We already know that 700 million consumers globally are playing games on their PCs and mobile devices. And as many studies have shown, people are receptive to advertising when they are in a relaxed state of mind -- especially when they chill out and play games.
But the games industry hasn’t stopped trying to improve its good record for generating high click-throughs and video ad completion rates. The ultimate success for game publishers relies both on consumer retention and in-game advertising revenues. Striking that balance is proving to be fruitful for brand advertisers.
In the recent past, casual game publishers offered an ad in regular increments for all games -- often in game breaks -- no matter what the game style. However, one size does not fit all, and savvy publishers are now modifying their ad delivery technologies to recognize when a game has an appropriate moment to deliver an ad to the relevant demographic.
Smart algorithms are keying in on when a game player is succeeding in a game and likely happy about his or her success before serving up a pertinent ad. These moments are analogous to cliffhanger moments during TV programs.
In addition, publishers are improving ad targeting without relying on personal identifiable information. Before, a teenage girl might see an ad for life insurance in her game just as she’s feeling great about popping all of those red-and-blue bubbles in her bubble-shooter game. She could care less about life insurance, and her retention to that game site is in jeopardy.
Based on improved technology, game publishers are able to predict and avoid such situations more frequently. It still happens, of course, but because game publishers are so passionate about keeping consumers engaged -- and coming back -- that their desire to make improvements is fierce. The result is that their advertisers are reaching a much clearer demographic and a stronger set of metrics when they advertise in games.
Mobile game advertising specifically is still going through a few growing pains, but the advances are occurring daily. In the interim, another phenomenon is occurring. There is a little-known fact that competing game companies are buying up the mobile game ad inventory for themselves. After all, why not market a new mobile game to a player on a different mobile game? It’s low-hanging fruit.
However, since mobile video advertising is one of the fastest-growing digital ad segments, and as more mobile game publishers continue to improve their targeting and measurements, brand advertisers will soon flex more muscles. They will push their way into advertising in that coveted mobile game space.
Many game publishers on both mobile devices and desktops make more than half of their overall income from advertising. With three goals in mind -- retaining game players, delivering ads that resonate for their players and delivering results for advertisers -- game publishers are even more incentivized than ever before to striking the right balance between retention and advertising successes.
For brands, knowing that game publishers are motivated and delivering targeted results gives them a leg up. Negotiating targeted campaigns in mobile and desktop games is a no-brainer at this point in the overall consumer ecosystem.