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  • Writer's pictureKevin Kane

Hey CPG brands!.. Don't forget about gamers

Remember when video games were 49.99? Well today they are $90 dollars above. Which is why so many gamers, young and old are turning to free-to-play popular games like Roblox, Minecraft, Rocket League, APEX Legends, Fortnite, Smite, and Paladins to name a few.

Now, imagine that within this captivating gaming environments, gamers encounter their favourite product, snack or beverage seamlessly integrated into the game. This is the magic of in-game advertising, and CPG, food, and beverage brands are making waves in this immersive realm.

Mobile gamer playing on their phone

As an in-game advertising publisher, we’ve had a ringside seat to this thrilling transformation. Gaming, once a niche pastime, has evolved into a global phenomenon, captivating audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Today, it’s home to CPG brands, QSR, food, and beverage brands that are levelling up (yes, pun intended) their marketing game by becoming part of the gaming experience.

What makes in-game advertising special is that it’s an underappreciated art form that seamlessly blends brands into the gaming narrative, enhancing the player's experience rather than disrupting it. This, not-so-new channel, is all about crafting immersive stories that resonate with gamers, leaving a lasting impression. And many brands are doing just that.

The potential that in-game advertising has is almost limitless to any marketing strategy and can be placed at any level of the marketing funnel. For example, brands can take over billboards in 3D world environments to create awareness, or target audiences with real-world items by having gamers collect in-game rewards that can be redeemed for real-world snacks.

This level of integration isn't just advertising; it's storytelling at its finest. Gamers don't just encounter these brands; they remember them, discuss them with fellow players, and forge meaningful connections.

But it doesn’t just stop there. In-game advertising should not just be a gaming strategy, but it should be part of an audience strategy, which is why many brands are diversifying. Brands that are present in-game are not only showcasing products within games but also collaborating with developers to create custom in-game items, skins, and experiences that resonate with gamers on a deeper level.

And like mobile, in-game ads are fuelled by data. This is another important reason why brands use analytics to understand player behaviour, preferences, and trends. This insight helps to fine-tune marketing strategies and cater to specific gaming demographics, which gaming can provide.

Mobile gaming has seen explosive growth, and CPG, food and beverage brands are quick to leverage this trend. Whether it's a mobile game simulating a cooking experience or a puzzle game with beverage themes or getting a clear value exchange by providing gamers in-game currency or additional gaming time through lives in exchange for watching an ad mobile platform. All these, and many other in-game ad-types offer unique opportunities for engagement.

Mobile gamer playing on their phone

And as technology continues to evolve, so does the gaming industry. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences are on the horizon, opening new dimensions for in-game advertising. Brands are exploring these immersive technologies to create interactive campaigns that transport gamers to blended ad-experiences that merge gaming with reality.

Today, brands are no longer just playing the ad-game of chasing audiences; they're becoming the game that audiences want to play. The future of advertising has found a home in gaming—a world where imagination knows no bounds, and engagement is at its peak. As an in-game advertising network, we’re excited to witness brands thrive in this dynamic landscape, and we can't wait to see how we can do this for brands like yours.


Carlos Guevara is the Marketing Director at APEX Mobile Media and previous host of the podcast "In Search of Good Data." He has also helped various organizations in the private and non-profit sector to become more customer-centric with the use of enriched data and modern marketing and advertising technology and strategies.

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