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Mondelez, Adcolony, Mindshare & Dentsu: Agencies can grow by making sense of gaming for brands

By Amit Bapna, Editor-at-large (APAC)

September 29, 2021 | 4 min read

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In the last couple of years, gaming has emerged out of the shadows of being seen as niche to being a potential treasure trove of engaged consumers. Understanding what makes these engaged, and varied, audiences tick is exactly where agencies have an opportunity to grow, according to industry leaders.

Agencies can grow by making sense of gaming for brands

Agencies can grow by making sense of gaming for brands

The Drum spoke to Nikhil Rao, senior marketing director at Mondelez Southeast Asia, Sunil Naryani, VP of commercial and partnerships, at dentsu APAC, Helen Tan, managing director, Team Unilever Asia (SEA, China, South Asia) at Mindshare and Adrian Watkins, marketing and growth director APAC at AdColony on the panel on potential of gaming at The Drum’s Agencies4Growth festival 2021.

This panel brings together brands and agency representatives and gets them to talk about the gaming opportunity, understanding the psyche of the gamer consumer, her media consumption choices and what that means for agencies. It also tells agencies what to do better and what to avoid, in order to get the most from gaming for their clients. View the full session on demand on the Agencies4Growth website.

Strategically, very few things can offer the elusive consumer’s attention the way gaming is doing as attention-spans are becoming limited. Mobile gaming sits very well into the ultimate goal of brands and agencies who are looking for layers to add in their media plan that can help them reach consumers and steal a march on their competitors.

As per Adcolony’s Watkins, “What the agencies would need to do to make sense of the gaming action would be to put all the varied action around gaming together in a funnel and start looking at a very nuanced approach keeping it relevant to the market and the brand ethos.”

One of the unique trends of the gamer consumer is that they are quite sensitive – and often non-receptive - to overt advertising especially if it disrupts the gaming experience. That is why it is very important, shares Mindshare’s Tan, for agencies to work in such a way to keep the authenticity intact within the experience. She explains that it needs to translate into something positive for the brand, and not a disruption for the gaming consumer.

Gaming from a business perspective is huge and getting bigger, but it needs to be better structured along with education on how to approach it while keeping it contextual and non-intrusive, feels Dentsu’s Naryani.

Brands have been trying their hand at gaming from different facets. Mondelez for example has been associated with gaming for some time now. The brand is now looking at how it can use it as an active source of engagement and not just place its products in games, shares Rao. It is even exploring pilots with using gaming to collect first-party data.

“One successful experiment being carried out is in India where it created ‘Playpad’ for Cadbury Dairy Milk, an edutainment gaming setup where we engage and also collect data from consumers”, said Rao.

The growth of mobile gaming, in a way, is tied to the growth of the mobile medium itself – and both have been growing very sharply. What would eventually help reiterate the success of gaming would be to understand what works and what doesn't work and pivot it quickly into something that does work.

To view the whole session and understand how agencies and brands can grow through gaming, visit The Drum Agencies 4 Growth Festival website.

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