Gamers are increasingly positive towards in-game branding

Newzoo report indicates gamers show more positive response to in-game sport, luxury fashion, soft drink and alcoholic beverages, and automotive branding

Gamers are increasingly positive towards in-game branding

New data from Newzoo suggest that gamers across platforms show more positive attitudes towards brands than non-gamers – potentially an opportunity for brands to engage with gamers, although the report does stress that strategies must reflect the nuances of gamers’ behaviour, preferences, and demographics to be effective.

Of the 13 brands surveyed – ranging from sports brands, luxury fashion, the automotive industry, and beverages – every brand was viewed more positively by gamers than non-gamers.

While in some cases the discrepancy was small – for example, 32 per cent of gamers surveyed had a positive view of Budweiser, compared to 31 per cent of non-gamers – in others, the difference was considerable.

Both energy drink brands surveyed – Red Bull and Monster – were viewed positively by over 20 per cent more gamers compared with non-gamers, suggesting a better return of investment for in-game branding opportunities for these companies.

Apex advertising

In a case study comparing Apex Legends and Fortnite, the report examines the differing demographics and impact on brand positivity.

The study finds that 70 per cent of Apex Legends players surveyed identified as male, compared to 29 per cent female and one per cent non-binary or other. 47 per cent of players surveyed are in the 21-35 age group, with 33 per cent being aged 10-20.

In contrast, Fortnite’s audience skewed 63 per cent male and 37 per cent female, with 39 per cent in the 10-20 age group and 38 per cent in the 21-35 group.

Although 54 per cent of players for each game consumed soft drinks while playing, alcohol consumption was 34 per cent among Apex Legends players – five per cent more than among Fortnite players, at 29 per cent. This suggests that branding opportunities for alcoholic drinks could lead to a higher return of investment in Apex Legends than Fortnite.

The study also breaks down the groups based on which subsection of gamer they fall into, such as ultimate gamers, community gamers, or mainstream gamers. By honing in on these demographics, brands can produce more relevant messaging to the audience and attract new consumers through the use of in-game advertising and cross-promotion.

While cross-media partnerships are an enduring reality in the mobile games sector, there is undoubtedly a greater degree of awareness from non-gaming entities to engage, including the TV show Queer Eye's first in-game promotion, Spotify's permanent presence in Roblox, and even Space Ape Games' pre-release exclusive of the Black Eyed Peas, Shakira, and David Guetta's new single prior to its release.

Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.