In what should be no surprise to anyone working in media, video games are a big part of consumers’ media mix.
Looking at only playing on video-game consoles (such as PlayStation and Xbox), over one third (36%) of Americans age 13 to 74 say they play these types of video games.
Usage is particularly important among young men (70% play console games) and young women (50% play) under age 35.
For marketers, the potential audience playing console games is compelling, but how receptive are they to advertising or marketing messages?
The data indicate that integration with console games -- whether via product placements, downloadable content, or other options -- should be considered for any brand for whom the gamer demo makes sense.
Let’s look at some advertising receptivity data from our recent study about console gamers.
First, we found that a large majority (70%) of console gamers have noticed in-game advertising or content -- up from our previous study in 2019 (61%).
Gamers, who are often on the lookout for “easter eggs” or hidden elements to a game, pay attention to the world in which they are playing.
Engagement with these marketing messages is also notable. Two in five (43%) of console gamers say they have downloaded advertiser/marketer “DLC” (downloadable content) for games -- a sizable increase over our 2019 measure (26%).
Branded DLC adds unique elements or features to a game, tied in with the marketer.
And the payoff from players using branded DLC is strongly positive.
Three in four (72%) who have used branded DLC say it helps them “enjoy the game more.” And almost 80% say branded DLC is more relevant to their needs than regular commercials or advertising.
Corroborating the last point, when all console gamers are asked whether they prefer to have advertising or branding in a game as opposed to watching a regular commercial, more prefer in-game ads (44%) over regular commercials (29%).
And perhaps the most important measure: have console gamers ever purchased a product they would not have purchased otherwise because of advertising or branding incorporated in a game?
Among all console gamers, half (47%) say they have indeed made a purchase they would not have made otherwise because of what they have seen in a game.
The data also shows that the positive reaction to advertising/marketing in console video games is even more pronounced among the young male and female demos that are typically highly desired by marketers.
To wrap up, let’s think about this another way. Imagine if I told you there was a TV commercial that viewers not only tolerate, but actively look for and interact with, that makes the show they’re watching more enjoyable and can lead them to make a purchase they wouldn’t otherwise have made? Sounds like the Holy Grail, right?
That’s the huge potential of in-game marketing efforts -- will you be a player?