Advergaming (a portmanteau of “advertising” and “gaming”) is the practice of using video games to advertise a product, organization or viewpoint. The term “advergames” was coined in January 2000 by Anthony Giallourakis, and later mentioned by Wired’s “Jargon Watch” column in 2001. It has been applied to various free online games commissioned by major companies.

With the growth of the internet and smartphones, advergames have proliferated, often becoming the most visited aspect of brand websites and becoming an integrated part of brand media planning in an increasingly fractured media environment. Advergames theoretically promote repeated traffic to websites and reinforce brands. Users choosing to register to be eligible for prizes can help marketers collect customer data. Gamers may also invite their friends to participate, which could assist promotion by word of mouth, or “viral marketing.”

Games for advertising are sometimes classified as a type of serious game, as these games have a strong educational or training purpose other than pure entertainment.