The Future of Mobile Game Advertising
- Growth in smartphone and tablet usage (according to the IAB Mobile Center research, as of January 2014, 57% of all US adults owned a smartphone and 44% owned a tablet)
- Increasing sophistication in mobile app ecosystem
- Growing willingness among consumers to pay for virtual goods and accept mobile advertising
- Virtual goods
- Paid apps and downloads
- Ad format evolution taking place: From advertising that offers player rewards, value exchange video advertising, rich media creative, branded content and more native integration—ads on games are becoming less aggravating—and more frictionless.
- There is an overall increased acceptance of advertising among users when advertising is executed in a way that brings value to their experience, is contextually relevant, delivered in a format that is visually appealing or synergistic to their mobile experience. Benjani highlighted inMobi’s focus on “working with studios and brands to create deeply integrated native ad experiences to connect advertisers to audiences globally.”
- Emotional targeting that is additive to game play (creating value exchange between advertiser and user) tapping into players’ emotions and serving ads in the right place at the right time with the right message is a win for both advertisers and consumers. This allows the brand to be a welcome “hero” for the player, taking part in the user experience and offering players rewards during moments of “achievement” or tips at points of “frustration.”
- “In-game advertising is the only way brand marketers can reach and reward, encourage and rescue players in a way that adds value to the user experience. For example, during Breakthrough Moments™ (BTMs™), brands can reach game players during moments of “achievement,” such as when they get a new high score or a longest jump. With this approach, people will reciprocate the brand’s gift and take a post ad action—such as purchase a product or visit a website—and further engage with the brand, giving marketers a unique way to make lasting, meaningful connections with people,” said Brandt.
- Increasing focus on brand metrics: As Lewis noted, CPM, CPC, CPA and CPV all have some traction in mobile games, but increasingly, better brand metrics, analytics and real-time decisioning are changing the way effectiveness is measured. “Keep in mind as to where your ads are running as not all impressions are equal. If your primary KPI is to deliver a positive brand experience and association, look at where the ad is running and ask if you were playing this game - would you feel interrupted by or helped by this advertisement? User experience is at the paramount of successfully advertising on mobile and simply porting over outdated ad units and placements from display advertising is not enough. These are personal experiences on mobile and the key is tailor advertising to match this new medium”, said O’Connor.
- More options for developers and advertisers: From in-app to HTML5, more options are emerging for game developers and advertisers to foster “native” experiences. Grossberg added: “Brands are also beginning to leverage HTML5 to create their own mobile web games (the game is the advertising!) to engage their target audience at scale through this preferred activity on mobile, and do so in a cost effective manner in a way that fosters social and viral growth.”
About the Author
Kym Nelson serves as an IAB Games Committee Co-Chair and is Senior Vice President of Sales at Twitch TV, the world’s largest live-streaming video platform. In this role since May, 2013, she has created Twitch Media Group, launching an inside, direct-sales media group at Twitch. She is responsible for creating and leading a world-class sales organization that delivers completely new and innovative digital solutions on a platform that is spearheading digital media as we know it today.