There were games everywhere in 2019. The global number of people touching them across their phones is set to top out by December at over 2.4 billion and is expected to reach over 2.7 billion by the end of 2021. Today, game developers and advertisers alike are finding that in-game advertising is simpler than ever due to the introduction of exclusive commercials that are impossible on other platforms.
The explosive growth of mobile advertising has been driven by developments in advertising, technology, and consumer behavior. In particular, there has been the emergence of many forms of advertising for brands and publishers in the mobile gaming space.
There are many kinds of monetization mechanisms when it comes to mobile gaming applications. Several mobile advertising incentives are offered to marketers when working around these application models – free and ad-supported, freemium, paid and paid with sponsorship.
There are many benefits of ads inside mobile games. For example, advertisement in this channel offers a strategic marketing opportunity to reach the young male demographic representing the majority of users of mobile games. Mobile game ads also give space for artistic creativity, where editors are encouraged to think outside the box while producing immersive graphics and brand message experiences.
Mobile game advertisements provide a great deal of experience compared to other mobile ads. Users are actively involved in gameplay, in a state of leisure – an ideal environment to captivate your audience’s attention.
Mobile in-game advertising refers to the placement within mobile games of advertising, brands and related messages. Anywhere in the game that is visible to the user during gameplay, advertising can be found. Some of the forms of ad spaces used in mobile games are static banners, dynamic advertising, and audio ads.
Mobile advertising in the game can be static or dynamic. Static ads, the forefather of in-game mobile advertising, is advertising that is deliberately placed within the game that does not change during gameplay. It contrasts with the rising trend of dynamic advertising, where the game connects to a service provider network during gameplay, and commercials will shift (also known as ad networks).
Rewarded advertising, typically used in mobile games, has the potential to benefit brands more than advertisers for performance. This is because gamers appreciate you being able to help them out. Nevertheless, according to a study commissioned by Tapjoy from Forrester, promoted ads nearly double the percentage of users who feel positive towards brands.
Consumers tend to engage with the ads they receive in a gaming environment. Research by TapJoy reveals that gamers are more than twice as likely to pay attention to advertisements placed throughout mobile games (41%) as advertising put on the internet (17%), newspapers (15%) or billboards (15%). And when it comes to their mobile games, people are extremely enthusiastic. For two out of three users, social media apps or TV would rather give up than risk their favorite mobile games.
Mobile gaming is also a very brand-safe channel, which is important. Since user-generated content is not part of the process, marketers can be confident that their advertisements will only be shown in contexts in which they want to associate their products. Proper controls of the genre and whitelists hold things in the right direction, which UGC platforms cannot offer.
Mobile as a whole is the digital platform that is most tracked, measured, and accountable. Measurability vendors like Nielsen, MOAT, Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify can accurately measure the viewability and protection of products that brand marketers are searching for, offering peace of mind with checked third party numbers.
Pushing the major mobile platforms into gaming could help them keep marketers satisfied by providing the highly desirable audience of gamers at a time when brands are scrutinizing their digital ad purchases more closely because of concerns about brand protection, accountability, and privacy.
Since gaming content is regulated by the creator of the game, it is usually less likely to stray into generally unacceptable territory than user-generated content. Then it’s no wonder that gaming apps rank above social media platforms to provide marketers with a brand-safe environment.
Gaming is a trend that is truly global. Across emerging markets, however, entertainment options may be less, and we see smartphone use taking up a larger share of customer time. In this context, in some APAC markets, gaming provides a slightly enhanced incentive. It is also noteworthy that gaming has less negative associations in Asia from a cultural perspective than in Western markets.
Mobile games sponsorship appeals to advertisers as their inclusion in the app allows marketers to meet their target audience; aiming to exploit a positive gaming experience connection. Sponsorships also allow brands to optimize their ability to deliver messages. In the case where a message is transmitted when a user is in a passive state when playing a game at leisure, the user is more likely to receive messages well.
Mobile advertising games represent the highest degree of brand involvement, vs. mobile in-game advertising that sits for brand involvement at the bottom of the spectrum. Mobile advertising games engage users and build loyalty, giving the brand an opportunity to create a specific storyline, in an inclusive campaign through today’s preferred media.
Despite the many obvious advantages of in-app advertising, especially as part of an overall mobile advertising strategy, there are issues about both education and technology capabilities that prevent advertisers from considering in-app advertising with the preparedness they should be.
App publishers and agencies will need to engage in a period of outreach to brands and advertisers to communicate their benefits in order to take advantage of the opportunities surrounding in-app advertising growth. While experts in these organizations already understand the distinction between in-app and wider mobile advertising, this information still has to be filtered through to the wider industry. As conversion tracking issues and the need for accurate user data across devices are becoming more intense, so is the need to share in-app advertising benefits.