MEDiAHEAD blog

Engaging with in-game advertising

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 24, 2015 8:00:00 AM / by MEDiAHEAD

mobile and in game advertisingIt’s surprisingly easy to get gamers involved and engaged in your advertising messages. It makes sense, too; your viewers are already focused on a screen in front of them and are willingly responsive to incoming stimuli whether they’re playing on mobile devices, a dedicated gaming console, or a computer. But in recent years, in-game advertising has become a little more sophisticated than simply inserting a brand’s logo on an electronic billboard, or making the game’s main protagonist consume Doritos and Mountain Dew to regain his stamina while wearing an Axe body spray t-shirt. These days, gamers expect to receive value from the brands that advertise in their games.

Achieving higher engagement rates through in-game ads/h3>

As we mentioned in a previous blog, catering to a gamer’s willingness to participate and engage can return fantastic results. If an advertisement provides users with an incentive to watch, learn, or even play, users will be far more willing to listen to promotional messages.

In many instances, gamers are readily willing to engage with in-game advertisements “...because they have the value-added benefit of receiving in-game rewards for interacting with branded marketing actions,” says Paul Capriolo, CEO and co-founder of Social Growth Technologies (creators of Social Ingot, an in-game advertising platform). “They are then able to seamlessly return to their game without interruption.”

The practice of adding incentive-based rewards in free-to-play mobile games is so successful that digital marketing firms like MediaBrix enjoy engagement rates as high as 91.4 percent. An enormous factor contributing to their success is timing, notes CEO and cofounder Ari Brandt. By thoroughly understanding the user journey in real-time, marketers can fluidly target specific, emotional moments for personal, meaningful, brand interactions. “We’ve mapped specific emotions in games and leverage those breakthrough moments to deliver ads,” says Brandt.

The company identifies “breakthrough moments” in a gamer’s experience, highlighting precise junctures of frustration, accomplishment, or anticipation. For example, by leveraging established game mechanics, brands can heroically swoop in to the user’s rescue, offering helpful power-ups or in-game currency to assist the player’s victory. “Ultimately, that’s the goal of the brand: to be remembered as a friend or a hero,” asserts Brandt.

Other in-game advertising methods to consider

Aside from providing incentivized rewards to your users, there are numerous ways to to achieve high engagement rates with in-game advertising content. Ad gating is a commonly employed practice in which a player must watch a short video advertisement before being allowed to continue with his or her game. Ad gating ensures that your message will be delivered in its entirety. Marketers should be careful when considering the timing and placement of the ad, however, since gamers might feel as if their experience is being interrupted, which can result in a negative association with your brand.

Selective ads give users an option to choose one of multiple predetermined commercials at specific intervals. This method of in-game advertising tends to perform better than traditional pre-roll ads, with improved click-through rates and enhanced targeting, since players pick which advertisements best suit their interests.

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Topics: Marketing, Technology, Cross media

Written by MEDiAHEAD