An interesting article by Marketing Week has revealed the potential of gaming and the opportunities it presents to brands looking to reach highly engaged audiences.
The global gaming market has reached a whopping £45 billion, with mobile gaming being its main driver at the expense of the once-booming games consoles segment. According to a new market study from gaming researcher Newzoo, mobile gaming soared 35% on the year. Over 50% of the UK population are active gamers, with mobile, gaming on social channels and conventional gaming websites being the most popular platforms and those enjoying the fastest growth. And since 44% of UK consumers prefer gaming over watching TV, marketers are able to capitalise on consumers’ strong engagement with games and think of ways to take advantage of the increasing amount of time they spend in a gaming environment.
Mobile and online games are becoming increasingly attractive to both consumers and advertisers thanks to the emergence of new platforms where they can be played, and their simplicity and affordability. The growing adoption of smartphones and tablets is also a key factor behind the growth, which has fuelled a spike in the amount of screens for playing games, Newzoo’s CEO Peter Warman says. This, however, doesn’t seem a strong enough reason for brands to incorporate gaming into their marketing strategy. There are brands that provide standard banner ads popping up in or around games, however the value of these ads is uncertain. Instead, innovative brands are choosing to establish partnerships and integrations with games to deliver more rewarding advertising experiences by making use of the medium’s creativity and interactivity.
The research from Newzoo also highlights consumers’ increasing approval of brand involvement in games. Over a third of UK gamers agree this would add to their excitement with the game and make their experience more realistic. There are already brands that have taken steps to build on this trend by creating their own games and use them to back their marketing campaign or as a way to spread their brand message.
The large number of UK gamers, however, does not guarantee that tapping into the medium will be a success. Becoming a well-recognised brand in gaming requires time and money to ensure that the audience is showing interest in both the brand and the game.