Ever wondered why mobile games have so much advertising in them? This is because video games are not just a form of entertainment, but they are also a powerful medium for advertising. According to a report by Fortune Business Insights, the global gaming market size was valued at $249.55 billion in 2022 & is anticipated to grow from $281.77 billion in 2023 to $665.77 billion by 2030. This means video games offer a huge and diverse audience for brands to reach and engage with.
However, advertising in video games is not as simple as placing a banner or a pop-up on the screen. Gamers are savvy and discerning consumers who demand more immersive and interactive experiences from their games. They also have high expectations and low tolerance for ads that are irrelevant, intrusive, or boring.
This is where advergaming and advertising in video games come in. And no, it’s not a misspelling or anything like that; it is really called “advergaming.” For those of you who aren’t familiar, advergames are games that are created to advertise their consumers or their purpose is actually trying to sell you something. That’s right, some games are made just to advertise a product, service, or brand. Pretty clever, huh?
On the other hand, if you see ads inside the games you play. Like billboards, posters, or banners. Those are also a way to promote a product, service, or brand. That’s called advertising in video games. But how do advergaming and advertising in video games work? What are the benefits and challenges of using them? And what are the best practices and tips for creating effective and engaging ads in video games? Let’s talk about that, shall we?
Types of Ads in Video Games
There are different types of ads in video games, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common ones and how they work:
Fixed ads don’t change during the game. Static ads can be seen on billboards, posters, or other objects in the game environment. Static ads are easy to implement and can blend well with the game theme. However, they can also be boring and ineffective if they are not relevant or appealing to the players.
Dynamic ads can change in real-time based on various factors, such as the player’s location, preferences, or behavior. Dynamic ads can be seen on banners, pop-ups, or videos in the game. Dynamic ads are more flexible and creative and can target specific audiences more effectively. However, they can also be intrusive and annoying if they interrupt the game flow or are not well-integrated with the game design.
As mentioned before, these are games that are specifically designed for advertising purposes and feature products or services as part of the game concept or mechanics. They can be standalone games or mini-games within larger games. Advergames are very entertaining, interactive and can create a unique experience for players. However, they can also be time-consuming and challenging to develop and may require a separate distribution channel.
Ads that look like they belong in the game environment and enhance the game experience. Native ads can be seen on branded items, vehicles, weapons, or levels in the game. Native ads are more immersive, engaging and can create a positive association between the brand and the game. However, they can also be costly and difficult to implement and may require collaboration with the game developers.
A type of in-game advertising that plays a video instead of showing an image. The video is integrated into the game’s environment and looks like a natural part of the game world. Video banners are usually placed in locations where real-life ads are found, such as buildings, billboards, or roadsides, and can be seen behind the main action of the game.
These are ads that use sound effects or music to promote products or services in a subtle way. They can be heard in the background or during specific moments in the game. Audio ads are more integrated and less intrusive and can appeal to players’ emotions. However, they can also be muted or overlooked by players if they are not clear or distinctive enough.
These are ads that use real products or services in the game environment as part of the game story or gameplay. They can be seen on characters’ clothing, accessories, or equipment in the game. Product placements are very effective and memorable and can create a strong impression on players. However, they can also be expensive and risky and may require approval from the product owners.
Benefits of Advergaming and Advertising in Video Games
Advergaming and advertising in video games offer many benefits for brands and consumers alike. Some of these benefits include:
Increased brand awareness
Advergaming and advertising in video games can increase brand awareness by exposing players to products or services that they might not otherwise encounter. According to a Nielsen Games study, of the 534 active video game players surveyed by Nielsen, 11% purchased a brand advertised in a game or sought more information about it, 19% talked about a brand after seeing an in-game ad, and 10% recommended the product to a friend.
Improved brand perception
Advergaming and advertising in video games can improve brand perception. Blending and integrating ad content into the games allows for a non-interruptive and seamless gaming experience which can leave users with a positive and long-lasting impression of brands.
Encourage players to play longer
A study by Meta found that publishers stand to benefit from in-game ads, improving perceptions of their game and the overall gaming experience. In-game ads by big brands can enhance a game’s credibility, with 43% agreeing that games that show ads from “big brands” are more legitimate and credible.
Challenges of Advergaming and Advertising in Video Games
Advergaming and advertising in video games also pose some challenges for brands and consumers alike. Risk of backlash is one of the main concerns of Advergaming and advertising in video games. Players may feel that advergaming and advertising in video games interfere with their gaming experience or exploit their attention.
Therefore, both brands and game developers need to take this into account and approach it in the right way.
Here are some best practices and tips for advergaming and advertising in video games.
Best Practices and Tips for Advergaming and Advertising in Video Games
To overcome these challenges and maximize these benefits, brands need to follow some best practices and tips for advergaming and advertising in video games. Some of these best practices and tips include:
Know your audience:
Brands need to know their target audience’s demographics, psychographics, preferences, and behaviors. Brands need to understand what kind of games their audience plays, how often they play them, why they play them, and how they play them. Brands need to tailor their advergaming and advertising strategies to suit their audience’s needs, wants, and expectations.
Choose the right game:
Brands need to choose the right game to advertise on or create an advergame for. Brands need to consider the game genre, design, theme, quality, popularity, reputation, platform, etc. Brands need to select a game that matches their product or service category, brand identity, marketing objectives, etc.
Create value for the players:
Brands need to create value for the players by providing them with something useful, entertaining, or rewarding. Brands need to offer players information, education, entertainment, incentives, etc. Brands need to make sure that their advergaming and advertising add to the game experience rather than detract from it.
Be relevant and contextual:
Brands need to be relevant and contextual by aligning their advergaming and advertising with the game content, environment, story, characters, etc. Brands need to make sure that their advergaming and advertising fit naturally and seamlessly into the game world rather than stand out or clash with it.
Be creative and innovative:
Brands need to be creative and innovative by using different types of ads mentioned before in video games to capture the attention and interest of the players accordingly. Brands need to experiment with various formats, styles, techniques, and technologies to create ads that are unique, original, and memorable. Brands need to make sure that their advergaming and advertising stand out and surprise the players rather than bore or annoy them.
Advergaming and advertising in video games are no longer just a trend, they are a cultural change. They offer a game-changing opportunity for brands to reach and engage with a large and diverse audience of gamers. However, they also pose some challenges that require careful planning and execution.
To succeed in advergaming and advertising in video games, brands need to follow some best practices and tips, such as:
- Know your audience
- Choose the right game
- Create value for the players
- Be relevant and contextual
- Be creative and innovative
By doing so, brands can create effective and engaging ads in video games that can increase brand awareness, improve brand perception, enhance brand loyalty, boost brand engagement, and increase purchase intention.
If you need help developing a successful advergaming and advertising strategy for your video games, you can consult us here.
Are you looking for co-development, art services, or game porting? Look no further than Agate!
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and learn more about how we can help you take your project to exceptional heights.