In today’s evolving media landscape, creating quality and welcome advertising experiences is the holy grail of consumer engagement, and mobile gaming is no exception. With a growing audience of over 3.2 billion¹ and counting – and mobile accounting for more than half of that – gaming offers a loyal and attentive player base for brands looking to level up their marketing. Although there are many factors at play when executing successful campaigns, the role of creativity and the interplay between the game itself and the media within cannot be undervalued. By focusing on user experience and creativity as the building blocks for quality media, brands can benefit from premium advertising experiences based around premium game IP that can build and sustain trust and lifetime value for advertisers and players alike. Here are three steps to make the most out of your next creative campaign:
Step 1: Outcome base alignment & creative ideation
From the onset of any campaign, understanding the objectives and KPIs is critical to architecting the creative format recommendation toward desired brand outcomes. Recent Activision Blizzard research, centered on the nature of premium gaming, highlights player preference towards interactive and reward-based advertising within mobile games – with 78% of players preferring such rewards². Focusing on player preference is a tremendous value-add for advertisers who can use such insights to inform creative format choices, veering them away from typical static assets and traditional video ads that are becoming increasingly easy to avoid. By working closely with advertisers early on in the process, experiences that feel mobile-centric, fun and personal to the player are achievable while also tapping into the sentimentality of the brand to create something truly unique.
Player affinity for premium game IP creates a high bar for premium publishers when considering complementing the game with advertising. Creativity remains a critical factor for the satisfaction of gameplay for players, who are calling on publishers to ensure ads within premium games have high-quality graphics that are not intrusive to the gameplay.
Step 2: Establishing a natural value exchange
Luckily for brands (and myth busters alike), as it turns out, players are open to advertising experiences if done in a thoughtful way that does not interrupt gameplay – better yet, they enjoy them! 82% of players understand why ad breaks exist in mobile games³, with some players even considering the option to watch ads as a “must-have” for a premium mobile game experience. That is, if there is an ad break, it must be a voluntary exchange between the player and the publisher. Focusing on creative experiences that feel contextually relevant and immersive for the player can foster conversion, affinity, and brand lift for advertisers. The popularity of interactive and playable formats coupled with the user’s opt-in rewarded choice is a natural way for advertisers to create a value exchange that keeps players engaged. Rather than passively waiting for the experience to expire, users can continue to engage with an environment that offers highly relevant creative compliments.
Step 3: Made to measure
Lastly, the marriage of best-in-class measurement, insights, design, and format are more important than ever in setting marketers up for success – and being able to survey players directly is second to none in getting the results needed to drive brand impact. Average engagement benchmarks for playable mobile ad formats boast a 95% average engagement rate, 98% viewability⁴ and significant increases in purchase intent and ad recall⁵ – metrics that provide a view into the success of interactive environments that drive conversions through creativity and a unique customer journey.
Through a player-first and data driven approach to game design and ad design, mobile in-game advertising can support brands in engaging consumers through creative and authentic, interactive storytelling and immersive brand moments that capture audience attention.