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Future of Media: Gaming not a media channel, repeating social's mistakes? Interactive ads

The Drum's media editor John McCarthy rounds up the latest media trends each Thursday, this is also available in your inbox. Sign up here.

Our Gaming deep dive is coming to a close this week. We’ve enjoyed giving the sector the respect it deserves. We’ve put down a strong foundation of coverage we hope will help marketers do cool things in the world’s most exciting entertainment medium.

The gaming catch-up

You may have noticed everyone’s getting into gaming in some way, but the most interesting entrants are arguably in the world of fashion. It doesn’t quite sit with that stereotype of gamers as basement-dwelling boys. We now know that’s untrue and that women outplay men on mobile titles. So we look at why Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Marc Jacobs and Gucci are finally paying attention to gaming.

So, what is gaming to marketers? It’s NOT a media channel argues MediaCom’s Misha Sher. Misha reminds us there are around 1,181,019 games available across five major gaming platforms, and audiences are spread fairly evenly and thinly across them at the moment. And only 25% have buyable inventory. At the moment, it’s nowhere near as convenient as traditional media buying. Read it here.

But it can be scaled, joined together, and developed... but why should marketers help build it? Marcos Angelides of Spark Foundry warns that we have to avoid the same mistakes we made with social, the fuzzy metrics, the muddled logic, the inevitable nerfing of organic opportunities.

So, maybe esports sponsorship is the answer? Well, Activision’s shown little confidence in the physical live component, it appears, comfortable that most esports can be streamed virtually. We explore the impact that’ll have on budgets going forward. It’s clear, as one exec told me, when brands say they want esports, they often just want gaming. Will the esports bubble pop? Maybe. Are there still huge opportunities there? Of course.

Another thread of thought came up. Why advertise in games when you can advertise around games and make your ads more like games? There’s that word you probably don’t like – gamification. There’s an argument to be made that an audience that likes interactive narratives with gameplay would enjoy these same mechanics when brought to advertising. Verizon Media‘s Josh Partridge explains.

And finally, I spoke to the creatives cutting and distributing video game trailers, a piece I’ve been wanting to write for a while. I wondered what the world of advertising could learn from this enclave of creative types tasked with pleasing the most passionate of fans. Also, video game trailers are cool and deserve more respect. Catch up with it here.

Other Stuff

That’s you all caught up. If you missed the last installment, read it here. You can subscribe to our other briefings here. And if you want to talk to me, I’m on Twitter, Linkedin and email.

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