A Guide To Blended In-Game Ads

In-game ads are perfect ways for brands to connect with a captive audience. Learn more about blended in-game advertising and the benefits of an in-game ad campaign

Video gaming is the fastest-growing form of global entertainment. Since the mid-2000s, gaming has trounced both movies and music in yearly revenue, and it hasn't even been close. Even combined, movies and music can't touch gaming as a money-making powerhouse, raking over $180 billion in 2021. Gaming is clearly here to stay, and that's why it's so crucial that advertisers take advantage of blended in-game ads.

What Is Blended In-Game Advertising?

person holding xbox controller while playing a game on large tv with blended in-game ads
Blended in-game ads are found on every gaming platform

Blended in-game ads are advertisements that blend seamlessly into the gaming experience. Usual in-game advertising bases itself upon game developers inserting ads into gameplay to increase revenue streams. However, blended in-game ads are a bit different.

While playing a racing game, you may see a billboard advertising a new movie when making your way around a circuit. While playing a sports game like FIFA or Madden, players could see an ad on a jersey or in the virtual stadium.

In short, blended in-game ads fit right into a gamer's experience with zero intrusion. An excellent in-game ad shouldn't interrupt the flow of gameplay and shouldn't take gamers out of the experience. After all, we don't want to create ad fatigue.

Instead of a pesky pop-up, which is active, blended game ads are more passive. These blended gaming advertisements should fit in with the game's target audience.

And for companies and brands, focusing on video games and gamers is a winning strategy. Let's see why.

Benefits Of Using Blended In-Game Ads

Why should a company create a blended in-game advertising campaign? There are a few reasons to engage your audience and reach customers you may have thought were previously out of reach.

Getting Your Audience's Attention

Gamers are not likely to do five other things when engaged with in-game content. Think of when someone views an ad on a desktop computer. They might be on their phone, checking email, and not devoting too much attention to ads.

However, when gamers drive around a track in Gran Turismo 7, they focus on the task at hand. Gamers are trying to race from point A to point B, not engaging with social media posts. This increased focus allows for ads to have a great shot of resonating with gamers.

Increase Brand Recognition

Building brand awareness is a crucial part of the advertising puzzle.

By inserting ads from your business into a game with a high volume of players, you're developing a bond, no matter how small. In-game advertising, when seamlessly blended into the game experience, builds memorability, recognition, and visibility.

However, before jumping in, you must ensure you have an attractive brand to advertise in the first place!

Adding Something To The In-Game Experience

Let's look back at our Gran Turismo 7 example. Not only are blended in-game ads a great idea in this case, but ads will blend in perfectly with the in-game landscape. In real life, racetracks and city streets have advertisements dotting the landscape.

jets flying over car in gran turismo 7
Gran Turismo 7 has a seamless blend of in-game ads and gameplay (Source: IGN)

Integrating ads in environs like this create a seamless, unobtrusive way to connect with your customer base. It also adds realism and authenticity to the gaming experience. That's what we call a win-win.

Advertise To A Growing Audience

Video gaming is still a growing industry. Each year offers new innovations in tech and entertainment, and it shows no signs of stopping. In fact, experts estimate that by 2025, video games will be a $300 billion dollar industry. For reference, video games made $25.1 billion in 2010.

In short, advertising to gamers is a fantastic way to tap into an industry growing by leaps and bounds.

The Video Games Industry: Breaking It Down

In early 2022, Microsoft made a groundbreaking acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. This deal, the most expensive in video game history, is Microsoft's biggest foray into gaming so far.

Is the video game industry really that profitable? So much so that massive corporations are edging each other out, trying to corner different markets? Absolutely.

There are over 3 billion gamers out there, with the average gamer clocking in 8 hours and 27 minutes per week on their chosen console or platform.

Add to that the fact that gamers have disposable income, too. Although many gamers are under 18, those with income have twice as much disposable income as non-gamers. According to Geoff Weiss of Tubefilter:

"[A study] found that 42% of so-called ‘power gamers,’ or those who play for 10 or more hours per week on a PC or gaming console, are parents. And power gamers also tend to have considerable spending power, Fullscreen found, with two times as much discretionary income ($488) as non-gamers ($210). Discretionary income refers to income remaining after taxes and other personal necessity expenditures."

-Geoff Weiss

So when crafting an advertising campaign, remember that gamers aren't just children; they're everyone.

Final Thoughts On Blended In-Game Ads

Connecting with your target audience through different mediums and platforms is key to brand growth. It could be building brand recognition through good in-game advertising via billboards, cars, or jerseys. Whatever your method, it's an opportunity you can't ignore, especially with massive projected revenue in the coming years.

For more useful tips on promoting brand growth, connecting with customers, and digital marketing, get in touch with Sprinkles Media!

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