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3 reasons why gaming can improve your ad campaign - and how to get started
August 12, 2022
You’ve seen the statistics. 3.2 billion people around the world play games - that’s one in three of Earth’s inhabitants. It’s bigger than TV, streaming and the music industries put together, and yet receives the fewest ad dollars across the advertising industry. In short, it’s a golden opportunity for any brand willing to press the X button and take the leap into gaming.
But when it comes to advertising in games, how can you do it in such a way that it will complement your ad campaigns, represent your brand authentically, and without overwhelming your marketing resources?
Here at Anzu, the world’s most advanced in-game advertising solution, we’ve put together our top three reasons why gaming is the next big step for your company’s marketing campaign magic.
Image credit: MMORPG.com
1) The gaming audience is massive
Is there an echo in here? We already mentioned that the gaming audience is massive, but it bears repeating just how massive it is. Gaming has received a cultural facelift in the last 10 to 15 years. Thankfully, it’s moving from an (unfair) stereotype of ‘nerdy’ or ‘childish’ (which boils my blood as a 30-year-old gamer) to a phenomenon that’s part of our global cultural fabric. It’s harder to find a non-gamer than a gamer these days.
And that’s exactly our point. If you think that your audience isn’t in gaming, you’re most likely wrong. Millions of people playing games every day, whether it’s on their phones during their daily commute or chilling on the sofa with their consoles. This means that there’s bound to be an overlap between your audience and gamers.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that mobile games are just for kids, either — according to Anzu’s research, almost half of gamers aged 45-64 played games on Android for over six hours per week. It’s not just limited to age, either. According to another recent study, over four in five female internet users aged between 16-44 play video games.
The audience you can reach with in-game advertising is almost limitless, and so is the number of verticals you can utilize in the ads. There’s no one-size-fits-all for games regarding brand marketing, so use your imagination and be open-minded when planning which games, genres, and publishers you’d like to collaborate with.
Image credit: Unsplash
2) Technology is better than ever before
In case you hadn’t noticed, with the likes of the Unreal Engine 5 reveal astonishing audiences in 2020, gaming technology is improving at an alarming rate. Better tech means better platforms and better engines. But what does that mean for you as an advertiser? Short answer: it means better ad capabilities when buying direct or programmatically within gaming environments.
Mobile is the most popular gaming platform, with an estimated 2.6 billion mobile gamers worldwide. With more efficient handsets resulting in bigger and better games for gamers, this results in more content creation in gaming, which creates more mobile gamers… and the cycle continues. The expansion of cloud gaming and the use of mobile devices to stream games on the go means better accessibility of games to gamers without the need for expensive hardware. All of this should be ticking your boxes right now - more advanced technology, more players, more eyeballs on your ads.
Today's technological advancements aren’t limited to gaming engines and platforms, though. Adtech has taken a running leap within the last few years, as more and more advertisers are flocking to gaming as the next big way to reach their fans. To help advertisers measure their campaign’s success, Anzu has partnered with both IAS and Oracle Moat to allow ‘apples-to-apples’ viewability measurement and compare their campaign metrics to ads across other mediums, such as CTV. Find out more about the latest partnership on our blog.
Image credit: Unit 2 Games
3) The possibilities are endless
Gone are the days of boring, flat 2D ads. Anything, literally anything, is at your fingertips now that you can create in virtual worlds. Your brand can be featured on anything and everything - banners, buildings, race tracks - even entire worlds through metaverse platforms like Roblox, if you should so wish. However, it should always be done in a way that’s non-intrusive and that doesn’t disrupt the gameplay experience.
“One mistake that I see when people create something in the metaverse is they create a ‘digital dupe’, or digital twin,” said Becky Owen, head of creator innovation & solutions at Meta, shared at this year’s Cannes Lions. “That doesn’t make sense to me! If you don’t have physics or gravity, and your walls can be made out of cats… do that!”
There have been countless examples of incredible in-game ad campaigns, from simple branded banners on the side of the race track to full-blown virtual worlds such as American Eagle’s Livetopia feature. Check out more case studies from Anzu for inspiration on your own campaigns.
Image credit: Saber Interactive
How to get started in 3 steps
1) Identify your audience (spoiler: it’s within gaming)
How old are they? Would they be playing more on mobile, console, PC, or equally amongst all three? What games/genres are they interested in? What would be a cool way to envision your brand within their favorite game?
2) Think about what sort of budget you have
This will help drive your decision about how you will approach gaming. For example, you might choose to feature in-game ads across several titles targeted for your audience, or launch an interactive custom activation to showcase your entire campaign and bring your brand to life.
3) Find a trusted, reliable in-game ad provider (we know one)
This will help you to get paired up with game publishers for some of the most popular, exciting games out there today.