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The advertiser’s guide to interactive entertainment in 2024

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By Jenni Baker | Senior Editor

February 6, 2024 | 6 min read

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Hey marketers, fancy shaking up your premium video budgets in 2024? Look no further than mobile gaming - we explore why in this essential guide.

Interactive entertainment in 2024

Mobile gaming and interactive entertainment in 2024

Advertisers and agencies looking to mix up their media budgets to deliver engaging experiences that keep audiences entertained don’t need to look forward to the next best thing; instead, they should look at what’s already here. Mobile gaming is mass market interactive entertainment – its prominence as an entertainment channel well established beyond the pong game of yesteryear.

For advertisers focused on premium environments - video is often the channel of choice. But as part of the broader video mix, they mustn’t overlook the vast and growing global engagement within mobile gaming, which brings a massive opportunity to utilize this platform. Not only for premium video, but also to create a two-way conversation with consumers.

A new advertainment era

The stats say it all. People in the US spend an average of 1 hour 48 minutes playing mobile games every day – longer than they do on social media – yet ad spending represents just 6% of the total brand ad spend. Gaming has solidified its position as the leading form of interactive entertainment with billions of people around the world playing daily to connect with others.

There’s a game out there for all interests, and for advertisers who want to connect with consumer passions, mobile gaming is a space that commands a highly-engaged audience. As a result of this synergy, mobile gaming has emerged as the premiere channel for brands to get noticed, with a rare opportunity to transport directly into the gameplay experience to create impactful, emotional connections with audiences.

Research shows that 81% of gamers say they play mobile games to escape from reality and 61% to feel a sense of control. The same study found that three in four gamers on Zynga’s mobile game service, which includes Words With Friends, Toon Blast, and Parking Jam, say that playing these games makes them feel happy. And when people feel good, they are more receptive to ads.

Premium gaming in the video mix

Marketers looking to diversify their media investments in 2024 need look no further than the vast, diverse audiences of the gaming community. This mass market audience spans all age groups; specifically 63% of 18+ gamers are over 35, and nearly half (45%) are parents. As the channel has continued to evolve, advertisers have access to a range of premium ad formats along with sophisticated targeting and measurement.

To maximize success in interactive entertainment, brands must first recognize that video inventory in games is one of the best kept secrets in mobile advertising. It’s a premium content channel that deserves the same consideration on the media plan as sports or entertainment networks on cable, streaming and linear TV, and social video – advertising that gets bought in the same way, with flexible opportunities, to reach premium audiences.

From the nature of its audience, to high levels of engagement in an environment where close to two-thirds (62%) of Zynga players say they don’t mind ads (ahead of the 56% of average gamers), brands have huge potential to level up on mobile gaming in 2024 and bring it into the video mix.

“Mobile is the most important screen in people’s lives, they are spending 2 ½ hours more on Mobile than CTV,” says Gabrielle Heyman, head of global brand partnerships for Zynga. “Games are one of the most popular forms of entertainment on mobile, and for advertisers, just like traditional or streaming TV, there is a natural commercial break for video ads. Unlike Social Media, Games are a non-scrollable environment, and unlike TV, there is one ad at a time, which equates to an unprecedented amount of attention for brands to reach consumers.”

Leveling up with mobile gaming

Zynga’s recent partnership with Warner Brothers’ Wonka movie – where culture met mobile games, is evidence of the next frontier in collaborative marketing.

Zynga’s promotion with the #1 movie of the 2023 holiday season included a series of game integrations across multiple titles, including Words With Friends, where delighted players engaged with a stylized Wonka avatar as they played through a range of custom in-game challenges, rewards, and film content. The golden ticket to this campaign included premium Video Takeovers to drive players to theaters.

So, as brands move forward in 2024, it's not always about chasing the “next best thing,” but instead, looking at what’s already out there and proven to deliver clear benefits for brands.

If 2024 is about shaking things up, it could pay to do so with minimum risk while reaching highly-engaged audiences on a vast scale.

For more about how to unlock the power of mobile gaming in the video advertising mix, visit here.

Media Brand Strategy Creative Works

Content created with:

Zynga

Zynga’s mission is to connect the world through games. We are a global leader in interactive entertainment and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. With massive global reach in more than 175 countries, our network of popular game franchises have been downloaded more than five billion times. Zynga is a next-generation platform with best in class advertising solutions. Advertisers’ can tap into our attentive, diverse audiences and seamlessly blend their brand directly into game play. Zynga’s immersive and engaging ad experiences span from premium video to deep integrations. Our advanced targeting delivers the right audiences at the right time, with proven measurement results.

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