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Entertainment Marketing: Movies, TV, Music and Gaming Ecommerce Technology

Meet COMBO! the in-game media network that’s reached 1 billion impressions

By Ian Darby, journalist

January 10, 2023 | 8 min read

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Mobile games offer unparalleled levels of audience engagement for advertisers. The Gaming Media Network COMBO! takes this to a new level, offering integrated access to more than 100 games, and 1.3 billion active monthly players.

The Gaming Media Network COMBO!

The Gaming Media Network COMBO!

Gaming is a huge opportunity for advertisers. New excitement is being injected into the medium both by the growing scale of audiences available to brands, and the high levels of engagement these gamers bring to the party.

This is an industry valued at $197bn globally, larger than the film and music sectors combined. And video games are played by more than 3.2 billion people across the world, a sizable market by any stretch of the imagination and one that’s growing rapidly due to the popularity of mobile gaming.

The creative avenues for brands, whether in-game media, product placement or gamification, are expanding due to the strong connections gaming builds with this hugely engaged audience.

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One reason that advertisers are able to reach gamers when they’re at their most attentive is that, while playing video games, players feel happy and they’re usually in a positive state of mind. For example, research from Oxford University, shows that time spent playing games is good for wellbeing and happiness. Another study from Tapjoy, The Changing Face of Mobile Gamers, found that when gamers were asked to describe how they feel when playing mobile games in particular, the most common response was “relaxed”, followed by “interested”, “focused”, “engaged” and “happy”.

Alexandre Tan, senior vice-president, brand partnerships & advertising at Gameloft for brands, says: “Reaching an audience in a positive state of mind, highly engaged with the media they’re consuming, is why gaming is so unique. While traditional advertising is often passive and intrusive, gaming allows players to be part of the narrative and brands to actively engage with their audience and build meaningful connections.”

At a time when audiences are bombarded with advertising messages, it’s no surprise that levels of engagement with in-game media are shown to be higher than for other forms of advertising. Some 41% of people said they were likely to pay attention to ads in mobile games, compared to 17% for internet advertising, and 15% each for magazines and billboards, according to the TapJoy study. And, building on this strong performance, we’re seeing real steps forward in the delivery of in-game media opportunities.

For instance, in September, Gameloft, which opened for business 22 years ago, employs 3,600 people worldwide, and is one of the world’s largest games publishers with hits including The Oregon Trail, Disney Dreamlight Valley, and Asphalt 9, announced the launch of COMBO! The Gaming Media Network.

COMBO! is designed to expand on Gameloft for brands’ existing media offer. It builds on this by also offering inventory to brands and their agencies from other major game publishers, including Outfit7, Sybo, and Wooga, among others.

Tan adds that Gameloft for brands has provided fun opportunities for advertisers to connect with players since 2015. He says that COMBO! was an opportunity to take this further: “Our ecosystem is devoted to providing fun experiences to players, always having them as top priority. Offering our audience the best-in-class gaming experience without intrusive ads.

Over recent years, gaming has become the new playground for brands. However, despite this context, we noticed that there was no existing highly curated global in-game media network dedicated to brands.”

COMBO! has filled this gap and has hit a major milestone by achieving one billion advertising impressions for brands across all categories (including entertainment, tech, toys, automotive and consumer packaged goods).

This success is based on offering advertisers access to 1.3 billion monthly active players worldwide. COMBO! achieves this by providing integrated opportunities in more than 100 mobile games, including Asphalt 9: Legends, Subway Surfers, Minion Rush, My Little Pony, the Gangstar series, My Talking Tom, June’s Journey, SongPop and the Dungeon Hunter series.

The big step forward for advertisers is that they are able to access the best mobile games, created by the leading games publishers, all in one place Tan says: “COMBO! is about providing a high quality experience for both players, and brands.”

This is ensured by the consistency offered by all the partners in the COMBO! network that provide brands with access to an excellent level of game experience (graphics and gameplay), user ratings on the app stores, non-intrusive integration of ads, a safe environment, third-party viewability measurements, and an audience profile that complements the one provided by Gameloft itself.

In addition to this, COMBO! is backed by a creation studio with more than 200 in-house talents focused on delivering in-game advertising executions that provide strong performance, above industry benchmarks.

Based on the principles of strong audience engagement, and the creation of immersive and meaningful brand experiences, COMBO! has created a partnership between the top game publishers that previously competed to provide advertisers with access to the best games and audiences. “It's a genuine collaboration, and it’s a success because of this,” says Tan.

To discover more about COMBO!, please visit here.

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Entertainment Marketing: Movies, TV, Music and Gaming Ecommerce Technology

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Gameloft for brands

Gameloft for brands offers advertisers a unique level of visibility and engagement with their audiences. A leader in the development and publication of games, we...

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