Advertising In Gaming – A Starter Guide

Name any of your favorite entertainment industries, and we’ll tell you that Gaming outranked it in 2020 and is expected to further surpass its record in 2021 with a projected worth of $179.9 billion and an audience as big as 2.7billion players globally. That’s a bit more than one in every three people on this planet. All over the world, the younger generation (18-34 years old) shows a clear preference for Gaming over watching movies or TV shows. Advertising in Gaming is still a young market and looking at the numbers, it is also quite potent.

Why is that important for you as a brand? 

  1. Audience Diversity is here and growing
  2. Your competitors are also here, in increasing numbers
  3. Gaming now offers a comprehensive portfolio of games and platforms
  4. Forget the problem of multitasking: customers pay 100% attention
  5. Last but not least: you can manage your advertising in real-time

After decades of developments in the Gaming, advertising, and tech industry, the three conglomerates finally converge to create a potent, synergistic mix. The ingredients for this rich mix are as follows:

1.Audience Diversity is here and growing.

People are playing games both earlier and later in life, and the gender mix is nearing par. According to a recent study by eMarketer, as many as 60% of women now play mobile games daily. Video games have become so popular on a mass scale that certain players stream videos of themselves playing video games at home and make hundreds and thousands of dollars by doing so. In the US alone, 2020 saw a viewership of 56.2 million viewers on streaming platforms such as Twitch, with nearly half of all users between the ages of 18-34.

2. Your competitors are also here, in increasing numbers.

COVID-19 and its subsequent stay-at-home and quarantining orders helped brands realize the power and necessity of digital advertising. As a result, Q4 of 2020 saw the highest revenue record for digital advertising in more than 20 years. Programmatic ad revenue increased by a record 24.9% to reach $14.2 billion. 

3. Gaming now offers a comprehensive portfolio of games and platforms.

New streaming services such as NVIDIA Geforce NOW allow players to play high-performance games on any device. Mobile devices offer anyone a low barrier to entry into the gaming world. You can choose from a wide range of formats: VR experiences, plug-and-play consoles, casual mobile Gaming, single-player games, online MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), you name it, you got it. Hyper-casual games now co-exist with esport games. All of these trends contribute to a consumer base that is ever-expanding and rapidly growing to a projected $196billion in revenues by the end of 2022. Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft have all recognized this trend and thrown in their hats by developing their own platforms, e.g., Apple Arcade, Facebook Gaming, and Prime Gaming.

4. Forget the problem of multitasking; consumers pay 100% attention.

The interactive nature of games keeps players’ attention glued to the screen as their eyes dart around, taking in every piece of information. Even for a split second, looking away could negatively impact their game. This means that players are continuously exposed to every ad. This effect is exacerbated by new cloud gaming solutions that result in less time spent waiting for a system or game update to complete or for loading times to pass.

5. Last but not least: You can manage your advertising in real-time

Advertisers can reach players with highly targeted, personalized ads by relying on first-party data collected by video game developers and console providers following data privacy regulations. The programmatic technology integrated into video games bolsters this while giving advertisers the ability to measure and track ad performance. There is genuinely no more reason NOT to start advertising in games, thanks to better agility, more opportunities, real-time ads, and the ability to manage campaigns like traditional programmatic campaigns.

Simply put, there is no more excuse for brands to overlook the gaming industry as anything other than it is: a golden opportunity to get noticed.

Advertising in Gaming – How to succeed

  1. Adapt your ad format & copy to the game – Be relevant
  2. Have clear KPIs
  3. Incorporate a holistic view

Here are three things to keep in mind before you launch yourself into this new venture.

1.     Adapt your ad format & copy to the game – Be relevant!

For a gamer, there is nothing worse than being interrupted in their gaming experience by disruptive, irrelevant ads. Experiences that are naturally integrated into the environment do best. For example, KFC Philippines utilized Nintendo’s Animal Crossing to showcase their latest promotion – a free bucket of 8-piece chicken redeemable in the real world. Another example would be the massively popular Battle Royale game Fortnite, which lets certain brands create a skin pack for players to purchase, e.g., Avengers x Fortnite.

2.     Have clear KPIs

Advertising in Gaming is primarily an upper-funnel activity, as gamers are usually reluctant to leave their immersive experience. On the upside, critical KPIs such as viewability can be measured in incredible detail, as developers can access how long ads were viewed and precisely which portion of the ad was seen.

3.     Incorporate a holistic view

Consumers not only game on different platforms but also consume Twitch Live Streams and Youtube recaps, and gameplays. In May 2021 alone, Twitch saw an average viewership of 3.1million concurrent viewers. As many as 48% of Youtube viewers reported spending more time watching games than they do playing. With so many possibilities to target gamers in a gaming context, you will want to integrate smartly and efficiently and consider the whole ad gaming ecosystem, including the programmatic platform, different game publishers, and in-app possibilities in your marketing strategy. As a prominent recent example, American democratic politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made her Twitch debut to play Among Us and encourage voters to vote in the 2020 Presidential Election. During her first match, 435 000 viewers propelled her to the biggest-broadcaster status, attesting to the immense reach these platforms can have. 

Going forward in Advertising in Gaming

Although Gaming is now the most significant entertainment industry, the culture of Gaming has yet to be shaped. This is an excellent opportunity for marketers and brands to step in, be part of the conversation and reach a massive audience in a channel that is still relatively untapped. There is genuinely no more reason NOT to consider Gaming for your marketing strategy anymore. No other medium is currently as ready as Gaming to serve every need, every audience, every industry, and product. Creativity and data-driven decisions can propel your brand forward.

Need a quick primer? Book yourself a 30-minute consultation with one of our media experts at Labelium Play to see how your business can integrate gaming into your marketing strategy and exponentially increase its visibility and relevance.

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