Have you heard of advergaming? Maybe not by this name, but for sure you know about advertising in gaming. What does it mean? A new medium, with new affordances, new requirements and definitely new opportunities for brands and developers. It goes further than ad placement in games since advertising is the guest in the highly developed world of gaming. Let’s learn a bit on how you can create a game for your brand and how massive the results can be.
What is it?
We can think about gaming as a new platform for brands to advertise their products. In simple words this is what it is, but the requirements are totally different from other media like digital, outdoor or radio. Advertisers always need to drive value in new and exciting ways and what is more inviting than gaming? With a strong dimension of interactivity, gaming scores high on user engagement and this is a component brands desire through ads. It goes beyond awareness and its highly customizable as a brand can build its own game from scratch. Also, making a branded game allows for a better control over brand image. A brand safety survey by AdColony shows that consumers identified the majority of non-brand-safe content coming Facebook (60%) and YouTube (31%). That is because these mediums are harder to monitor.
When we say “advertising” one may think of the annoying commercial breaks that disturb TV series or the frequent yet unwanted ads on YouTube that cut off the videos. When we say “gaming” nobody shies away because it means entertainment, fun, leisure or even community. These associations are any brand’s dream therefore gaming is simply a medium that has everything advertising longs for. And that is why they penetrate it in different ways. Here are the three main types of in-game advertising:
1. Static in-game advertising
This type of advertising is programmed into the video game and it stars during the production stage. It is similar to product placement in movies since it allows the player to interact with it. The advertisement is an integrated part of the storyline. One aspect about static in-game advertising is that it lacks geo-targeting. Otherwise, it remains in the game throughout its entire life cycle, so it’s good for awareness but not for time-sensitive campaigns. One old-day example that probably everyone is familiar with is the video game Crazy taxi, in which brands like Levi’s or Pizza Hut appeared.
2. Dynamic in-game advertising
Also known as DIGA, this type of in-game advertising allows for changes in real time and for more specific targeting. Its biggest plus is that it can integrate in the game after production. Its biggest challenge is that it should not break immersion. If the ad distracts the player from the game, then the result is unwanted: an unwanted ad and a destroyed game ritual. An example of DIGA is Wendy’s campaign on Fortnite.
This is the buzzword we chose to use in the beginning of the article. Its meaning exceeds in-game advertising because it means a game created solely for the purpose of advertising a brand. This requires a more complex process of development. Still, it enables building a stronger and more positive connection with the user than affiliation with an existing game allows. Usually, advergames are mini games available for a shorter period of time because they need to support a certain campaign. Some examples of advergames are It comes from below by Under Armour, KFC’s Kentucky Fried Football Challenge or Scarecrow by Chipotle. One of their key advantages is that they allow for better result measurement.
Who is it for?
Any brand can do advergaming. Even some luxury brands like Louis Vuitton or Gucci confirmed it by launching their own games. Awareness and engagement are any brand’s desire. And products can technically be purchased by anyone so the global gaming market, an industry worth $159.3 billion, is a hotspot for any brand who wants viewability, authenticity and targeting.
Why is a game better at getting these metrics compared to traditional advertising? Users need to connect with the brand and have a personal experience with it and learn its story. Games are best at doing this because they turn the user into an actor of the story. A survey conducted by Jun Group’s shows that 74% of respondents preferred a video game with some sort of rewards over any other video ad format.
Contrary to the popular belief that gaming is just for teenage boys, the new demographic is almost equally distributed across men and women and the main target is the ‘Gen Zennial’. According to the Entertainment Software Association around 41% of gamers these days are female.
When we look at the numbers from an advertising point of view, gaming is gold. That’s because it facilitates the access to the most hard-to-reach target, the millennial males. In addition, the average age of a gamer is now older than it used to be, hence they are more educated and have a stronger purchase power.
What tech do I need to make a game?
Nowadays everything is tech so in order to do advergames one needs to consider certain technologies and dance to their rhythm. For instance, AR is a growing trend in gaming. IKEA is just one example of the numerous brands using it in their games. Mobile is the biggest shift in video gaming and this enables high accessibility and an easier penetration.
When you decided its time to develop a game for your brand, you’ll need to call guys like us. A software developing company shall have the capacity to build a game that suits a brand’s requirements and assist if from concept to roll-out and maintenance.
Have we done it?
Gaming is exciting and advertising your brand can be too. We’ve learned this on our own by developing Risky Deals, a 2D cross platform mobile game for one of our clients in the gaming industry. It didn’t take long until we came up with a second version of it and we became passionate of the field.
If you want to develop a game for your brand, tell us more about it! Drop us a line and let’s press START together!