Marketers must always be monitoring current trends, and how those current trends may be able to positively increase brand equity. The mass adoption of social and mobile media has created users who are constantly exposed to messaging, most of which is not engaging, especially if the message comes across as advertising. Seamless integration into the media mix is essential, in order to catch the attention of prospective consumers, while they are using mediums that have high levels of frequency, such as social, console and mobile games. Check out these 4 Game Advertising Growth Trends to Watch in 2014.
#1 Game Advertising Growth Trends to Watch in 2014 – Advergaming
Anyone with a smartphone or with a social media profile has probably downloaded or participated in a game online. Recently, Flappy Bird was a fad that was extinguished pretty quickly, but it demonstrated the power of social and mobile gaming for advertisers. The creator of Flappy Bird was reportedly making $50,000 dollars a day off of pay per click advertisements. Gaming is broken down into 2 different experiences, casual and core enthusiast. Anecdotally speaking, Flappy Bird captured the casual gamer rather than the core enthusiast. So how do marketers use Advergaming to engage their targeted audiences?
Advergames appeal more to the casual game user than the core enthusiast. Unlike casual gamers, the core enthusiast is loyal to their preferred titles. Although casual gamers do present significant evidence of brand loyalty, they are more likely to try a new game than a core enthusiast. Advergaming is a game specifically designed around a product or service. For example, a consumer packaged goods company that has a cereal brand with a mascot or character, may want to create a game that focuses on the their core brand messaging. Let’s use Frosted Flakes as an example, ( Do you work at Kellogg’s? Are you a Frosted Flakes Brand Manager? Do you Work for an Agency that Represents Kellogg Brands? Let’s Talk.) Tony the Tiger is a well known mascot for the Frosted Flakes brand. Therefore a game which is level based, involves capturing Frosted Flakes tokens throughout the level and focuses on a healthy active living campaign that Kellogg’s are running is a suitable implementation. The tokens can be the shape of a Frosted Flake, the levels can be centred around a jungle environment because Tony…is a tiger and the messaging can be to centred around the healthy active living campaign.
#2 Game Advertising Growth Trends to Watch in 2014 – Unlocking Exclusive Game Content in exchange for Brand Advertising or Advocate Marketing
Unlocking exclusive content in exchange for brand advertising will be one of the highest growth mediums in 2014. Each day, more game developers, especially in the social and mobile space, are offering their products for free. So how do they monetize a product that is free? Brand advertising! Millions of people are participating in casual gaming via their mobile devices and social networks, and brands have an opportunity to capitalize on these audiences by using the aforementioned tactics for brand building. Mobile offers a huge opportunity, eMarketer stated that “Although mobile gamers now make up the largest and fasting-growing segment of the gaming population, mobile gaming revenues still lag behind other channels, like console games. US mobile gaming revenues are expected to double within the next four years, rising from $1.78 billion in 2013 to more than $3.77 billion in 2017”. A large part of this revenue will come from advocate marketing.
#3 Game Advertising Growth Trends to Watch in 2014 – In-Game Immersive Advertising
The Core Enthusiast’s
The core enthusiast is more console focused. They participate in gaming online via their desktop computer, Xbox, or Playstation rather than via mobile or social channels. These users are connected, therefore offering an opportunity for advertisers to focus on advertising that is embedded into the user experience and targeted. Since the core enthusiast’s user experience is much more media rich, it is important to integrate advertising that has a more “real-world” feel. For example, a core enthusiast is playing a full season of an NHL video game. During that full season they decided to “create a player” which represents themselves. During the creation process the core enthusiast is able to select the type of stick he would like his created player to use. A brand like Easton, a manufacturer of top-level hockey sticks would be an excellent candidate for in-game immersive advertising. This type of advertising is not really a new trend and brands have used it for years now, but as the gaming experience gets more immersive brands leverage the potential of gaming mediums. Sports games have now incorporated things like “Be a Pro” modes, this allows users to create their own player and participate in a franchise environment. A progressive approach to immersive in-game advertising would be to allow core enthusiasts to have their player receive sponsorship and promotions from brands. For example, the user creates a player for “be a pro mode” in an NFL game and in the rookie season completes 1000 rushing yards. Upon completion of the season the player is offered an endorsement deal by a soft drink company, which allows the game to monetize their “be a pro mode” in a contextual environment. Not only can brands leverage the aforementioned strategies, they can also deliver content that is targeted geographically, so users in Europe would see a different brand than users in North America.
#4 Game Advertising Growth Trends to Watch in 2014 – In-Game Environment Advertising
The Casual and Core Enthusiast
In-Game Environment Advertising appeals to both the casual user and the core enthusiast. Environment Advertising differs from Immersive Advertising because the user is exposed to billiards or retail store fronts within a the real world gaming experience, rather than being integrated into the immersive game playing experience. For example, A core enthusiast is playing an NHL game online against his brother in New Zealand , he or she may be exposed to messaging on the boards, or within the arena of the game playing environment. This is referred to as in-game environment advertising. Since the user is connected, this content can be dynamic, and based on behavioural, contextual, geographic, or demographic targeting. Although their are multiple opportunities to reach the core enthusiast, strategies like Advergaming may not be the most cost effective, given that that the aforementioned audience demonstrates brand loyalty to game titles they have personally invested their time towards. Therefore if brands are looking to engage both the casual and core enthusiast, in-game environment ads may be the answer.