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  • Writer's pictureKevin Kane

Why in-game ads make sense for media and entertainment

Some things in the world of gaming just go well together.

Mario and Luigi, Sonic and Tails, Ryu and Ken, controllers with built-in rechargeable batteries. Today, there’s something else that fits just right in the world of gaming, and that’s in-game advertisements and the media and entertainment industry.

For one, in-game advertising is the main source of life for free to play games like Roblox that's currently enjoyed by 214.10 million monthly active users. This large number of users presents advertisers looking to promote their next big feature film, or hot new streaming series, an opportunity to do so in front of a large and diverse audience of all ages, gender and background… and that’s just on Roblox!

Advertisers today need to ask themselves one question: Is anyone paying attention?

In a world of multi-screen attention, advertisers are facing an uphill battle in trying to engage audiences. In the living room, the TV is on but the audience is on their phone. Scrolling through social media, or playing a mobile game, or texting friends.

On social media, audiences are mindlessly scrolling through memes, friends posts and paid ads without much thought and many are doing it now through secondary accounts or ‘burner’ accounts without even liking, commenting or sharing.

Out in the real world, everyones glued to their phone ignoring the ads on the train, bus shelters, and billboards around them.

In gaming, well that’s a different story. Because gaming requires 100% of the user's attention and it can be done from anywhere. It can be done on mobile in the living room while the TV is on. On mobile on the bus on the way to work, heck it's even being done on mobile while at work by employees and CEOs alike.

At home, on the big screen, it's being done on consoles and on desktop and laptop computers. Regardless of how people are gaming; they all have one thing in common: they are giving the game they are playing 100% of their attention - and this includes the ads in them.

Who’s playing: It’s why in-game advertising matters

For the media and entertainment industry gaming presents an opportunity to meet and engage audiences of all ages, backgrounds, and genders that are playing from different locations. This unique opportunity is a perfect fit for the media and entertainment industry to curate ads for their movies, shows, programs and networks to audiences based on what will interest them the most.

For example, at AGN we ran Super Mario movie ads seamlessly integrated into 3D world environments on Roblox because the core audience on that platform are youth. For more teen oriented films like Bob’s Burgers we gamified an ad experience and targeted it to an older teen audience, and for a new Amazon Prime series that’s action packed with political themes we targeted it to adult gamers playing games like the Sims on mobile.

The future of is advertising is all about gamified digital experiences

In-game advertising is at the forefront of digital experiences. It no longer is a simple linear experience that has a beginning and end. Today gaming is about experiences and home to millions of people who log in to spend time as a community.

When I was in college, many of my hours gaming were spent in the world of warcraft; an online multiplayer experience where the majority of my time was hanging out at Lion's Pride Inn, aka Goldshire Inn (for all my peeps that played WOW back in the day) and just chatting with fellow gamers. We’d chat about in-game and real world events, trade items, sell items, and raid dungeons for hours.

Today this is the norm.

So, next time your team is thinking about launching an ad campaign for a summer blockbuster or the new hit series on a popular streaming platform, think about launching it into a world with millions of active users that are always paying attention and ready to engage.

Learn more about in-game advertising and the future of digital experiences in our last IAB webinar, free to watch anytime.


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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