Media Brand Strategy Audio Advertising

The emotional impact of in-game audio ads - and why brands should pay attention

By Saraa Hassan | Content Strategist



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August 15, 2022 | 7 min read

For The Drum's Deep Dive into Audio, Saraa Hassan (content strategist, AudioMob) looks at why the emotional impact of audio ads makes them so perfect for gaming.

Two young male mobile gamers

Audio can powerfully link ideas and messages to help brands create an emotional association between the brand's message and a feeling. The resonance that audio provides between a sound and message leaves a lasting impression and emotional bond between the hearer and the brand, as 96% of brands who use audio with their brand identity are more likely to be remembered by their audiences. Depending on how brands use audio, they can create a positive or negative brand perception.

Thus, it is vital for brands who adopt a sonic brand to fully understand the best way to utilize audio to elicit positive emotional affiliation with the brand and an overall positive listening experience. Ensuring that your sonic branding hits audiences positively is key to having your brand be received well and allowing your audiences to understand the message clearly.

One way brands can understand how to best use the power of audio is understanding where to best place their sonic brand. Audio ads are a well-known traditional form of advertising that has performed popularly on radio and television for decades. However, as we move towards a more digital and online world, brands look for new and innovative avenues that better impact their target audiences.

Among these new and innovative avenues is mobile gaming. Mobile gaming has now grown to reach approximately 3 billion gamers worldwide. With such a large audience and eager game developers looking to monetize their games, the medium has already become a hot spot for in-game advertisements. However, the in-game advertisement market for mobile games is over-saturated with video and image ads, which 86% of gamers state they don't like. Over time, these forms of in-game ads have caused a nuisance for gamers who want to enjoy their game without fear or frustration of losing their progress.

AudioMob introduced a solution to this problem through the format of in-game audio ads. Audio ads use the power of audio to create a link between the sound and message to create a better brand recall and an overall more enjoyable, non-interrupting gaming experience. While banner and video ads intrude on the player's game and create a distracting or disorienting experience, audio ads seamlessly integrate into mobile games and work their way into the gaming environment - building a powerful emotional impact for a better brand experience.

Why the mobile gaming environment is perfect for audio ads

Mobile games initiate a stimulating and engaging environment. Players are pulled in and focused on their game and thus are more perceptive and impacted by what they see or hear from their screen. If an ad pops up mid-game, this creates an instantaneous reaction from the player that could deter their focus and, overall, create an unfavorable gaming experience.

Audio ads, however, are user-centred in their nature and seamlessly integrate into the environment of a mobile game and deliver a brand's message while players game - creating a better gaming experience that doesn't ruin their retention.

Take the metaverse, for example. Players spend less time watching content and more time interacting with it through the virtual environment. Audio in the metaverse can hit players from any angle, enhancing the player’s experience and making it more realistic and natural. Users become more emotionally influenced by their surroundings as they become more immersed in the metaverse's environment. Whenever they hear an audio ad while exploring the metaverse, the sound will stand out, and the message will leave a lasting effect on the user. Advertisers can use audio ads to strategically leverage the metaverse and enhance users' experiences, reach bigger audiences and build a strong brand impact.

The method of in-game ads in mobile games is essentially the same. Audio ads present a perfect opportunity for advertisers to use audio to create a unique and impactful sonic brand for themselves and also directly affect and influence a player's emotional experience. Users are pulled into an engaging and stimulating environment (the mobile game), and audio is what influences their emotional state or feelings. When an audio ad integrates seamlessly into a game (as it does in the metaverse), this creates a more natural and engaging gaming experience, and users can still learn about the brand while playing, increasing their recognition of the brand without it hindering their retention.

Why audio ads emotionally deliver what mobile gamers want

Ads served to players while they mobile game must strategically be received by the player in a way that does not ruin their mood. While gaming, 42% of players benefit from being relaxed or in a feel-good state and better understand messages more clearly - perfect for audio.

In-game audio ads can reach audiences more effectively solely through their non-intrusive nature. Audio naturally integrates into the game's flow, so they do not shock or surprise the gamer and ruin their concentration. The implementation and experience that in-game audio ads provide create a positive mobile gaming experience and boost the player's emotional state. When the player is in a better mood, they view and perceive a brand or ad they hear more positively.

Rewarded audio is another method of how in-game audio ads boost players' emotions. The act of receiving an in-game reward already creates gratification within the player - and this strategy is the basis of how rewarded audio works. The convenience of continuing to play their game and the satisfaction of earning an in-game reward all at once boost the player's mood and create better emotional gratification. Players' moods are positively impacted when they receive an in-game reward and can continue playing without interruption. Additionally, they perceive the game, the advertisement, and most importantly, the brand with greater emotional connection and perception.


In-game audio advertisements demonstrate how effectively audio can elicit a feeling in listeners - what they hear and how they hear it immediately impact their moods. To effectively influence audiences' emotions and how they think about or remember a brand based on their experiences, states of emotions or the context in which they hear an audio ad is crucial to understand how to employ audio as a powerful medium. How audiences experience audio can significantly impact how they feel, think and comprehend messages, which is especially essential for advertisers trying to establish a sonic brand and reach audiences.

Media Brand Strategy Audio Advertising

Content by The Drum Network member:


We allow advertisers to reach their consumers and game developers to monetise their games without interrupting gameplay using audio ads.

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