added.

IGN has more than 34.6 million users worldwide, and around 508,000 unique visitors in Australia. 79.5% of IGN readers are male and 159,000 of IGN’s audience are in the 18 – 34 years age bracket. According to the latest Roy Morgan Research from June 2008, the IGN audience in Australia, compared to other gaming sites, is more likely to be younger males under 35, working in professional/manager roles and more actively social with friends (seeing movies, attending concerts). They are also far more likely than other gaming sites to be very active online by accessing the web.

IGN.com was also recently recognised as Australia’s ‘Best Online Gaming Publication’ at the annual Australian Interactive Entertainment Association Awards.