Online Media Daily reports that video gamers not only influence each other on their entertainment, many are also avid auto enthusiasts who influence each other about makes, models and features.

Quoting a poll from Ziff Davis’ 1Up and Surveynetwork.com, about 75 percent of gamers gave peers advice about which vehicle to buy — up from 63 percent last year. The companies queried a total 1,600 online and print readers of ZD’s gaming titles.

AutoTrader.com and Kelly Blue Book topped the list as to where gamers suggested to start a car search. If nothing else, the survey points to marketing opportunities for carmakers and autmotive sites — not just for in-game brand placements, but for traditional banner and video advertisement.

If you have doubts about in-game advertising, a recent Nielsen Games survey conducted for Brandweek concluded that 11 percent of respondent purchased a brand’s product advertised in a game. (That’s across all product categories, not automotive specifically.) In-game ad spending is expected to total about $200 million this year, and $1 billion by 2011, according to the Yankee Group.

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