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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Guevara

In-game ad capabilities (My top 5 great examples of in-game advertising)

I’m an 80’s baby, which means I grew up loving Super Mario, Sonic the hedgehog, MegaMan, Street fighter, Mortal Kombat, The Legend of Zelda and so many more memorable game titles that made my childhood and teenage years very special.

At no point in my life as a self-proclaimed gamer did I ever think I would be an advocate for advertising inside the world of gaming, but here I am today writing to you about in-game advertising and my top 5 great examples of how it’s being done right.

The thing is that in-game advertising is not what many people are groaning about. For starters, it’s not intrusive, it does not detract from the overall gaming experience, and it’s not done at random and without context. In other words, in-game ads are the opposite of what many of us grew up hating (Web browser ads, I am talking to you).

In-game ads provide great benefits to all parties involved. For the publisher its revenue. For the advertiser it’s a chance to connect with and engage consumers and for the gamer it’s a chance to bring real world experiences to the in-game environments we love while also getting a chance to benefit from in-game rewards and offers. It’s also just a way to simply give your avatar the swag it deserves.

When in-game advertising is done right, it looks like this:

5. NBA 2k22: The City | Designer clothing

Talk about subtle. Look at the brands and logos all over this game trailer and now imagine how much fun it would be to dress up your avatar in your favourite brands clothing, shoes, hats and gear. Yep… that’s advertising and you didn’t even blink.

4. FIFA Mobile | Adidas

A bit more technical and sophisticated but this is a perfect example of the sky being the limit when it comes to syncing your real world life experiences and your digital game.

3. Roblox | Vans world

Vans brought their off the wall campaign into the world of ROBLOX and did a great job at connecting with a diverse number of gamers in this largely populated meta world. Gamers were able to buy shoes, gear, skateboards and even show case skills in the world of ROBLOX.

2. Rocketleague | Hotwheels takeover

Somethings were just made to be together. I can’t think of anything cooler than a brand like HotWheels taking over a free to play game like rocketleague by inserting cool vehicle skins into the game. This is just muah (CHEFS KISS)

1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons | Letting players be advocates

The best part of marketing and advertising is when your customers become brand ambassadors and that’s exactly what players in the world of Animal Crossing are doing. The ability to customize clothing and art within the game is enabling players to go out there and put on their favourite brands clothing or create real world environments they love within the game. This trend led real world brands to start collaborating with in-game players who became professional designers in the world of Animal Crossing. Collaborations include Marc Jacobs, Valentino, and many more!

So, what did you think of these unique ways that brands are connecting with consumers in-game? As a gamer, for me; each one presents a subtle and effective way that brands are using next-gen ad-tech to connect with new and elusive audiences using gaming.

To learn more about in-game advertising connect with us here at APEX Gaming Network and discover how brands in Canada are leveraging the metaverse and in-game experience.


Carlos Guevara is the Marketing Director at APEX Mobile Media and was the 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 strategies.

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