Playable Ads: Win Gamers & Brands

From Custom Worlds to Contextual Ads: Unlocking the Power of Games Advertising

Advertisers already have a strong interest in games-based advertising: IAB’s latest study on games-related advertising revealed that 40% of those who advertise intend to increase their spending on this subject in the next few years, which makes it the third well-liked channel for increasing investment following social media (47 per cent) along with digital video (40 per cent).

However, despite these curiosity levels, only a few retailers and brands have realized its potential avenue. The latest IAB PlayFronts conference, including executives from the advertising and gaming landscape, has delved into research that confirmed the value of gaming today and the potential of gaming.

Roblox: The Beginning but Not the Ending

Of course, Roblox is at the heart of many of these discussions due to its position in the current cultural zeitgeist. More than 240 brand-name games will be released through Roblox by 2023. This is an increase from just 10 in the year prior. Minecraft and Fortnite have also been making waves due to their ability to allow customers to be themselves and communicate with the world around them. Minecraft has 166 million monthly active players and has sold more than 300 million units. Fortnite has gained 44.7 million monthly active players who play over 100 million hours monthly.

Companies across all industries, including sports, media and retail to insurance, are trying out various advertising formats that not only increase awareness of brands but also deliver bottom-line results, according to this IAB report. They analyzed the use by brands of different formats for advertising, like branded worlds, ads placed in adjacent games, “advergames” (custom games created around a particular company or product), digital skins and other branded digital objects, and sponsored gaming experiences.

Over 90% of the advertisers have said that using games ads helps them reach out to the right people by delivering relevant messages, the majority of them citing its ability to help them reach critical but often difficult-to-reach audience members, according to IAB. Most advertisers (86 per cent) claimed that playing games increases the effectiveness of their campaigns. 88% said they’re confident about their ability to evaluate the effectiveness of their game advertising campaigns.

The Influence of Fandoms on Games Advertising

The primary reason for gaming’s explosive growth is the function of Fandom, or specifically, fan culture. People are always eager to find “the next big thing,” regardless of whether it’s the latest big hit music video television show, meme, or fashion trend. According to Bill Young, Head of Games at Twitch, what defines that next oversized item “is for the mainstream to believe that thing is cool or innovative,” smaller fandoms typically start this process by disseminating their interests to anyone who will listen.

“When we think about the spaces within a culture that can influence a collective group, fandoms and fan culture are a huge part of it,” Young explained. “Today, there are communities for every hobby, regardless of how big or. The fan communities who join together to share their love for that particular subject greatly influence what attracts the most interest within these communities. It also tends to reach beyond those communities into the wider public realm.”

A whopping 64% of those polled by Twitch Ads stated that gaming could be “a defining part of their identity,” and more (70%) of those surveyed said their gaming fandoms, as well as the surrounding communities, are an integral part of their lives.

Brands can embed themselves in the long-term relationships between fans and Games.

Twitch Ads found that these fandoms exist not just in people’s lives but are also present for a long time -sometimes even lifetimes. Most gamers reported that they’ve been actively engaged in their gaming passions for over 12 years. Brands can be part of these long-term relationships by involving in Fandom’s most significant occasions and events through media creation and advertising. In fact, 61% of the fans reported that they like seeing brands create or sponsor content related to their passions.

“There’s this misconception that gamers are averse to advertising,” Young declared. “They’re not opposed to advertising, but they’re not opposed to tone-deaf and ham-fisted advertisements that speak to them. They appreciate brands that add value to the content they like, especially ones that improve the experience.”

Like other groups of dedicated fans dedicated to their cause, compassion, empathy, and a deep understanding of the culture they represent are the foundations; according to Young, That’s 63%. The fans they polled said that any company can be involved in fandoms if they are willing to learn about the Fandom’s culture.

Consumer Hunger for Self-Expression Unlocks New Opportunities for Engagement

Many research studies have shown that gaming helps people unwind to pass the time and connect with friends. New research by Fandom shows that a growing number of people are choosing to use the gaming platform to showcase their style.

Fandom’s recent Inside Gaming research found that 46% of gamers play for fun, creativity, and self-expression. This is an increase of 10% over the last year. People in this category have reported spending 30 per cent more time wanting to play and “feel more attracted to gaming today than they ever have before,” stated Ali Saraniti, director of Sales Research and Insights at Fandom.

Respondents mentioned Fortnite, Roblox and Sims as games that promote creativity and self-expression. In a deeper dive into the characteristics of these games, Saraniti, as well as the Fandom team, discovered three characteristics that resonated with the most players:

  • Personalization in the game: Players can alter and customize the game experience and experience, giving them a stronger feeling of ownership
  • Open, vast worlds The gaming world offers numerous routes and experiences that allow players to find something new to explore and
  • Continuous updates: New land levels, new levels, and customisations encourage players to return and discover what’s next.

“We found that seven in 10 players claimed that self-expression through gameplay is a more active decision for them today than ever before,” Saraniti said. “Because people are seeing gaming as this way of self-expression, and because people are leaning into this as a motivation, the games and the platforms that allow them to do so are seeing a much higher interest now than ever.”

Bridging the Gaming/Real-Life Gap

Gaming to express themselves can’t experience that same degree of control and connectivity in the real world. Eighty per cent of gamers say their avatar’s persona is different from their real-life counterparts “because it’s easier for them to be who they want to be in the game than they can in real life,” Saraniti stated.

Additionally, 50%% of gamers believe they want their presence to look more similar to their gaming experiences, and 72% said they are more optimistic about brands that permit gamers to play this way. Younger consumers (aged between 18 and 34) are likelier to be like this.

Brands have the unique chance to connect with consumers by bridging the gap. For instance, fashion and beauty brands could develop licensing agreements and product lines that match the games and allow individuals to express themselves. Saraniti said that many evergreen events are integral in “gaming culture,” such as conventions such as Comic Con, where brands can interact with authentic gamers.

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