Gaming is now the fastest-growing advertising channel, last year it generated a revenue of $93.2bn globally according to Newzoo. In-game advertising has rapidly become the preferred way to reach the incredibly diverse and engaged global gaming community of over 3.2 billion gamers.

Gaming’s ascent represents a shift in consumer attention. Consumers spent over one trillion hours playing games and a further 25 billion hours watching gaming streams globally every year — that’s more than the time spent on social media and watching TV (GWI, 2021). These figures are great for advertisers, opening an invitation to endless opportunities in the mobile gaming world.
Brands from all sectors are looking to in-game advertising to boost their ad campaigns, but what do advertisers have to know to get the most out of their investment?

Here are some tips to keep in mind.

The more creative, the better

Games are 3D showpieces, a lot of times built over years with teams of creatives and developers who are super passionate about their creations. This is important, especially when considering the types of ad creatives you want to bring in-game. Gaming is a fast-paced environment, so it’s essential to strike the right balance between an ad that complements the gameplay but stands out enough for players to remember it.

Timing is Key

Let’s be real. Players aren’t going to slow down their game to watch your ad. In-game video ads need to be short and fresh, which can catch the player’s attention to make your brand memorable.
Six seconds is usually enough time to look at the ad and understand the core message without distracting the player. Regardless, you should experiment with different lengths to see what works for your brand.

Be noticeable

Unlike 2D, and linear ad experiences, in in-game ads, we need to understand how the players move & navigate. As players move, the ad moves around the game, and they will see it from different angles. Keeping the ad prominent and on-screen will ensure the player sees it from different angles and multiple times.

In gaming, the most effective ads are ones that are short, fresh, and to the point with as much screen time as possible.

Treat gaming ads as a boost

In-game advertising is designed to complement and enhance the gameplay, and it’s all about brand building through immersive ads that catch the player’s attention. Taking the player away from the game can disrupt the experience and often means the player is unlikely to return straight away.

In-game ads can be used to build brand awareness and purchase intent, catching attention as opposed to ads on other digital channels whose success is often based on performance metrics like clicks and installs.

Multi-platform ads

There is also a growing trend of gamers playing across multiple platforms depending on where they find themselves. For this reason, it’s important that you work with an in-game advertising partner that understands the gaming environment and can help you target the right audience for your campaign. You should ensure the provider you use can serve in-game ads across multiple platforms, including mobile and PC. Otherwise, you could be losing out on a huge volume of your target audience.

Viewability is key

The industry has worked with ads in 2D environments for a long time, so naturally, all the standards and parameters in place have been built for these environments.
The industry is working hard to standardize in-game viewability, which is why the MRC is working on new guidelines to ensure viewability is counted in the right way. On top of this, it’s also important that advertisers measure how much attention their ad placements receive, as this will help them to understand how effective their campaign has been at reaching players.

Fighting Fraud

Invalid traffic (IVT) in-game is very low as it’s difficult for fraudsters to mirror a gamer. Still, as the gaming industry keeps growing, fraud will most likely follow. Working with providers that use trusted third-party verification is important.

As an accelerating medium, in-game advertising has its challenges, and some parameters are still being defined. But this is quickly changing, and the upcoming MRC standards will bring even more confidence to advertisers who want to invest in the space. Altogether, it is crucial to understand the format, the environment, and what success metrics can be delivered for your campaigns. Advertisers should ensure they work with a trusted partner to help them activate their in-game campaigns

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