Brands’ guide to effective mobile game advertising

Due to mandatory stay-at-home orders, the video game industry has been greatly affected by the COVID pandemic. The cancellation of in-person trade shows, events and sports have contributed to this growth, forcing consumers to look to games and other activities to fill the void.

In addition, the pandemic also affected television, and in 2022 the number of viewers of linear television decreased. As a result, the video game industry was one of many boomers, with revenue up 20% over 2019 to over $179 billion. of global revenue from both hardware and software in 2020

So it’s no surprise that mobile gaming has grown in popularity during this time. This is the second article in our new series on why video games are a huge opportunity for advertisers in 2023.

Who plays video games

According to the IAB, the video game industry has more than 3 billion players worldwide, with in-game ad revenue expected to exceed $6.26 billion by the end of the year, making this a great opportunity for brands to tap into. income.

  • 227 million people in the US play video games
  • 46% of people who play video games are women
  • 70% of women are mothers
  • 80% of people who play video games are Gen Z

Zoe Soon, vice president of the IAB Experience Center, says that gamers are no longer identified as “gamers” in the traditional sense of the word, and people who watch TV are not called “TV viewers”. You don’t say “TV watchers”. It’s just people… We watch TV. We act in games, but people say “players” as if they were a separate, isolated group of people. This concept is changing as games become more fluid across social and metaverses.

Playing video games is no longer considered antisocial behavior. About 70% of millennials who play games do so to just “hang out” rather than play. A Deloitte study found that Gen Z and Millennials spend an average of about 11 hours a week playing video games. All five countries surveyed – UK, US, Germany, Brazil and Japan – listed gambling as their favorite pastime.

According to statistics:

  • 79% of players are over 18 years old
  • The average age of a video game player is around 35 years old
  • 61% of US adult gamers play games on their mobile phones
  • 80% of 18-34 year old gamers like shooting games
  • 95% of female gamers in Asia play mobile games
  • Only 27% of all American gamers are non-white
  • 73% of African American teens play video games

Also, their statistics show that people over 40 also play video games. 14% are aged 35-44, 12% are aged 45-54 and 7% are over 65. These statistics show that teenage boys are no longer playing video games in their parents’ basements. People of all ages, races, and genders play games.

In the next few years, games will become the language of communication. If brands treat it as this isolated channel, they are already behind the curve. You no longer need a large game console connected to your TV to enjoy your games. in 2022 almost everyone has a full game console in their hands.

Gaming is now one of the best and brightest opportunities for marketers. Gamers are becoming more and more diverse, and their interests are not limited to the game itself. But when it comes to attention and engaged audiences, it’s hard to beat as a marketing tool.

But what should brands do if they want to start advertising in video games? The answer is mobile. Games like Candy Crush, Best Fiends and Apex Legends are popular among players of all ages. If brands want to reach their ideal demographic, mobile gaming is the way to do it. However, there are some considerations.

Mobile gaming is the lowest hanging fruit

The easiest way for advertisers and brands to start promoting video games is on mobile. Since not all users want to pay for in-app purchases or prefer free-to-play games, ads are a great way to achieve a compromise. Users can play games for free, publishers can monetize games, and advertisers have the ability to display ads to targeted demographics.

In-game ads used to be intrusive, disruptive, and generally bad for the player. Brands would shun in-game ad slots, citing spam or bot clicks and wasted ad spend. But mobile, PC, console and web game developers looking to make money have come up with a way to make ads native and feel like part of the experience. Ads are naturally integrated into the ecosystem and have become more realistic.

In-app advertising may also take the form of rewarded ads. These are non-skippable ads that allow users to view in-app items or provide extra lives or perks to those who would otherwise not want to pay for the add-on-free version.

Advertisers have several in-game ad platform options. Platforms like Meta and Google AdMob offer ads in the following different formats:

  • Interstitial
  • Local banners
  • Contextual
  • Awarded
  • Expandable
  • In the game

Interstitial ads

Interstitial ads are full-screen ads that sit above the app interface. They appear during natural game breaks or transitions and do not interrupt the user experience or appear during gameplay.

Interstitial ads are full-screen overlays. Like banner ads, they are easy to install and do not affect gameplay as they are displayed in full screen mode. This is ideal for games with natural pauses or transition cycles, as an ad can be shown to users while they are taking a break. Interstitial ads generate fewer impressions than banners, but generally generate more revenue.

Local banners

Native banners are one of the most popular formats and one of the least intrusive. They are similar to regular banner ads, but the look and feel is similar to the in-game environment. They do not interfere with the game, but are displayed on a part of the screen.

Banners are rectangular ads that can be displayed as text, images, or video. They can appear on the main screen or be embedded in the title or end screens. Banner ads are the easiest to deploy and can maximize ad exposure while a user is playing a game without interrupting the game. Banner ads in mobile games are similar to banner ads on websites. AdMob has a smart banner feature that automatically adjusts the banner size for different devices.

Native ads can be customized to match the color, visual design, layout, and context of the game they’re in. They can contain images or videos. Native ads can reduce user engagement and increase long-term value because they generally match the look and feel of the app.

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Contextual advertising

Contextual ads use a standard mobile format that targets users based on content preferences, interests, and shared interests. They naturally integrate products and services into the game.

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Paid ads

Many free-to-play games offer paid ads to allow players to level up or earn rewards for watching a full video ad. This format has the highest view rate and is the most widely accepted by players as it receives an award for interaction.

Paid ads appear when users choose to interact with an ad in exchange for an in-app “reward.” Rewards can range from extra game time to upgrades and features normally only available through in-app purchases. Paid ads will serve video ads and interactive ads such as paid ads. This ad format gives users control over the ad experience: they decide whether to engage with the ad in exchange for a valuable reward. Paid ads are becoming an increasingly popular gaming format as they drive user engagement and generate significant revenue for developers.

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Expandable ads

Expandable ads tend to disrupt the user experience because they expand when the user clicks on them. Done right, they can be useful and offer immersive experiences. However, ads are often clicked randomly and do not provide any benefit to the player.

Expand the ad

Game video

In-game video ads are typically 15-30 seconds long and placed at a natural transition point within the game. They interrupt the gameplay experience, so they need to be well thought out and placed carefully.

Typically, players are rewarded with extra lives or rewards for watching a full in-game video ad. For this reason, these types of ads tend to be more successful than others. They are also more expensive.

Brands should carefully consider what type of game ad best suits their audience, goals, and budget. It is also advisable to test different offers, locations and platforms as they may vary in terms of performance and price.

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