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Nexters’ head of marketing Anton Yakovlev on misleading advertising

We spoke to Yakovlev following a recent study the company carried out examining the world of advertising
Nexters’ head of marketing Anton Yakovlev on misleading advertising

A recent study examined the world of misleading advertising, with Nexters reporting that as many as 91% of players report seeing these ads in some territories - and that over a third of players are willing to accept these ads, letting the game speak for itself upon download rather than uninstalling immediately.

Following the study, we spoke to Nexters head of marketing Anton Yakovlev about the results, and the place of misleading advertising plays in user acquisition.


PocketGamer.biz: Tell us about your role at Nexters and your history in the industry

Yakovlev: My name is Anton and I am Head of Marketing at Nexters.I started as a UA manager, and have come a long way to get gain experience not only in running successful ad campaigns but also in building and executing marketing strategies for mobile and web games, creating high-performing creatives, testing and scaling, predictive modelling, decision-making, growing teams that can do everything mentioned and more beyond that – the list goes on.

I joined the budding marketing Team at Nexters in 2014 when the whole marketing story had just begun. Through failures and successes, challenges and growth we've reached the stage where we are now managing a team of about 150 marketing professionals. My big dream is to make Nexters’ marketing team one of the best in the whole industry.

Can you please tell us more about the study you conducted?

Nexters always strives to learn more about its audience. In this research, we asked our community to share their experiences and explore which non-core gameplay ads were so interesting that they deserved a full game.

We distributed the survey form right in the Nexters' games, to reach various geographies, we also translated it into several languages. All in all, 5,212 respondents across the globe participated in our research.

What were the most surprising insights you gained from the report?

The biggest surprise we had was the fact that 35% to 46% of gamers across the regions reported they would not stop playing the game immediately after realising the ad represents non-core gameplay but would instead make a decision based on the game itself. We were surprised because it is believed such ads are mainly negatively perceived by the community.

Did you identify any particular reason for this?

Non-core gameplay ads — is an evolving term; it previously meant advertising that created false expectations, as there was no such experience in the product.

With companies adding mini-games with the mechanics from the ads, such advertising is no longer non-core gameplay as users can now find this experience in the product; it's just not the core one. We believe that’s why gamers now perceive such ads more positively than before.

Was there any correlation between the 91% of American respondents who said they’d seen one of these ads, and the most popular category in the country being casual?

The USA is the most popular market in the gaming industry, and companies tend to target it with casual titles — that's why this genre wins compared to more complex games.

Moreover, companies usually direct a lot of advertising traffic there, and that’s why so many gamers in America have seen these ads.

What can we expect coming soon from Nexters?

In the near future, we’ll present the next edition of our ESG report and the financial and operational results for 2022, and continue working on our wider catalogue.