With 2016 predicted to be the year where gaming explodes on mobile, the mobile advertising space is evolving yet again, and consumers from a rich and diverse demographic will prove too powerful for digital advertisers to dismiss.  

The wide-ranging audience of engaged players isn’t the only perk for marketers running campaigns, however. What mobile advertising is able to achieve with far greater success than any other platform, is that of the immersive experience. 

Total immersion

Moving on from the invasive and often irritating days of display ads, mobile advertising in-game is now able to add value to the consumer experience. Delivering an advert to a player that heightens the gaming experience – be it through branded mini-games or rewarded video advertising – builds an emotional connection that positions the brand in a positive light. 

IAB research has shown that 75% of gamers are willing to accept advertising in free apps or online games if it means gaining access to exclusive and interesting content. With this in mind, players are far more likely to be driven through to further content when they have developed a positive attitude toward the brand in question. 

In-game advertising solutions within app games are free from ad blocking. More than this, in-game advertising focuses on building brand awareness through content that is tailored to the game environment. This strategy offers the simple key to successful advertising: an enjoyable experience. The advertising appears both seamless and useful, making consumer interest in the brand itself far more positive and a click through to a website far more likely. 

Steering traffic

The purpose of this positive, immersive content all boils down to the same intention: to drive consumer traffic from the game to an external brand website. The effectiveness of driving click-throughs is greatly dependent on the way in which the brand is positioned in front of the consumer, and the sophistication of the creative ad format. Interrupting a game with irrelevant adverts that offer no incentives or interesting content just won’t yield results. This is where game developers have an advantage over other advertising platforms. They approach adverts within games in the same way as game development itself: with the utmost focus on quality control. It is more important than ever to ensure brand advertising in mobile games is of a quality that survives ad-block culture. 

Integration of programmatic with in-game ad solutions is the latest stage in advertising campaigns, but this can only work if game publishers take ownership of the process. The benefit of an in-house team, over using an ad network, is control over where ads appear, transparency for clients, and the ability to tailor creative and strategy to drive the best results. 
The growth of mobile gaming will continue. IAB research has found that 70% of people use a connected device whilst watching TV, meaning people are quite literally ignoring TV ads in favour of the mobile alternative. The opportunity is there, marketers now face the challenge of seizing it. 

With the ‘gamer’ demographic now broader than ever, companies need to understand that what constitutes a gamer has changed. Marketers who rely heavily on catering to the archetype of the ‘young male gamer’ might be in for a shock when we tell them that,  according to Gameloft’s data, over 60% of our players are 18 and over, whilst females account for 25% of our player audience.

Millions of consumers are tapping into mobile games every day, so it’s time for digital marketers to enter play.