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Get in the Game

In-game advertising; a winning tactic to capture undivided attention.

As a consumer in today’s fragmented media landscape, we are served content buffet-style; gone are the days of the staged meal where we are served ads one by one. More than 70% of adults divide their attention with a second screen while watching TV. Options are endless and on demand. Beyond choosing what to view and when, viewers now consume multiple forms of content at once through the use of second screens. Most of the time it’s with a smartphone. While the TV could be the initiator of this media meal, is it still the primary screen?

How can advertisers successfully “undivide” divided attention to obtain a viewer’s focus? Cue gaming.

More than half of the US population are digital gamers, with mobile gaming making up the largest segment of that. The average age of a gamer is 35, with 48% being female. There is at least one gamer in 75% of US households. Also in the US, 55% of parents play video games with their children. Taking a look at those who only play games on mobile, 75% are female. Gaming is the top choice for entertainment among Gen Z and a close second in Millennials. But it’s not just taking a hold in the younger crowds as 45% of older adults play video games.

In-game Advertising Examples

The rise in gaming can be attributed to several different factors.

  • People who grew up with video games in their formative years are not leaving them behind as they age. Nor are these audiences adopting the consumption habits of older generations before them.
  • As it did with many industries, the COVID-19 pandemic fueled adoption of gaming as an arena for social interactions. Beyond the core objectives of the games themselves, gamers even had the ability to attend virtual concerts with millions of others.
  • Content creators and live streamers strengthen gaming’s growth offering, a more passive alternative to gaming, allowing gamers to watch others play the games. Half of gamers currently watch gaming streams.

Once you’ve decided to get into the game, the next step is determining how. Gaming offers a variety of advertising opportunities in both asset and presentation types depending on the goals of a campaign.

Advertising in gaming is currently heavily conducted on a value exchange model, as in you give something to get something. In this case it means if a gamer watches an ad, they’ll get an in-game prize like an extra life as a reward. Three reasons this method works: 1) the in-game rewards motivate a gamer to view an ad, 2) their minimally disruptive integration into the gaming experience and 3) their method of allowing the gamer to choose when and how they view the advertisement. As an additional benefit to the advertiser, whether it’s an extra life or coins, the reward drives a positive brand sentiment through the exchange.

If awareness is the goal and out of home advertising is a good fit, that same reasoning can correspondingly extend to gaming through virtual out of home. Video and image out of home placements within a gaming environment can blend the virtual and physical brand experiences of a targeted audience.

As gaming environments become more immersive, advertising itself can follow suit. The peak of advertising is when a member of a targeted audience is fully immersed in a well-crafted and timed brand experience.

Get in the Game Pro Tips:

  1. Evaluate if your desired audience is the right fit.
  2. Consider your goal. Is it awareness or action?
  3. Decide on your level of investment. For first time tests, 10-20% of your budget is a good range.
  4. Find a partner you trust and that is aligned to meet your goals with access to gaming placements.
  5. Work with that partner to define the appropriate gaming properties, asset types and time in market.

Successful campaigns are not single player but cooperative. Moore is here to help email [email protected] to help you get in the game.

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