Gamers are accepting of brand association and cooperation, according to a new study, which points towards how brands can bring gamification into their media plans.

The report from OMD China – Rhythm: Gamers – sought to address the curiosity of brands keen to explore the potential of the medium to engage with China’s 626 million online gamers.

Most brand promotion is currently either through in-game advertising or content sponsorship; the study found that among in-gaming advertising formats, TVCs featuring online game characters were the most effective, followed by offline store and packaging cooperation.

Elena Hu, associate director of Marketing Sciences, OMD China said that demand for cooperating with popular online games is only increasing as brands look to target younger audiences.

“However, there are still many misconceptions of both games and gamers,” she cautioned. “It is important for marketers to have clarity on their consumers’ behaviours and preferences before we recommend this channel.”

“This study provides our clients the opportunity to apply valuable insights into their media strategies,” she added.

Other key findings from the report, conducted in partnership with Kantar Millward Brown, included:

  • Gaming is not limited to “young males”. Research shows that the myth of gamers being mostly “young males” is false. The average age of a Chinese gamer is 31 years of age, and 41% are female.
  • Gaming is a balanced part of a gamer’s life. Only 38% of gamers consider gaming a primary choice of entertainment – average daily time spent on gaming is similar watching online videos. As gamers are constantly on the lookout for new games, the average interest for a game lasts approximately 5.8 months. This audience group is also prudent when spending, investing only a 2% of their monthly income on games.
  • Gaming has a larger impact on a gamer’s life than just providing “fun”. Gaming motivations are not just about “having fun”. Games help broaden gamers’ social networks and provide a sense of achievement and accomplishment. Furthermore, gamers state that gaming offers them experiences unavailable in the real world.

Sourced from OMD China; additional content by WARC staff