Mobile advertising is a multibillion-dollar business, and one company thinks it will grow even further when marketers learn to turn their promotions into games.
According to a new study by Celtra, reported by VB Gamesbeat, game-like ads perform significantly better than static, noninteractive display ads or videos. These interactive, gamified commercials saw better engagement and clickthrough rates, and people spent more spent interacting with the ads. With mobile-advertising revenues on track to surpass $31 billion in 2014, every marketer and agency is looking for an edge, opines the report, and Celtra thinks game-like ads, which it refers to as “gaming ads,” represent that edge.
Celtra chief product officer Matevz Klanjsek, says that “ gaming ads are advertisements that use gameplay or gamification mechanics… (and) look like branded minigames … typically featuring standard gaming elements, such as core gameplay, scores, leaderboards… allow users to share their score/result on social media…”
These game-like ads, says the report, compared to a banner or 30-second video spot, encourage interactivity with the audience that is working.
On average, the study found that engagement rates were 16.2% for game-like ads while non-gaming only managed 10.4%, as more people took the time to view or interact with the games. Video play rates for the game-like ads were 36.4% compared to 11.7% for non-game ads. The gamified ads also saw a clickthrough rate of 28.8%, which is a huge increase over the 3.9% of the standard ads, notes the report.
Klanjsek says “…gamified ad experiences work across all mobile devices as well as on the desktop… but, most… are designed for mobile experiences… that utilize finger-based interaction… the performance of such ads is typically much better when… served into game apps… ”
Examples include players wiping away things that are blocking an image or video of a product, or a standard puzzle where people can form an advertisement by placing pieces in the correct sequence. The company is experimenting with quizzes, memory, and arcade games.
A person looking for a challenge is potentially more open to the idea of spending 10 to 15 seconds playing something in an advertisement, says the report. This is especially true if the gamified promotion keeps track of the player’s performance over time and lets them compete on a leaderboard and move on to more difficult levels.
Celtra is just one of many trying to figure out what is next to attract some of the billions spent on advertising. But, says the report, if its data works for a mass audience, the rest of the industry may follow its lead.
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