The report notes that “gaming is one of the largest white space media opportunities for brands to engage consumers, including younger, hard to reach audiences.” As such, Dentsu and Frameplay are spearheading attention measurement research in gaming environments.
The report suggests that effective marketing in-game is a balancing act based on added value and authenticity. Dentsu found that 26 percent of respondents accept the sponsorship of esports teams or events not related to esports teams or events, however 27 percent are frustrated by intrusive pop-ups and ads.
Brands should take note of the inherent passion of the gaming community and connect in a meaningful way. One possible method is to respond to the motivations and frustrations of gamers, for example by sponsoring female streamers to promote a more diverse and inclusive space.
The study suggests that creating in-game content or skins, or working with publishers to provide in-game bonuses such as extra lives, can both enhance the gameplay experience of players and increase the brand’s visibility.
A different approach
The report also states that brands should avoid simply using TV commercials in-game, but take the time to adapt the creative to “make them true to intrinsic in-game formats.”
“As the gaming opportunity grows, brands will flock to this space, for better or for worse. The ones who succeed will put value for gamers at the centre of their approach – not as a one-off activation, but as a long-term commitment.”
Although only 26 percent of brands state that they accept non esports-related brands sponsoring teams or events, the report highlights the potential of non-endemic brands advertising in-game. It’s more important to find the right entry point into the space, and balancing between brand fit, impact and suitability – in short, advertising in the right games for the brand, and doing it in a way which maximises return of investment.
By properly utilising the potential of gaming, brands can not only successfully advertise in-game, but become a part of the culture and more authentically interact with the target audience. In-game advertising, if done correctly, can add both value and realism to a title. If done incorrectly, however, in-game advertising has the potential to adversely affect the gameplay experience and damage a company’s brand image. By understanding the intrinsic differences between gaming and other forms of media, brands can maximise the effectiveness of their creatives.
The same report delved into the varying demographics within the games space, and how different groups interact with the games space.