Mobile Marketing Magazine discusses the billion-dollar gaming industry, why global brands are cashing in on the sector and lucrative in-game advertising opportunities with Adverty CEO Tobias Knuttson.
Mobile Marketing: What makes Adverty different from other digital advertising channels?
Tobias Knuttson: As one of the leading in-game platforms for advertisers, agencies and developers, Adverty delivers seamless in-game advertising that connects brands and audiences through its revolutionary technology. Unlike some traditional channels, our innovative solution unlocks hard to reach audiences and offers true in-game ad inventory at scale that allows content creators to monetise the complete experience with unobtrusive, easy-to-integrate, immersive ads.
MM: What will be the lasting impact of the pandemic on the gaming industry?
TK: Almost a year after the global outbreak, we continue to see steady growth in online and mobile gaming and eSports. The gaming sector has a market value due to reach $180bn in 2021 and is expected to exceed a whopping $200bn by 2023. Lockdown has helped contribute to a global gaming audience of 3 billion and these figures present exciting opportunities for advertisers to unlock this largely untapped advertising channel. As consumers spend increasingly more time on their devices, the gaming category has grown exponentially and in the so-called ‘new normal’, savvy brands are taking notice of the huge potential of the billion-dollar gaming market and the lucrative opportunities to reach diverse and engaged audiences.
MM: Why are major brands like Ikea, Aldi and Lidl cashing in on gaming in 2021?
TK: It’s certainly little surprise that more and more globally recognised brands are realising the untapped potential of the billion-dollar gaming industry. We’ve seen the launch of Aldi Gaming in Germany and a lucrative partnership between French eSports organisation Team Vitality and Aldi France. Meanwhile, German eSports organisation SK Gaming has partnered with Lidl as its fresh food partner and both supermarkets chains have gone a step further, signing several eSports players to front high profile campaigns.
News that Ikea recently partnered with hardware company Republic of Gamers to launch furniture collections specifically for gamers also clearly highlights the unstoppable growth of the gaming sector and should be a wake-up call for marketers across all industries.
MM: Why is in-game advertising such an important opportunity for both brands and developers in 2021?
TK: A recent survey from Pocketgamer.biz indicated that 46 per cent of developers cite in-game advertising as a key monetisation opportunity for 2021. We were heartened to see the survey results show more than 25 per cent of developers were planning to trial InGamePlay brand advertising in the first half of this year. Indeed, Adverty recently held a virtual seminar for Unity developers to showcase our seamless In-Menu and In-Play ad units while providing best practices for embedding ads within game design to drive revenue. It’s clear that brands and developers are well aware of the potential that InGamePlay brand advertising brings and the opportunity to boost monetisation certainly can’t be ignored.
MM:Tell us more about Adverty’s innovative technologies In-Menu and In-Play
TK: The In-Menu ad unit was launched to complement our In-Play ad format which provides brand takeover opportunities on billboards already available within gameplay. Our pioneering In-Menu advertising format enables contextually relevant IAB display banner ads in between gameplay and brings performance-based, programmatic advertising to our range of seamless ad solutions. The interactive nature of Adverty’s In-Menu ads combines unobtrusive brand exposure with a call to action, allowing advertisers to deliver brand messages and actions of their choice, including direct paths to purchase. Compared to other offerings on the market, our proprietary, patent-pending ad technology is completely unique in its ability to keep users engaged within the game throughout the complete ad experience – a much sought-after feature among both game developers and brands.
MM: How much of a difference do non-intrusive ads make as brands compete for eyeballs?
TK: With so much noise online, consumers are quickly growing fatigued with traditional advertising methods. They are bombarded with constant sales messaging and are always finding ways to ignore and disengage from these adverts. Marketers hoping to make some real cut-through in the over-saturated digital advertising landscape need to move away from interruptive ad formats and consider alternative channels that provide genuine user engagement.
A study we conducted recently suggests that mobile users prefer non-intrusive ads whilst seamless in-game advertising delivers significant ad awareness and brand recall compared to traditional web display advertising. What was even more reassuring was that 50 per cent of the survey participants who were presented with a series of adverts in different online environments, said they preferred ads that blended seamlessly into the gameplay experience – compared to 30 per cent who favoured banner ads on news websites. Brands have at their disposal a wealth of opportunities to create attractive, non-intrusive advertising and present it to their target audiences. Since ads blend naturally into the game environment with no ad blockers in sight, the possibilities for marketers are endless. Ultimately, we think in-game advertising offers a remarkable opportunity for brands to reach consumers at a highly engaged moment, which is why many are now starting to prioritise games and esports as the media channel for the future.