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In-Game Advertising


Since their introduction, video games have been widely popular, but they saw a special sort of rise during the pandemic's lockdowns, where sites like Twitch and the introduction of the Metaverse brought gamers to more sophisticated, communicative worlds that also fostered communities.

This is a natural place for marketers to connect with specific audiences as well, and there are a number of ways a brand can do this in a game — through a banner ad, product placement, ads as rewards, product-themed, and more. As the lines get blurred between virtual worlds, the opportunities for brands to interact with their customers will only become larger. Learn more about the in-game advertising trend in the articles below.

The resources below provide insight into how companies can leverage in-game ads.

  • How In-Game Advertisers Can Level Up, According to Gamers. eMarketer, May 2022.
    Pulling from a report from in-game advertising platform Anzy, eMarketer says that gamers want to see creative ads that are seamlessly integrated into the playing experience. Some 41 percent of U.S. gamers ages 18 to 34 would like rewards for devoting time and attention to in-game ads. Meanwhile, 32 percent believe ads should never interrupt a hardcore gamer's flow.

    Mobile, which is the most popular gaming device, will score $6.26 billion in U.S. gaming ad revenues in 2022, 14.0 percent more than last year, per eMarketer's forecast. And that will be money well spent, considering 73 percent of 18- to 34-year-old gamers in the U.S. would welcome more advertising — if done right. It's up to brands to advertise on gamers' terms by rewarding attention and enhancing the gaming experience.

  • The Rise of Gaming: Consumer Sentiment Study. dentsu, April 2022.
    In this report, dentsu offers insights into attitudes toward gaming, garnered through a survey of 1,000 respondents. When it comes to how gamers feel about brands, some of the findings include:
    • 66 percent of gamers feel positively about companies and brands in-game.
    • However, most consumers say their feelings depend on whether the branded integration makes sense (22 percent) or unlocks a benefit for them (19 percent).
    • 27 percent of gamers have clicked on a brand advertisement in-game.
    • 48 percent of gamers say they have purchased a brand after seeing or interacting with that brand in-game, rising to 59 percent for gen Z and 61 percent for millennial gamers.

      Based on these statistics, there are a few implications for marketers:

    • When considering an investment in gaming, remember that not all forms of gaming are the same or carried out because of the same motivations.
    • Campaigns with an element of community building or timely response to buzz and cultural conversation tend to be most successful.
    • Gaming influencers (or streamers) are a trusted source for this audience.
    • In-game brand integrations are best received if they are not interruptive but rather provide some perk or become part of the exploratory mood many gamers seek.
  • Brands Ramp up Gaming Marketing But Still Lag Consumers. Marketing Dive, April 2022.
    At the IAB's first PlayFronts, brands like American Eagle and Unilever dished on using gaming to support commerce goals and court favor with hard-to-reach audiences. The PlayFronts arrived as a confluence of factors have pushed gaming further into the mainstream, with shifting habits during the pandemic, budding aspirations for the metaverse, and the looming death of cookies driving renewed interest.

    Now, marketers face a key test on whether they can ingratiate themselves with a community that's accustomed to not dealing with a heavy advertising presence but appears increasingly crucial to unlocking future growth.

  • Gaming Advertising Trends: Why to Get In Front of Gaming Audiences Now. Wpromote, March 2022.
    At 230 million monthly unique users, the gaming audience is now bigger than music and film combined. If your business isn't prioritizing getting in front of that massive captive audience, you're almost certainly missing out on new opportunities to connect with potential customers and dip a toe into the metaverse.

    The fact of the matter is that marketers still treat gaming as a niche industry, and that couldn't be farther from the truth. A significant chunk of your target audience is probably already playing games, engaging on their phones, consoles, and computers. Here, Wpromote looks at the marketing opportunities in gaming currently on deck, and how your brand can make the most of them.

  • Seven Great Examples of In-Game Advertising. Clear Code, January 2022.
    Although video games may seem to be disconnected from reality, in-game advertising (IGA) often isn't a far cry from the ads we see in our everyday lives. Billboards, posters, and logos displayed on boards at sporting events are the most popular types of ads we see outdoors, but the rise of in-game advertising is bringing these forms of advertising to popular video games.

    This article explores seven examples of in-game advertising and learn about their benefits. It includes examples from Obama's Election Campaign, the NBA, Adidas, Pete's Dragon, Fortnite, AXE, and Tony Hawk.

Josch Chodakowsky is a director of research and innovation at ANA.

The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Futures Pulse are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

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