As a space for high-reach, high fame advertising, TV is facing some new media contenders as advertisers begin testing ads in console games that borrow from their mobile gaming cousins in their optionality and rewards basis.
Gaming’s growth continues apace, and with it its value as a potential advertising destination – that is, separate from broadcast competitive gaming known as e-sports.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Turner, part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia tested three ads promoting three of its own shows within the fighting game UFC 3, published by Electronic Arts. While this month, the Journal adds, credit reporting agency Experian started testing ads within the same game.
Both are big users of TV advertising, but amid the loss of live sports and a deeper trend of younger potential viewers spending more of their time gaming, the tests offer a new way to reach a large audience on the largest screen in the house.
Run by the ad-tech firm Simulmedia, which specialises in granular targeting of TV ads, ads in games are something quite new.
Ultimately, the new formats have had to borrow from mobile gaming, which has a comparatively longer history of in-game advertising. As a result, users can choose whether they watch the spots (15- or 30-second), and if they do, they receive in-game benefits or rewards.
Of course, taking a technique that has worked for free-to-play, ad-supported mobile games does not necessarily translate to video games that users have paid around $60 for, even though many players are now downloading games rather than buying physical disks.
As a result of this light-touch thinking, in-game advertising has mostly been limited to banners or hoardings in sport games, but the bet is based on the logic that the game is content that gamers care about. As a result, the companies are not expecting to be selling FMCG products as much as products specifically for the gaming world.
“The most fundamental piece is we have to create an ad experience that gamers accept,” says Dave Morgan, founder and CEO of Simulmedia. “Maybe they won’t love it, but at least they can say, ‘Yeah, for a couple of points or a battle shield, I’ll watch the ad’.”
For more data on gaming, read WARC’s latest Global Ad Trends: Ad Opportunities in gaming
Sourced from the Wall Street Journal, WARC